Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Frees Hall

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Institution Name: Doane College
Original/Historic Place Name: Frees Hall
Location on Campus: east of Boswell Ave. from intersection of Boswell Ave. and 7th St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1931original construction Dean & Dean, Architects
Designer: Dean and Dean, Architects (Chicago)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: wood frame faced with brick
Roof: asphalt, formerly clay tile
1931-present (2006)residence hall (ladies, later co-ed)

Frees Hall was completed in 1931 as a women's residence hall. This three-story building matches Smith (Men's) Hall in design, and these two buildings were purposely positioned as north and south anchors in the campus master plan of that era. Frees was designed by Dean and Dean, Architects of Chicago. (For detailed information about this firm and its importance to Doane College, see the Whitcomb Conservatory/Lee Memorial Chapel entry.) The hall was built to accommodate 185 students in residence and also housed a 450-seat campus dining room in the basement. This space has since been renovated for student rooms.

Frees Hall, named for Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Frees for their "generous interest in Christian education in Nebraska," can be labeled Collegiate Gothic in design. The upward aspiring façade elements, including the square, crenellated, parapetted towers flanking the main entrance off the terrace, are reminiscent of traditional Gothic design. The brick building features stone quoining at all corners, and stone string courses. The original clay tile roof was replaced with asphalt many years ago. The design of this building allowed students access to the roof, and over the years the tiles became cracked and broken.

Frees Hall is in good condition and is continually maintained.


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.

Perry, Thomas D., ed. History of Doane College 1872-1912. Crete, NE: Doane College, 1957.

Ziegler, Donald J. A College on a Hill, Life at Doane College, 1872-1987. Lincoln, NE: Media Publishing, 1990.


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Last update: November 2006