History of Bates Campus Buildings
Hathorn Hall (1857)
Hathorn Hall, the oldest purpose-built building on the campus, was named for Seth and Mary Hathorn of Woolich, Maine who contributed $5,000 toward its erection. Designed by Gridley J. F. Bryant of Boston, the cornerstone was laid on June 26, 1856 and it opened for use on September 1, 1857. Jonathan Davis donated the bell that sits in the tower.
The building housed classrooms, the president’s office, laboratories, the library and the chapel. In 1886 a steam heating plant was installed under the supervision of the Honorable J.L.H. Cobb. There have been many renovations over the years due to the changing needs of the College as well as other unforeseen circumstances. A fire of unknown origin in March 1881 caused about $1,500 in damages while the discovery of structural problems resulted in renovations in 1898. A renovation which took place during the years 1960-1962, saw the drama department move into the Little Theatre and the auditorium converted into a classroom and faculty offices at a cost of $233,000.
A major renovation was done in 1984 with a grant from the Pew Foundation for $190,000. Hathorn was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1970. It currently houses the Departments of Mathematics and English, and the Neuroscience Program.
Parker Hall (1857)
Parker Hall, also designed by Gridley J. F. Bryant and built in 1857, was the first dormitory on campus. Named for Judge Thomas Parker of Farmington, who contributed $5,000 towards its erection, it housed both men and women. It was divided into two apartments with the men on the north side and the women on the south. There was a common dining room in the basement. Each room was furnished with bedstead, spring bed, mattress, stove, table, chairs, wardrobe, mirror, sink, wash bowl and wood box.
Renovations over the years brought many changes including electricity and heat. At one time a baseball cage, used for indoor practices, was housed in the basement. The south-facing piazza was added in 1926. In the summer of 1963 a fire, which started in a top floor storage area, caused about $100,000 in smoke and water damage to much of the dorm and destroyed the top floor. An Alonzo Harriman renovation in 1967-1968 added two stair towers and interior improvements. During World War II, Parker Hall was used to house some of the men from the Navy V-12 program.
Old Gymnasium (1867, moved)
The old gymnasium appears to have been an old meetinghouse. In 1866, the college constructed a basement for it and in 1867, moved the building to its new location behind Hathorn Hall. Built of wood and measuring 40 x 48 feet, it was two stories high excluding the basement. The first floor featured a bowling alley while the second floor held the gymnasium. Among other things, the building was used for winter baseball practice as well as Commencement dinners.
Many renovations and changes in the building occurred over the next several years. In 1878-79 it was recommended that the gymnasium be refurbished and that there be regular instruction. An “Instructor in Physical Training” was appointed, however this person and others who helped were actually Bates students. The college sent them to Harvard Gymnasium to learn how to teach. In 1891, $300 was spent on shower and tub baths with hot and cold running water. A piano was donated by Horace W. Berry of Boston which made receptions held in the gymnasium more enjoyable.
By 1894-95 it was determined that there needed to be a permanent athletic director; someone who was thoroughly trained in the field. William Wheeler Bolster, Bates class of 1895, was appointed the first Director of Physical Training and Instruction.
In the following years other improvements occurred. A $600 steam-heating boiler was added and $400 was spent to replace the old bowling alley. Equipment was repaired, the gym floors oiled, and the windows were screened. Earlier, iron bars had been placed over the windows to protect them from flying balls. In 1900 a new 100-gallon pressure boiler and heating range was added to the men’s bathroom to provide heat and hot water. Around 1911 a new hardwood floor was laid in the gymnasium.
There were some problems with the gymnasium; unprotected steam pipes caused burns which sometimes resulted in blood poisoning and while the women had access to the building, it became more difficult to accommodate them because of a lack of adequate facilities. The women did eventually get their own gymnasium with the building of Rand Hall in 1905. In 1922 plans for a new athletic facility had been proposed but the need became more urgent when the gymnasium mysteriously burned on June 2, 1925. It was eventually replaced by the Gray Athletic Building, completed in 1927, and Alumni Gymnasium, which opened in 1928.
