Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Oyaron Hill

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Institution Name: Hartwick College
Original/Historic Place Name: "College Hill"
Location on Campus: West St, City and Town of Oneonta, NY
Date(s) of Construction:
n.d.natural landscape
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1927-present (2006)master plan (campus)

In August 1927 a site largely donated by local citizens was chosen for the Hartwick College campus. The largest parcel was 52 acres, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Baker. Mr. Timothy Horan offered 36 acres, including the land at the corner of West and Clinton streets, for $9,000--$1,000 less than the actual value. To complete the block of property, Mr. D.F. Keyes donated 17 acres between the Baker and Horan properties, and Mr. and Mrs. Millard donated 10 acres to round off the campus.

Willard Yager, who would figure prominently in the College's history with a later donation of his collection of Native American artifacts, suggested the name of the hill be changed to "Oyaron Hill," which meant "hill of dreams." The hill was utilized by Native Americans of the region in earlier times. The hillside currently encompasses 425 acres, 28 buildings, and athletic fields.

The steep hillside presents significant engineering and architectural challenges. The majority of campus facilities are long rectangular buildings, which fit in among the few flat areas on the slope. Campus roadways are carved into the side of the hill along the north-south natural plateaus. Stairways rather than walk ways are how one gets from east to west on campus.


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Last update: November 2006