Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Vista from 8th Street

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Institution Name: Goshen College
Original/Historic Place Name: Vista from 8th Street
Location on Campus: north end of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1894founding of college
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: education, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1894outdoor space (main entrance to campus)
ca. 2004-present (2006)outdoor space (north pedestrian entrance to campus)

The view from 8th Street south onto campus is one that has persisted, largely unchanged, throughout most of the 100 years of Goshen's existence at this location. As such it is one of the few views that would be familiar and identifiable to virtually anyone who has studied or worked here during that time. Initially, this perspective would have been the most obvious presentation of the campus to the outside world. Now it would be familiar to most pedestrians and bicyclists but could be unnoticed by passing car traffic. To all who have studied and worked here, it readily serves as an icon that recalls the whole of campus. The components of the view are the Aurora Arch, the Adelphian Fountain, the Administration Building, and (depending on the angle) other buildings that fall within the original quadrangle layout of the earliest campus buildings. In a north-to-south view, the eye encounters two features donated by male literary societies. Four such societies, two male and two female, served in the campus's early history as culturally acceptable equivalents of fraternities and sororities, institutions that early 20th-century Mennonites would have found unacceptably "worldly." The societies endured for six decades before succumbing to more flexible student social organizations. The arch was designed (by student Abram Hess), constructed, and donated by the Aurora Literary Society in 1905. The fountain was donated by what was to become the Adelphian Literary Society in 1904. At the end of the direct north-to-south view is the Administration Building designed by George W. Selby of South Bend, IN. Four of the first five campus buildings that comprise this traditional collegiate quadrangle could be classed as neo-classical Georgian revival: the Administration Building (offices & classrooms, 1903), Kulp Hall (dormitory, 1906/1930/1939), Science Hall (offices & classrooms, 1915/1992), and Coffman Hall (dormitory, 1929/1941). The fifth building is Westlawn (dormitory & cafeteria, 1951), designed in a modern style with little attempt at architectural integration with the other buildings.


Cane, Linda Nelson. Goshen College Architecture, Centennial Project. Videocassette. Goshen, IN: Goshen College Art Department, 1995.

Miller, Susan Fisher. Culture For Service: A History of Goshen College, 1894-1994. Goshen, IN: Goshen College, 1994.

Umble, John S. Goshen College, 1894-1954: A Venture In Christian Higher Education. Goshen, IN: Goshen College, 1954.


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Last update: November 2006