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Gaylord Hall, built in 1884, was the third building constructed on the Doane College campus. The building is an interesting adaptation of late Victorian collegiate residential architecture and was originally a residence hall for female students called Ladies Hall. The building was renamed Gaylord Hall after the Rev. Reuben Gaylord, a pioneer home missionary and Christian educator in Iowa and Nebraska, after his widow provided funds to reduce the debt on the structure.
Gaylord Hall is significant in Doane's history, as it represents growth in enrollment and programming at the college. Founded in 1872, the college was 14 years old when the student population required that adequate on-campus housing be provided for women. Prior to this, women students boarded with residents in Crete.
Architecturally, the building reflects the style of vernacular Victorian collegiate buildings in the
19th century United States. The brick structure is situated on a massive limestone foundation and is actually three separate elements tied together in a Y-shaped plan oriented north to south and four stories high. The east and west wings, each three stories high, originally formed a courtyard on the south, a space that has now been converted into academic use. Corner buttresses, a gabled gambrel roof with shed and pedimented dormers, and diagonally-set brick string courses give decorative detail to the building. The date "1884 is built in brick in the north gable of the main (frontal) wing.
Gaylord Hall is listed in the National Register of Historic Places with Boswell Observatory (1883) and Whitcomb Conservatory/Lee Memorial Chapel (1906-07) as the "Doane College Historic District."
Brown, Fred D. Doane College. New York: Newcomen Society of the United States, 2003.
Jeffries, Janet L. "Gentility on the Prairie, Urbanization and Refinement in Crete, Nebraska, 1871-1891." M. A. thesis, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 1996.
Murphy, D. Doane College Historic Buildings. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1977.