Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Luckey Memorial Building

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Institution Name: Houghton College
Original/Historic Place Name: Luckey Memorial Building
Location on Campus: 1 Willard Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1941groundbreaking York, Chester
1942opening
Designer: Chester York
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: poured concrete using gravel and sand from the Genesee River, 17 inches thick
Walls: local creek rock over cinder block
Roof: Vermont slate
 
Function:
ca. 1942other (bookstore)
ca. 1942library
ca. 1942-present (2006)administration (President; VP for Finance; VP for Academic Affairs; Financial Services; Accounting; Academic Records; Business Office; Human Resources; Payroll)
 

Narrative:
Builder Chester York was able to convince college officials that he could use local materials to build an administrative building. The cost of bricks and steel was high during WW II, and a fundraising brochure entitled "The Building God Showed Us in The Creek" told of Mr. York building his own home in Houghton using rock and timber from the Houghton area. York set the style for all subsequent buildings on the quadrangle: the Chapel, the Library, East Hall women's residence hall, the Campus Center, and the Academic Building. Other structures not on the quadrangle have also made use of the creek rock for all or part of the facades, including the art studios, other residence halls, the science center, the new center for the arts, and the gymnasium.

The cost of the building was slightly less than $40,000. Although this exceeded the original budget, the building was still debt-free when occupied. The interior offices were paneled with a board and batten design using pine stained with a formula Mr. York had used in his own home. It was said that he "got us started in the physical expansion that continued for a number of years. . . it would not have happened had he not been there to spearhead the work on campus." Although the offices themselves have been remodeled and reconfigured several times to suit various administrations, the building continues to be very functional. It is now being evaluated for handicapped accessibility.
 

References:
 

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Last update: November 2006