Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Smith Hall

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Institution Name: Doane College
Original/Historic Place Name: Men's Hall
Location on Campus: southeast corner of 13th St. and Boswell Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1929original 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
Materials:
Foundation: concrete
Walls: wood frame faced with brick
Roof: clay tile shingles
 
Function:
1929-present (2006)residence hall (men)
 

Narrative:
Men's (now Smith) Hall was built in 1929 as a men's residence hall. This three-story building is very similar to Frees Hall in design, and these two buildings were purposely positioned as north and south anchors in the campus master plan of that era. Men's Hall was also 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 contains three stories of student living space in the north and south wings, and four levels of student housing in the central portion of the building. There is a lounge in the south section of the basement.

Men's Hall was renamed Smith Hall in 1977 to honor Charles C. Smith, a successful Nebraska businessman who had given an anonymous donation in 1929 to ensure that the building be completed. Throughout his lifetime, Smith preferred that his generosity be kept private. Upon his death, the Board of Trustees decided to publicly honor him with the renaming of the building.

Like Frees Hall, this building can also be labeled Collegiate Gothic in design. The upward aspiring façade elements are reminiscent of traditional Gothic design. Men's Hall features hexagonal crenellated, parapetted towers that flank the main entrance. A pointed (or Gothic)-arched door surround accentuates this entrance. The hall also features stone quoining at all corners, and stone string courses and window trim throughout the exterior design. Men's Hall boasts its original clay tile roof.

Men's Hall is in good repair and is continually maintained.
 

References:

Jeffries, Janet L. "Gentility on the Prairie, Urbanization and Refinement in Crete, Nebraska, 1871-1891." M. A. thesis, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 1996.

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