Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Higdon Administration Building

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Graceland University
Original/Historic Place Name: Administration (Ad) Building
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1895original construction Dunham, Charles R.
Designer: Charles R. Dunham
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: limestone
Walls: brick and stone masonry
Roof: slate
1895other (sleeping rooms, food service, and bookstore)
ca. 1895classrooms
ca. 1895chapel
ca. 1895-present (2006)administration

With the exception of a period during the 1992 renovation, the Higdon Administration Building has included the office of the president and administration since it was first occupied in 1897. In the summer of 1992 it was closed for renovation and restoration. Led by the Des Moines firm, Renaissance Design Group (Bussard/Dikis), the $4.5 million project was recognized with a Central States Region Merit Award for integrity of restoration (see the Iowa Architectural Magazine). It reopened in 1997. Due to changes in public access to the campus in the years since its construction, one of the challenges of restoration was to make the east side--originally the back door of the building--into a front entrance. A beautiful façade in harmony with the building's original design was developed. In 1997, the Board of Trustees named the building for the three members of the Higdon family who had served a total of 24 years as presidents of the institution: Earl T. Higdon, William T. Higdon and Barbara J Higdon (nee McFarlane).


Cheville, Roy A. Through the West Door: the Story of the First Half-Century of Graceland College. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1946.

Edwards, Paul M. The Hilltop Where: an Informal History of Graceland College. Lamoni, IA: Venture Foundation, 1972.

Goehner, David. The Graceland College Book of Knowledge. Independence, MO: Graceland Publishing House, 1997.

Higdon, Barbara J., ed. An Illustrated History of Graceland College. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1989.

Iowa Architectural Magazine 2 (2001): 239.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006