John Bertram Hall (1868)
The building, first known as Nichols Hall, was named for Lyman Nichols, Esq., of Boston, a founder of the city of Lewiston. It was built in 1868 for use by the Maine State Seminary and Nichols Latin School, and was dedicated on January 7, 1869. After the seminary closed in 1870, it was used by both the Latin School and Cobb Divinity School. In 1894 when Roger Williams Hall was built for the use of Cobb Divinity School, the Latin School became the sole occupant of the building. With the closing of the Nichols Latin School in 1899, the building became the Science Hall and was used by the biology and physics departments in this capacity until 1913 when the Carnegie Science Hall was built.
In 1873, 25 young men who were students at Bates College were hired as waiters at the Glen House, a hotel in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They became acquainted with a Capt. John Bertram who was a guest at the hotel. Upon his departure, Capt. Bertram left $1,000 to be divided among the 25 young college students to help with their college expenses. In 1913, a gift of $10,000 by Mrs. Clara Bertram Kimball of Boston, in memory of her father John Bertram of Salem, Massachusetts turned the Science Hall into a dormitory. The first floor was used as the Men’s Commons until 1951 when the Memorial Commons was built. Many improvements were made over the years; a major renovation in 1978, totaling more than $850,000, was financed by the College and a loan from HUD. The renovation added new stair towers and bathrooms.
Hedge Hall (1890)
Built in 1890 as a chemical laboratory, Hedge was named for Dr. Isaiah H. Hedge. Dr. Hedge, a Woolwich, Maine native residing in Iowa, contributed $5,000 toward the building’s construction. The architect was G. M. Coombs and the total cost with furnishings was about $9,200.
In 1926 there was an addition of a one-story wing as well as other improvements totaling approximately $34,000. In 1950, a $50,000 gift from the Kresge Foundation helped fund a $93,000 two-story addition to the original wing; other renovations were also done at that time. As the first step in a 10-year building program to improve dormitory facilities, Hedge Laboratory was converted to Hedge Hall Dormitory in 1965 and the chemistry department moved to the Dana Chemistry Building. In 2010 Hedge was again refurbished for academic use, and today houses the Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies departments.
Roger Williams Hall (1894)
Roger Williams Hall was built in 1894 by architect Elmer I. Thomas of Lewiston, for the use of the Cobb Divinity School. The building dedication was held on September 10, 1895. Funds for the building were given by Deacon L. W. Anthony in memory of Mrs. Britannia Anthony, a lineal descendant of Roger Williams. Among other facilities, it housed a chapel and library. When the Cobb Divinity School closed in 1908, Roger Williams was used as a dormitory and to house administrative offices—dean of men, dean of women, registrar, bursar, and the president. Often referred to as “Roger Bill,” “The Bill,” or “The Monastery,” it became a full dormitory around 1964 when Lane Hall was built to house the administrative offices. In 2010 a complete renovation returned the building to academic use, and today it houses the Asian Studies, European Studies, French and Francophone Studies, German and Russian Studies, and Spanish departments.
Milliken House and Whittier House (1902)
Milliken House was bought in 1902 by Bates College trustee (1893-1926) Judge Charles A. Milliken and donated to the College for use as a women’s dormitory. That same year, funds provided by Judge Milliken were used to erect Whittier House, another residence for women; they are still campus residences.
Coram Library (1902)
The cornerstone for Coram Library was laid on November 21, 1900 and the building was dedicated on October 22, 1902. Built by architects Herts and Tallant of New York City, it was named after Mr. Joseph A. Coram, who donated $20,000 towards its erection. Mr. Coram served as a Bates trustee from 1899-1934. The cost of the building and furnishings was approximately $60,000.
In 1948-1949 an addition, which was often referred to as the “fishbowl,” was built on the back of the building which tripled the stack capacity and also increased the seating. The architects were Alonzo Harriman Inc. of Auburn, Maine. The money for the addition came from the Library-Commons Fund and totaled about $260,000. The top two floors of this addition were torn down about 1972 when Ladd Library was built and the ground floor of Coram was connected to the ground floor of Ladd. With the completion of Ladd Library in 1973, Coram was redone for use by the psychology department in 1976. The department was housed there until the completion of Pettengill Hall in 1999. Also located in Coram was the Computing Center; it moved to Treat Gallery in Pettigrew around 1987. Currently, Coram houses computer labs, offices, and the Imaging and Computing Center.
