Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Kanakadea Hall

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Institution Name: Alfred University
Original/Historic Place Name: Alfred Grammar School
Location on Campus: East University St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1884original construction Chipman, Charles C.
Designer: Charles C. Chipman
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Italianate, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone, concrete
Walls: wood, brick veneer
Roof: tile
ca. 1884-1907other (Alfred Grammar School)
ca. 1907-2001academic department building (political science and history)
ca. 1907-2001administration (registrar's office)
2001-present (2006)faculty offices
2001-present (2006)classrooms
2001-present (2006)academic department building (Division of Human Studies)

Kanakadea Hall has long been home to students of all ages, elementary through college. It has been used continuously for educational purposes since its construction in 1884 and has been loved by students throughout that time.

Kanakadea Hall, named after the stream that runs next to it, was originally the Alfred Grammar School and owned by the town. It served students in grades 1-8. In 1907, a fire gutted the top floor and destroyed the roof. The university then acquired the building and its lot through a "swap" of land lots. The building was renovated with a changed roof line and without the original bell tower. It was then used as the registrar's office and for the departments of history and political science. The registrar later moved and the building was restored in 2001. The bell tower was recreated; the pressed metal ceilings and interior woodwork were cleaned and redone; and the building returned to its original elegance.


Horowitz, Gary, ed. A Sesquicentennial History of Alfred University: Essays in Change. Alfred, NY: Alfred University, 1985.

"New York State Historic Preservation Building-Structure Inventory Form," (n.d.) Herrick Memorial Library Archives, Alfred University.

Norwood, John Nelson. Fiat Lux: The Story of Alfred University. Alfred, NY: Alfred University, 1957.

Strong, Susan Rumsey. The Most Natural Way in the World: Coeducation at Nineteenth Century Alfred University. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Rochester, 1995.


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Last update: November 2006