Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Edward W. Seay Administration Building

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Institution Name: Centenary College
Original/Historic Place Name: Centenary Collegiate Institute
Location on Campus: 400 Jefferson St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1900-1901original construction Teale, Oscar C.
Designer: Oscar C. Teale
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: buff-colored brick, limestone trim
Roof: gilded copper (dome), asphalt shingle (gables), EPDM (flat roofs)
ca. 1900-present (2006)other (public meeting and reception rooms)
ca. 1900-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 1900-present (2006)chapel
ca. 1900-present (2006)administration (including President's office)

The Edward W. Seay Administration Building, the original and central building of Centenary College, remains substantially unchanged from its original configuration. Later additions to the rear of the structure have not affected the axial view of the front façade from Church and Jefferson Streets. A complete exterior restoration of the building in 2001 included the cleaning and repair of brick, trim, and windows. Wood porches were rebuilt, an accessible ramp was added, and the driveway and landscaping were revised. Design of new work at the front of the building was based on evidence from historic photographs. The Edward W. Seay Administration Building is included in the National Register and The NJ Registry of Historic Places.

The Edward W. Seay Administration Building, (originally named Old Main Hall), and its two flanking, curved dormitory wings were completed in 1901 and comprise the original campus of Centenary College, named for the Centennial of the Methodist Church in America. The buildings stand at the head of Church Street and replaced an earlier building, which burned in 1899. The first floor of The Edward W. Seay Administration Building contains reception rooms and offices, including the President's Office. At the center of the second and third floors, there is an ornate chapel with a large balcony that remains in its original configuration, with large stained glass windows at the front façade above the building entry. At least one window was made by Louis M. Comfort Tiffany. The balance of the second and third floor contains additional offices and classrooms. The entire interior retains its original configuration and, in most cases, its original detail.


Goodman, Rochelle, Simon Knaap, and Elizabeth DeFabritis. Centenary Collegiate Institute. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.

Holt Morgan Russell Architects. Preliminary Building Conditions Report: Edward Seay Administration Building, North Hall and South Hall. Princeton: Holt Morgan Russell Architects, June 1997.


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Last update: November 2006