Rand Hall (1905)
Rand was built in 1905 as a women’s dormitory and named for Bates mathematics professor John H. Rand, who served as the overseer of the building’s construction. The grounds included 4 tennis courts while the dorm had rooms for 60 women, a dining hall, kitchen, and gymnasium. It also included a reception room, Fiske Hall, named for Charlotte M. Fiske who donated money towards the building’s construction. The cost of the building, including furnishings and grading, was $45,000 with $15,000 of it coming from the state.
A renovation in 1921 converted Fiske Hall into Fiske dining room which would accommodate all women students, doing away with the dining room in Cheney House. A fireplace was also built and the former dining room became a reception room. In 1926, the women’s infirmary moved to the 4th floor.
A $90,000 remodeling in 1946 provided a basement and a two-story addition which housed a kitchen, and serving, dish washing and storage rooms. The former kitchen became a recreation room and the former serving room was converted into a small dining room. In 1982, a $100,000 renovation was done to meet fire codes and included enclosed fire-tower stairways.
The gymnasium, which became co-educational in 1973, was used until Merrill Gymnasium was completed in 1980.
Cheney House (1905, purchased)
In 1866, the College purchased land from Mrs. John Frye and President Cheney built a house on a portion of it. Several years before he resigned, President Cheney deeded the house and lands to the College with the stipulation that he could keep the property during his lifetime. However in 1895, President Cheney vacated the house and it became the first women’s dormitory. The renovation and furnishings totaled about $1,600. The barn was remodeled in 1925-26 to provide housing for 22 more women and a faculty member; the cost was about $16,000. Other renovations took place over the years; a major one in 1978 totaled about $20,000 and one in 1992 replaced the heating system and fire alarms.
Central Heating Plant (1909)
The Central Heating Plant was built in 1909 with $45,000 appropriated by the state legislature. The engineers were from the R. D. Kimball Co. of Boston. The plant was converted from coal to oil in 1954 at a cost of approximately $130,000. The building was replaced by a newer facility on the same site in 1962. (see below)
Libbey Forum (1909)
Libbey was dedicated on October 1, 1909 and was the gift of Winfield Scott Libbey Sr. of Lewiston, President of W.S. Libbey. The building was used to house the Polymnia, Eurosophia, and Piaeria literary societies along with the men’s and women’s Christian Associations. It consisted of four rooms on the main floor and a basement which housed the cloakrooms, bathrooms, and storage areas.
A $10,000 renovation in 1927-28 turned the previous four rooms into six classrooms along with two consultation rooms. Another renovation in 1953 provided new offices for the social science and history departments. Libbey continued to house classrooms and faculty offices along with a computer lab until Pettengill Hall was built in 1999. It currently is used for the offices of the Registrar and Student Financial Services.
Carnegie Science Hall (1913)
Built for use by the departments of physics and biology, Carnegie was designed by Mr. Henry D. Whitfield of New York and dedicated on January 14, 1913. Carnegie was made possible by a $50,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie which stipulated that Bates match the gift.
With Alonzo Harriman of Auburn as architect, an addition and renovation was done in 1962 at a cost of $677,000. A wing was added which doubled the work area and provided for faculty offices. Other improvements included new lighting and a planetarium on the top floor. A telescope, made by Mr. Roscoe Stephens of Kennebunk, Maine and given to the College earlier, was relocated to the planetarium. Carnegie housed the departments of physics, biology, astronomy, and geology. A 3-story addition, which doubled the size of the building, was dedicated on Oct 6, 1990. At a cost of 11.1 million dollars, it included a cold room for the biology department, a greenhouse, laser labs, and a new ventilation system.
Peter J. Gomes Chapel (1914)
The cornerstone of the chapel was laid on November 6, 1912 and the building was dedicated on January 7, 1914. Built in the English Collegiate Gothic style by Coolidge and Carlson of Boston, it was financed with a $65,000 donation from Mrs. Ellen S. James of New York. Fifty thousand dollars was to be used to erect the chapel and $15,000 was to be used to purchase an organ and for other needs. Mrs. James requested, at the time of the donation, that her identity not be made public until after her death which occurred in 1916.
