Memorial Hall, including Pickard Theater and Wish Experimental Theater
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When it was dedicated in 1882 as a monument to civil war veterans, Memorial Hall contained two classrooms and a large lecture hall on the first floor. The second floor was a large meeting hall that could hold the entire College. The visual identification with the Upjohn Chapel and the symbolic attributes of stone were two important reasons for the use of granite as a building material. The pointed Gothic door and windows echoed Upjohn's First Parish Church only sixty yards away. The Mansard or double-pitched hipped roof sits uneasily on the Gothic details below. Perhaps that roof form was an inexpensive way to get a full third story. The entranceway, with the projecting towerlike area reaching up into the roofline, appears to be derived from Italianate villas of the sort shown in Andrew Jackson Downing's The Architecture of Country Houses, but for Downing's round-arched opening and flat tower roof, pointed forms were substituted. The entranceway was one of the handsome features of the building. As the trees around it grew and Memorial gained its share of ivy, it had, for a while, the romantic air of collegiate gothic.
Memorial Hall was renovated, preserved, and expanded in 1997, based on a design by the firm of Grieves, Worrall, Wright & O'Hatnick, Inc. of Baltimore. This project also included an expansion, the experimental Wish Theater. The Maryland Society of the AIA recognized this design with a Merit Award for Architectural Excellence in September 2001. Before this, Pickard Theater was added in 1955, designed by McKim, Mead & White.
Anderson, Patricia McGraw. The Architecture of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1988.
Hatch, Louis Clinton. The History of Bowdoin College. Portland, ME: Loring, Short & Harmon, 1927.
Shettleworth, Earle G., Jr., and Frank A. Beard. Federal Street Historic District [including Bowdoin College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.