Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Oglebay Entrance Gates

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Institution Name: Bethany College (WV)
Original/Historic Place Name: Oglebay Entrance Gates
Location on Campus: College St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1910original design
1987reconstruction Monfardi Construction Company
Designer: Monfradi Construction Company
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1910other (original entrance to college campus)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (there is a ritual of passing through the gates as entering freshman matriculate and of passing through them once again when a student exits the college at commencement)

The Oglebay Entrance is composed of large iron gates, a brick entrance with two sets of stairs to the level of Campus Drive, and landscaping. When the entrance was built in 1910, it was positioned at the actual entrance to the college. It was built through funding made available by Earl Williams Oglebay, class of 1869, well known as a philanthropist who made his fortune in the iron and steel industry. Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia is named for him. The entrance was the first attempt at beautification in design and planting on the campus during the early years of Thomas Ellsworth Cramblet's years as president. The entrance to the campus now is on Main Street and was built in 1933 with bricks that were salvaged from the old Bethany House after it burned down. The entrance plays a major role in one of the College's most important ceremonies: freshman students pass through the gates when they first enroll at Bethany, and they pass through once again during commencement.

In 1985, the Oglebay Entrance and surrounding area were so in need of major repair that it was deemed unsafe for seniors to pass through the gates and up the stairs at the time of commencement. Alumni and friends of the college provided the funding, including a major gift from Robert W. Ewing. In 1986 plans were made to prevent the total collapse of the gates, and work began March of 1987. Monfradi Construction Company executed the rebuilding and repair at a cost of $110,000, and at the completion of the project, a garden and plaque were installed in the memory of Richard Bruce Kenney, beloved professor of religious studies, who died in the fall of 1986.


Woolery, William Kirk. Bethany Years: The Story of Old Bethany from Her Founding Years through a Century of Trial and Triumph. Huntington, WV: Standard Printing and Publishing, 1941.


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Last update: November 2006