The original organ was made by Hook and Hastings of Kendal Green, Massachusetts. In 1938, Mr. Arthur C. James, son the the late Mrs. Ellen S. James, donated a $15,400 Estey organ. With 42 stops, including chimes, it more adequately met the needs of the College. The senior class of 1938 donated $550 towards the amplification of the organ and chimes from the chapel tower. This organ was rebuilt and enlarged in 1953 by Andover Organ Company of Methuen, Massachusetts. However, by the early 1970s it was in a state of chronic disrepair, and a new organ was commissioned to be built in 1978.
At a cost of approximately $180,000, the mechanical-action organ was built by Wolff Organ Builders of Laval, Quebec and installed in 1982.
The three chancel chairs were given by the class of 1935 and cost approximately $425. The alter window, designed by Connick Associates of Boston, represents Christ as the Lamb of God. The two symbols to the left and right, represent the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The eight side windows were designed by Orin Skinner of Connick Associates and memorialize those who have made outstanding contributions to Western civilization. These windows, donated by various classes, cost approximately $250 each for the small ovals and $500 each for the full figures. These side windows were dedicated on November 24, 1946.
The following is a description of the side windows as one looks from the chapel entrance to the chancel: the Modern Period is represented by Beethoven and Newton on the left wall and Marie Curie and Goethe on the right wall; the Renaissance Period is represented by Copernicus, Shakespeare, and Hugo Grotius on the left wall, and Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, and Luther on the right wall; Fra Angelico and Dante on the left and Roger Bacon and Peter Abelard on the right represent the Medieval Period; and representing the Ancient Period are Phidias, Plato, and Euclid on the left wall and Homer, Aristotle, and Virgil on the right wall.
In 2012, the Chapel was named for Rev. Peter J. Gomes ’65 (hon. ’96).
Frye House (1918, purchased)
Frye House, located at 36 Frye Street, was purchased in the Fall of 1918 for use as a freshman women’s dormitory. The original owner was E.A. Whittier; it is still a campus residence.
Chase Hall (1919)
Built at a cost of $100,000 by the Boston architectural firm of Coolidge and Carlson, Chase Hall was dedicated on December 16, 1919 and named for the College’s late president, George Colby Chase. Envisioned as a social center for the young men of Bates College, it held guest rooms for alumni and other visitors, a post office, store, YMCA room, assembly hall, ballroom, bowling alley, pool room, and offices for college organizations and the alumni. Renovations in 1936 and 1941 turned the YMCA room into Chase Hall Lounge and brought the radio station onto campus with a studio located in Chase.
In 1949 construction began on the Men’s Memorial Commons. Designed by Alonzo J. Harriman, it became an addition to Chase Hall. Along with a two-story addition to the north end of Chase, the new areas now housed the Den, bookstore, kitchen, pastry room, and storage facilities on the first floor; the second floor had one large dining room and two smaller ones as well as serving and dishwashing rooms. Both the Den and bookstore were co-educational. The addition cost approximately $305,000 and was dedicated on November 4, 1950. Memorial Commons was dedicated to the Bates men who died in World Wars I and II.
In 1950, couples were allowed to dine together in the Men’s Commons for the Sunday noon meal. However, it was not until a renovation in 1967 that the Commons became completely co-educational. A renovation in 1971 included, among other things, a mural done on the wall of the entrance to the Commons. Professor Donald Lent used the theme of the “Canterbury Tales” for this painting which is currently in storage. In 1978, a $750,000 renovation/addition was done by the Architect’s Collaborative of Cambridge, Massachusetts which added 350 seats in the Commons and a solar heating system for heating water; however, these panels are now inoperative.
President’s House (1921)
The property on which the house was built had been owned by Oren B. Cheney, Bates’s founder and first president. He apparently sold the land, which bordered his own, to his son-in-law, J. Frank Boothby. Boothby, who built the house in 1890, was treasurer of the Androscoggin Savings Bank and a Bates College trustee from 1903-1918. Cheney moved in with the Boothby’s upon his retirement as president in 1894. Boothby’s three sons lived with him while they attended Bates: Cheney, who became a trustee of the College, graduated in 1896, Willard in 1909, and Richard in 1917.
