Oberlin Then and Now: Society Hall

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Historic photo of Society Hall  Present day view of Tappan Square

Then: Society Hall, 1868, Now: Tappan Square, 1930, Olmsted Brothers


The construction of Society Hall was begun in 1867 and completed in 1868. It was a two-story brick building built at the same time with French Hall, located on the west side of the Campus near the north end. As originally designed, the first floor contained three lecture rooms, while on the second floor there was a society room, from which the building took its name, and library rooms for the College and U.L.A. libraries. These libraries were located in Society Hall until the erection of Spear Library in 1885. In 1887, upon the completion of Peters Hall, the building was remodeled and the first floor was assigned to the Academy Department for recitation purposes the second floor had previously (in 1885) become the headquarters of the department of Drawing and Painting. This use continued until 1917, when Society Hall was torn down in accordance with the plan to clear the Campus of all buildings.

Source: From the 1936 Alumni Catalogue and a set of building cards created by the College Secretary's office, both located at the Oberlin College Archives

Photo courtesy of Oberlin College Archives