Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Gault Alumni House

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Institution Name: College of Wooster
Original/Historic Place Name: Overholt Residence, Merz Hall
Location on Campus: 1012 Beall Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1941remodeled Frick, H. C.
n.d.original construction
Designer: H. C. Frick
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, engineering, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: brick and concrete block
Walls: brick
Roof: asphalt shingles
 
Function:
ca. 1941-1987academic department building (music)
ca. 1987-1992residence hall
ca. 1992-present (2006)alumni center (Alumni Association, alumni relations and development)
ca. n.d.-1941private residence (for Overholt family)
 

Narrative:
The Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Alumni Center sits at the corner of Beall Ave. and Pine St. It was designed and constructed by H. C. Frick and is the former Overholt residence. The building housed the Department of Music from 1941 until 1987 and bore the name of Karl Merz, the first director of Wooster's Conservatory of Music (1882-1890). From 1987 until 1992, it served as a residence for students. Generous gifts from alumni in the 50-year reunion class of 1936, 1940, and 1941, as well as a major gift from Mr. and Mrs. Gault, made it possible to renovate the building completely during the 1992-1993 academic year to serve as a homee for the Alumni Association and for use by the Alumni and Development Offices.

The Gault Alumni Center symbolizes the College's belief in tradition and the importance of restoring attractive older buildings rather then tearing them down. The building's hard usage might have been grounds for demolition; but the College chose to restore it to its original Classic Revival beauty, and it has become one of the most popular locations on campus for elegant receptions.
 

References:

Notestein, Lucy Lilian. Wooster of the Middle West. New Haven: Published for the College of Wooster by Yale University Press, 1937. Reprint, Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1971.

 

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Last update: November 2006