The Boothby House was purchased by the College in 1919 for President Clifton Daggett Gray at a cost of $17,450. In 1929 a large enclosed sun porch with a garage beneath it was added to the south side of the house; a sun porch above the entrance was later removed. The stable, which had been used as a garage, was relocated to the Central Heating Plant and rebuilt as a carpentry shop. On May 16, 1980 a fire, caused by faulty electrical wiring, resulted in $100,000 in damages to the building.
Presidents Charles F. Phillips, T. Hedley Reynolds, Donald Harward, Elaine Hansen, and Clayton Spencer have all resided in the residence during their tenures at Bates.
Chase House (1920)
The former home of President George Colby Chase was built by him in 1876 at a cost of $5,000 and he resided there until his death in 1919. Located at 16 Frye Street, the building was purchased by the College in 1920 for use as a women’s dormitory; it is still used as a campus residence.
Gray Athletic Building (1927)
This indoor athletic building was made possible by Mr. William Bingham II of Bethel, who gave $150,000 for its erection. He requested that it be named in honor of President Clifton Daggett Gray. The first of four units of a planned Physical Education plant, the cornerstone was laid on Dec. 14, 1925; the building was completed in 1927.
Designed by Coolidge and Carlson of Boston, the athletic building was to be used not only for intercollegiate sports but was also to be part of the college’s health program; women were to have equal access to it. Plans for new athletic facilities were drawn up in 1922 but the need became more urgent when the old gymnasium mysteriously burned in June of 1925. This first unit, the indoor athletic building, was to be a supplement to a gymnasium, not a replacement for one.
The Gray Athletic Building featured an indoor field large enough to contain a baseball diamond excluding the outfield, a ten lap cinder-dirt track with banked corners, and a wooden track at the mezzanine level which also could serve as a gallery.
Also built at this time was the Men’s Locker Building, which may also have been financed by Mr. Bingham. It housed a corrective gym, squash and handball courts, lockers, dressing rooms, offices, and a medical examination room. The handball and squash courts became coeducational in 1971.
The Gray Athletic Building, which became known as the “Cage,” hosted many rallies and track and field events over the years. Musical events were staged there and luncheons were held during reunion and parents’ weekends; it became coeducational in 1973. With the opening of Merrill Gymnasium in the fall of 1980, track events were moved to that location. The Cage continued to be used as a practice site for spring teams and as a competition area for track and field throwing events.
A major renovation of the Cage was completed in 1991, which turned it into a much needed multipurpose space. Designed by Harriman Associates of Auburn, it can accommodate almost 1700 people. Among its many features are a multi-use floor, a large curtain which can separate the space into two separate sections, moveable basketball backboards, and a portable stage.
Alumni Gymnasium (1928)
The Alumni Gymnasium, designed by Coolidge and Carlson of Boston, was the fourth unit of the Physical Education plant. The cornerstone was laid on June 19, 1926 and the building opened in March of 1928. Financed with alumni donations, the gym cost approximately $140,000 to build. (Of interest to note is that President Gray debated Clarence Darrow in Boston on March 16, 1927 and donated his $500 earnings to the gymnasium fund.)
The building featured an 80 x 110 foot gymnasium/auditorium, stage, offices, and the Purinton Memorial Room which was a lounge and meeting room for men and organizations using the gymnasium. The room was named for Royce Davis Purinton, Bates class of 1900, who also served as the college’s director of the Department of Physical Education for Men from 1906 until his death in 1918. The room was given by the class of 1900.
Alumni Gymnasium became coeducational in 1973, and after Merrill Gymnasium was opened in 1980 it continued to be used for basketball and as an auditorium; functions which it still provides today.
