Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sampson House

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Institution Name: Lawrence University
Original/Historic Place Name: President's House
Location on Campus: 521 E. College Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1880-1881original construction Waters, William
Designer: William Waters
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: exterior: cedar siding (lap) 4" to the weather; interior: plaster
Roof: fiberglass shingles
1881-1956president's house
1956-present (2006)faculty offices
1956-present (2006)administration

Sampson House was built in 1881 as the third building on campus. It is located facing the Lawrence Green on the bluff of the Fox River. It was designed by William Waters, a locally renowned architect, and named after Rev. William Harkness Sampson of the Methodist Church. It is a 4,600 square foot, two story, wood frame eastern Stick Style residence. It has been home to eight of Lawrence University's presidents. For the past twenty-five years, it has been used as the president's office on campus. Although it has gone through many renovations, it remains true to the original design.


Breunig, Charles. "A Great and Good Work": A History of Lawrence University, 1847-1964. Appleton, WI: Lawrence University Press, 1994.

Schumann, Marguerite E. Creation of a Campus: A Chronicle of Lawrence College Buildings and the Men Who Made Them. Appleton, WI: Lawrence University Press, 1957.


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Last update: November 2006