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Administration Building (RG 113)

This image is a black and white photograph of the front entrance of the Administration Building with the right front door open.

Administration Building

The Administration Building was originally constructed as the college’s first dormitory, first dining facility and classrooms on the current campus. Before the construction of the college’s first dormitory, known today as the Administration Building, students were housed at the Original School building on Mason or, as it was called then, Winchester Square that also housed the Armory YMCA. Construction began on the dormitory (Administration Building) the last week in April of 1895 and the corner stone of the building was laid on Friday, May 10th, 1895 with President Charles H. Barrows officiating. The dedication took place on June 17th, 1896, at which President Barrows introduced the college’s forth President, Laurence L. Doggett.

Consummating the transfer to the new campus, the completion of the new dormitory (Administration Building) in January 1896 was a milestone in Springfield College history. Just five years earlier the trustees had authorized the purchase of the Bowles-Alexander Estate and the authority to erect buildings on the property. With the erection of the first building, the East gymnasium (1894), and the new dormitory (Administration), Springfield College began to lay permanent roots on the land along Lake Massasoit. With the completion of the Administration Building, the college began the tradition of housing students on the main campus and likewise the students established traditions, friendships, and a home along Lake Massasoit.

In 1943, the dormitory did not meet the city’s fire safety codes. In order to meet fire safety codes and house the administration offices of the Naval Convalescent Hospital the following year, the dormitory was reduced from four floors to two floors, with a flat roof on the second story. The renovations and remodeling that took place from 1943-1944, leaving the building visually the same way that it looks today, as a two-story Administration building.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents the construction and renovations of Springfield College’s first dormitory, now known as the Administration Building. Mostly the collection contains photographs of both the interior and exterior of the building. Many of the photographs document dormitory life during the late 19th and early 20th century, and were included in an exhibit that is a reflected in the collection called the “Dormitory Life at the Turn of the Century.” Information about the dormitories construction and use by the US Navy can be found in the General Information folder.