Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Cooperative Learning Community House

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Institution Name: Heidelberg College
Original/Historic Place Name: President's House, German House, Guest House, Gerhart-Rust Residence
Location on Campus: 285 E. Perry St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1852original construction Gerhart, E. V.
Designer: E. V. Gerhart
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: wood frame
Roof: slate
ca. 1852-1970private residence
ca. 1970residence hall (German House, a German language studies area and residence for German speaking students)
ca. 2004-present (2006)residence hall (Cooperative Learning Community House, a theme based student residence)

The house was designed and built as the home of Heidelberg's first President, E.V. Gerhart, who was also president of the Theological Seminary. It was built with a $1000 loan made to him from the college's endowment fund, as the trustees felt it was important for Gerhart to live near the campus (which then consisted of only one building, Founders Hall). When Gerhart resigned on April 1, 1855, it was repurchased by the trustees of the seminary. Moses Keiffer, president from 1855-1864, then occupied the house. In 1866 it was purchased by Dr. Herman Rust, a professor of theology in the seminary. In 1900, Rev. John B. Rust and his wife Mary were also living there. John Rust lived there until the late 1930s; and Thomas Lloyd, a foreman for the W. H. Kildown Co., lived there with his wife Jean in the 1950s. The building was divided into furnished rooms and renamed "The Echoes" in the 1960s. When the college reacquired the property in the 1970s, it served briefly as a German language studies area and then as the College Guest House.
Presently the front façade reflects the original style and use of the home. It has been altered by rear additions. Current use of the structure reflects the original use of the building as a residence.

This structure is significant for its style and its role in the history of Heidelberg and its campus. In 1979, the property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the "Gerhart-Rust Residence."


Tarr, Blair, and Barbara Howe. Gerhart-Rust Residence [Heidelberg College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.

Williams, E. I. F. Heidelberg: Democratic Christian College, 1850-1950. Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing Company, 1952.


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Last update: November 2006