Muskie Archives (1928)
The building that eventually became the Muskie Archives was originally the Women’s Locker Building, also known as the Campus Ave. Gymnasium. Mr. William Bingham II of Bethel, who gave the money for the Gray Athletic Building, wanted the women to have equal access to it. He therefore donated an additional $35,000 for the construction of this building. Built at the same time as the athletic building, the two were connected by a long corridor. The first floor featured showers, which could internally control the water temperature from hot to cold, lockers, dressing rooms, offices, and a medical examination room. The second floor housed a gymnasium which could be used for corrective work, drills, and both interpretive and folk dancing. Also envisioned as a social gathering place, the gymnasium featured a fireplace, piano, phonograph, and a small room for a kitchenette. In May of 1927, the Junior class held a housewarming in the gymnasium which featured singing and bridge playing along with marshmallow toasting and corn popping over the fireplace. After the opening of Merrill Gymnasium in 1980 the building sat vacant.
Bates College had been interested in obtaining the papers of Bates College graduate Edmund S. Muskie ’36, and constructing a building to house them. When Senator Muskie was appointed Secretary of State in 1980, he needed to clear out his Senate office and the college was offered his papers. Bates accepted them even though there was no archive to house them. The papers were temporarily stored in the basement of Ladd Library and eventually it was decided to renovate the Campus Ave. Gymnasium for use as an archive. With mainly private donations, the building was renovated at a cost of approximately $375,000 and dedicated on Sept. 28, 1985.
The first floor features a reading room/study area, processing area, offices, and stacks while the second floor–the former gymnasium–is used for social functions, classes, and seminars; a small kitchenette is available as well as gallery space for Muskie memorabilia.
In the summer of 2000, the Muskie Archives and the Special Collections Department of Ladd Library were combined, with the Special Collections Department moving into the Muskie Archives Building. The main portions of both collections are housed at Muskie with the remaining material kept in the space formerly occupied by Special Collections in Ladd Library.
Hacker House (1932, gift)
This three-story house at 27 Frye Street was a gift of the late Frank M. Hacker and was first used in 1932 as a women’s dormitory; it is still used as a campus residence.
Frye Street Union/Women’s Union (1936, purchased)
Located at 29 Frye Street, the house was built in 1892 by Harry D. Colby and purchased by the College in 1936 from Thomas C. White; it was to be used as a social center for women students. In the mid 1960s the upper rooms were converted into living space for about eleven women, but in 1985, to address the need for additional space for informal co-ed social activities, most of the dorm rooms were converted to conference, game, and study rooms; it became known as the Frye Street Union. Today it again houses eleven students who have access to the kitchen and lounge facilities when they are not in use for special functions.
Wilson House (1938, purchased)
The house, formerly owned by Professor John H. Rand ’67, was purchased by the College in 1938 for use as a women’s dormitory. Located at 28 Frye Street, it is named for Elizabeth Bodge Wilson ‘91 who was one of the first two women trustees of the College, serving from 1917 until her death in 1937. In 1979 the barn attached to the house was converted into living space. It is still in use as a campus residence.
Ross House/Ronj (1939, purchased)
This house, located at 32 Frye Street, was built around 1871 by Professor Richard C. Stanley who taught chemistry and geology at Bates from 1866-1889. The house was also briefly home to President Chase: soon after coming to the College to teach, he and his wife lived here for several months. In 1939, the College purchased the building from Professor Stanley’s grandsons for use as faculty housing. Norman Ross ’22, long-time College treasurer, and his wife lived in this house for 72 years. In 1997, the building was made into a student-run coffeehouse and christened “The Ronj” for the intense color of its painted walls.
Smith Hall (1940)
In the fall of 1930, it was announced that Dr. George Carroll Smith of Boston was donating $200,000 for the erection of a new men’s dormitory. Dr. Smith attended Bates College for two years and then transferred to Brown University graduating in 1876; he received his medical degree from New York University in 1881.
Plans for the new dormitory had to be put on hold due to the Depression and Dr. Smith’s death in 1936, and it was not until October 28, 1939 that the cornerstone was finally laid. Designed by Coolidge and Carlson of Boston, the dormitory had three sections each containing 16 two-room suites that could accommodate a total of 96 men. College funds and gifts from trustees and friends provided the $160,000 cost. The new dormitory was dedicated on September 26, 1940 but was not named until Dr. Smith’s estate was settled in December of 1945; the college received $89,000 that was put towards the cost of the building.
