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Graves Hall is important historically as the first permanent building on campus after Van Vleck Hall. It was dedicated in 1894. Its current condition is good, although the interior has been much altered with the exception of Winants Auditorium, which has also been remodeled somewhat over the years. Previously serving as the chapel and then as the library, Winants is now used as a classroom, lecture hall, and film theatre. The varied uses of Graves Hall over time have made it vital to the educational history of Hope.
Graves Hall is significant because of its artistic or stylistic connection to the revivalist tendency known as Richardsonian Romanesque. The architect, W. K. Johnston of Chicago, reflects in this work a style using mass, rustication, and strong geometric shapes deemed by H. H. Richardson reflective of American values because of their strength and vigor. Graves's revival style is significant when compared to other examples of the type in West Michigan. The hall is associated with individuals important to the school: Nathan Graves, the building's donor and namesake, and alumnus A. J. Muste, a nationally known pacifist. The building has a vernacular side to its style and is an example of a building in locally quarried Waverly sandstone.
Bruins, Elton J., and Larry J. Wagenaar. Campus Alive: A Walking Tour of Hope College. Holland, MI: Hope College, 1999.
Stegenga, Preston J. Anchor of Hope: The History of an American Denominational Institution, Hope College. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1954.
Wichers, Wynand. A Century of Hope: 1866-1966. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1966.