Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Fourier Hall

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Institution Name: College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Original/Historic Place Name: Fourier Library
Location on Campus: See campus map
Date(s) of Construction:
1914original construction Murphy, Frederick V.
1971renovation Stern, Robert A. M.
Designer: Frederick V. Murphy; Robert A. M. Stern
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/pre-WWII, Postmodern, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: cement
Walls: tapestry brick
Roof: red tiles
ca. 1914theater
1914-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (Weekend College Program, art, English, and nursing)
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices

Fourier Library was built when the old library, located in College Hall (now Mary Meletia Hall) began to outgrow its space. The E-shaped building, joined to Mary Meletia Hall by an enclosed cloister walk, is of the same tapestry brick as Mary Meletia Hall. The Art-Deco building was designed by Frederick V. Murphy (whose son, Michael Murphy was the architect for the renovation of the College's Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation), a noted Washington-based architect who had a thriving practice from 1911 to 1957. The name of the building honors St. Peter Fourier, a 16th century remote founder of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

The building was renovated in 1971 when the Loyola/Notre Dame Library was opened and renamed Fourier Hall. During this renovation the original classrooms were unchanged; the only structural change in the library quarters was the removal of a stack floor, making a higher ceiling in a section partitioned for nursing education offices. The current renovation includes a new heating and cooling system, new plumbing, electrical upgrades, new stairs and elevators for handicap access, and a new entry on the east side.

Of historical note are three frescoes in Fourier painted by Marie-Alain Couturier, O.P., a pioneer of the revival in liturgical art as well as scholar, priest, and artist. Father Couturier was an instructor in the art department at the College from 1942-1952. He painted the frescoes in gratitude for the hospitality the College extended to him during his stay. The frescoes will be preserved during the current renovation.


"Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter Fourier." Online (2003). New Advent.

Cucchiella, S. Baltimore Deco, An Architectural Survey of Art in Baltimore. Baltimore: Maclay & Associates, 1984.

David, Sister Mary. "Legacy of Light." America (April 24, 1954): 107-08.

Engelmeyer, Bridget Marie, Fred Shoken, and George Andreve. College of Notre Dame of Maryland. National Register of Historic Places nomination form. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

"Frederick V. Murphy." Catholic Historical Review (Winter, 1987).

Time, June 20, 1949.

Time, November 1, 1954.


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Last update: November 2006