Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Joe J. Mickle Hall of Science

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Institution Name: Centenary College of Louisiana
Original/Historic Place Name: Science Building
Location on Campus: Woodlawn Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1950original construction McKelvy, Aubrey
Designer: Aubrey McKelvy
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: composition shingle
 
Function:
1950-present (2006)other (greenhouse)
1950-present (2006)other (research facilities)
1950-present (2006)classrooms
1950-present (2006)academic department building (science labs, computer labs, choir room)
1950-present (2006)auditorium
1950-present (2006)faculty offices
 

Narrative:
Built in 1950, the Joe J. Mickle Hall of Science, with its ten massive three-story Doric columns, is one of the most architecturally impressive buildings on campus. It was the first of the great buildings to be constructed during the twenty year tenure of its namesake, President Joe Mickle, and the building was named in his honor after his death in 1964. The structure dominated its location on the southeast section of the campus and eventually became the anchor site which drew other structures to this east side of the campus. The building follows the Georgian revival style, but the giant concrete and plaster pillars are its most distinctive feature. The building has been remodeled more than once to accommodate the wiring required for modern science labs and computer equipment, but it retains the original mosaic tile floors on the stairwell landings along with other early 1950s features. The basement tapers off on the east end to create an underground tunnel that runs north to the basement of the Magale Library. This deliberate effect by the architect created a designated bomb shelter large enough to serve the entire campus, reflecting national concerns during the early years of the Cold War and Korean conflict.

The facility has always housed the biology, chemistry, geology, math, and physics department offices, classrooms, and labs. For many years the education department offices and classrooms were there until they were replaced by neuroscience labs and computer labs in the late 1990s. For a decade, the campus computer center and computer lab were located in Mickle Hall until they were moved to create more science classroom space. An attractive auditorium on the first floor with stadium seating doubles as a classroom and general meeting/multi-media room. One of Mickle's more unique characteristics is a greenhouse operated by the biology department on the second floor rear balcony. For 42 years, the Mickle attic was home to the Centenary choir until the Anderson Choral Building was completed in 2002.
 

References:

Bryson, Helen R. "A History of Centenary College." M. A. thesis, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1941.

Centenary College, The College of Louisiana. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.

East Feliciana Parish Records. Clinton and Jackson, LA.

Fay, Edwin W. The History of Education in Louisiana. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1898.

Nelson, William H. A Burning Torch and a Flaming Fire: The Story of Centenary College of Louisiana. Nashville, TN: Methodist Publishing, 1931.

Varnado, Otto W. "A History of the Early Institutions of Higher Learning in Louisiana." M. A. thesis, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1927.

 

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Last update: November 2006