In 1963 Alonzo J. Harriman and Associates of Auburn was hired to replace the flat roof with a pitched roof at a cost of approximately $44,000 and in 1978 a sprinkler system was installed. Renovations in 1985-86 added three stair towers on the west side along with improvements to the bathrooms.
During World War II, Smith Hall was used to house some of the men from the Navy V-12 program.
Mitchell House (1941, purchased)
Located at 250 College Street, the building was first known as the Stevens House. The owners, the Oscar Stevens family, had been renting rooms to college students while the family occupied the rear of the home. In 1939, in order to accommodate an increase in enrollment, the College arranged to rent those same rooms to women students; the Stevens family continued to live in the rear section of the home. This arrangement continued for two years.
In 1941 the College purchased the building from the Stevens family and after considerable remodeling, it was ready for use as a women’s dormitory. It is named for Mary Wheelright Mitchell ’69, the first woman to graduate from Bates College, and is still used as a campus residence.
All-Campus Infirmary/Health Center (1950)
The construction of the infirmary was made possible by an anonymous donation of $50,000. Groundbreaking for the two-story structure, designed by Alonzo J. Harriman, took place in April 1950. The building consisted of a waiting room, offices, two diet kitchens, and separate wings for the men and women; the men’s infirmary was remodeled to become the men’s wing. The building was dedicated on November 4, 1950.
Around 1979-80, the infirmary became known as the Health Center and began offering various health education programs in addition to providing student health care.
Pettigrew and Treat Gallery (1953-1955)
The cornerstone for Pettigrew Hall was laid on Nov. 1, 1952 during Back-to-Bates Weekend and dedicated on Oct. 24, 1953. It was the first unit of what was to be a Fine Arts and Music Center.
A donation of $100,000 was given by Charlotte Neal Pettigrew, in memory of her husband Bertrand L. Pettigrew. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew were members of the class of 1895 and Mr. Pettigrew served as a Bates trustee from 1925-1947.
Built at a cost of approximately $320,000, Pettigrew housed classrooms and offices for the art, literature, speech, and music departments; it also had sound proof practice rooms. The music and art departments moved to the Olin Arts Center when it was built in 1986. Pettigrew currently houses the Theater and Dance departments, as well as the Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies department.
Construction began on Treat Gallery, the second unit of the Fine Arts and Music Center, in May of 1954. This addition to Pettigrew, completed in 1955, cost approximately $100,000. It housed radio studios and a classroom on the first floor and art exhibition rooms on the second floor. The building was named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Treat (Elsie Reynolds ’04), for their many gifts to the College.
Treat Gallery housed the permanent art collections and art exhibits until about 1986 when they were relocated to the Museum of Art in the Olin Arts Center. In 1978, the radio studios were relocated to what was then the Alumni House located at 31 Frye St.
Currently, Treat Gallery houses a computer lab and offices for some of the Library and Information Services staff members.
Page Hall (1957)
The cornerstone for this four-story women’s dormitory was laid on November 3, 1956 during Back-to-Bates Weekend. Built by Alonzo J. Harriman and Associates of Auburn, Maine, it cost approximately $523,000. Dedicated on October 26, 1957, it was eventually named for Mrs. May Rockwell Page of Bristol, Connecticut, a College benefactor.
The Mary Wallace Brackett Suite provided quarters for a house director and was a gift from Vernon K. Brackett ’12 in memory of his wife. Abbott Lounge was given in memory of Katherine Hopkins Abbott by her husband, Charles Ham Abbott ’12. The dormitory provided housing for 100 students, and currently houses over 130 students.
Schaeffer Theatre/Little Theater (1960)
The cornerstone for Little Theater, the third unit of the Fine Arts and Music Center was laid in November of 1959; the building was completed in 1960. The “new” Little Theater, designed by Alonzo Harriman was connected to the Treat Gallery; the cost was approximately $463,000. Little Theater, which up until this point had been located in Hathorn Hall, could seat over 300 people.
