Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Leisy Admissions and Welcome Center

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Institution Name: Bethel College (KS)
Original/Historic Place Name: Leisy House and Das Deutsche House
Location on Campus: 303 E. 24th St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1915-1916original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stone and concrete
Walls: wood stud and wood siding
Roof: asphalt shingles
 
Function:
ca. 1916-1960residence hall (professor's residence on first floor and accomodation for 10-15 students on second floor; later served as group home for persons with Downs Syndrome, Northview Developmental Services)
ca. 2004-present (2006)admissions office (includes welcome center)
 

Narrative:
Christine Leisy, widow of a wealthy Cleveland brewer, gave $4,000 to Bethel College in 1915 to build Leisy House. Her conditions for the gift were that Bethel not teach prohibition for 20 years, and that Bethel use the income from students who rented living space for the maintenance of the German department. The latter condition caused students to call the home Das Deutsche Haus. Leisy had to supplement her original gift with $750 to fully fund building costs. The Leisy family descendents continue to play a role in the life of Bethel College as board members and major donors.

Beautifully restored, the home retains its distinctive Craftsman-style features: dark pine woodwork, thick parlor doors, a wrap-around porch, and transom and stained glass windows.
 

References:

Leisy House Collection (newspaper clippings, transcriptions, correspondence). Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, KS.

 

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Last update: November 2006