Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Dow Health and Physical Education Center

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Hope College
Original/Historic Place Name: Dow Health and Physical Education Center
Location on Campus: 168 E. 13th St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1978original construction Alden B. Dow & Associates, Inc.
Designer: Alden B. Dow & Associates, Inc. (Midland, MI)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured cement
Walls: block with brick fascia
Roof: west side: EPDM; northeast side: built-up IRMA
ca. 1978-present (2006)infirmary (Health Clinic)
ca. 1978-present (2006)gymnasium (including swimming pool and Department of Kinesiology, formerly Department of Physical Education and Athletics)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (dance)

The Dow Health and Physical Education Center was designed by the Alden B. Dow architectural firm. Major support for the building was received from the Dow Foundation of Midland, Michigan, and it was named to honor Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow. The building was dedicated in 1978.

Architecturally, the building's varied shapes render visible the diverse functions it serves. It stresses mass and geometric volumes, features that help to anchor the campus to the south. Its style is an interesting contrast to the razed Carnegie-Schouten Gymnasium, which was built in a simplified Neoclassical style.


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.


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