In a dedication ceremony on June 15, 1973, the building was renamed the Lavinia Miriam Schaeffer Theater. Miss Schaeffer, who retired in 1972, was director of dramatics from 1938-1968 and chairman of the speech department from 1968-1972.
Gannett Theater, which seats 100 people, was added in 1987. The building also houses the Black Box Theater, faculty offices, and workshop and education spaces.
Maintenance Center (Andrews Road) (1962)
Construction began on this 2½ story building in the summer of 1962. At a cost of approximately $404,000, the Maintenance Center housed the central heating plant, and workshops for the painters, carpenters, and electricians. It included office space and a three stall garage as well as an underground “fallout shelter” which was connected to Lane Hall and later used for storage.
The building was used until the Cutten Maintenance Center was built in 1997; it was then demolished, along with the old smokestack, to make room for the construction of Pettengill Hall.
Lane Hall (1964)
Lane Hall, the College’s administration building, was dedicated in 1964 and cost approximately $630,000. It was named for George W. Lane, Jr. LL.D. ’57, College trustee (1919-1963) and treasurer. With the completion of Lane Hall, Roger Williams Hall, which had housed the administrative offices, became a full dormitory. Lane is currently home to numerous offices including the President, Dean of the Faculty, Student Affairs, Residence Life, Accounting, Advancement, Communications, and Institutional Research.
Dana Chemistry Building (1965)
Built as a replacement for Hedge Laboratory, the three-story Dana Chemistry building was dedicated at the Back-to-Bates Weekend in the fall of 1965. It was designed by Alonzo J. Harriman Associates, and named for its major donor, Charles A. Dana L.H.D. ’67, industrialist and philanthropist and President of the Dana Foundation.
A one story addition was added to the back of the building in 1992-93 at a cost of approximately $479,000. The addition provided more adequate chemical storage space, a new biochemistry lab, and a prep lab.
Herrick House (1965, purchased)
This house was purchased from the Ralph Herrick family around 1965 and was first used as a men’s dormitory in 1969. Located at 148 Wood Street, it is still used as a campus residence.
Wentworth Adams Hall (1967)
The cornerstone of this four-story men’s dormitory was laid in 1966. Built by the Stewart and Williams Company of Augusta, Maine, it cost approximately $750,000 and opened in September of 1967. The dormitory was named for its principal donor, Edwin Wentworth Adams ’19, LL.D. 1970, College trustee (1937-1984) and investment officer.
Pierce House (1970, purchased)
Located at 24 Frye Street, the building was originally owned by Professor Lyman G. Jordan and was acquired by the College around 1970 for use as a dormitory. It is named for Carrell K. Pierce who served as a College trustee from 1949-1970; it is still used as a campus residence.
Small House (1972, purchased)
This house opened as a dormitory around 1972. Named for its original owner, Ernest L. Small ’15, it is located at 240 College Street, and is still used as a campus residence.
Ladd Library (1973)
The first three floors of Ladd opened in 1973. The library was designed by the Architects Collaborative of Cambridge, Massachusetts; structural and mechanical engineering was done by Alonzo J. Harriman Associates, Inc. The building cost approximately $3.5 million and was partially funded with a $500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. It provided seating for about 700 students.
The library was dedicated on September 9, 1979 and named for George and Helen Ladd. Mr. Ladd received an honorary degree in 1947 and was a College trustee from 1957-1977.
In 1982 the basement was completed. At a cost of approximately $650,000, it was funded by the Bates Capital Campaign and money from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The completion of the basement allowed the periodical collection and the audio department to move to the basement and the special collections department to move to the second floor.
Other renovations that occurred between 1996-1999 cost in excess of $1.3 million. They resulted in expanded computer labs and stack and study areas; wired carrels with network access for portable computers; improvements in handicap accessibility and lighting; and new fire alarms and sprinkler system. Ladd is also home to the Academic Resource Commons (ARC), the Math/Statistics Workshop, and the Office Accessible Education and Student Support.
Parsons House (1973, purchased)
Located at 235 College Street, this building opened as a dormitory in 1973 and is named for William Lewis Parsons ’05. Mr. Parsons served as a trustee from 1939-1970 and was awarded an honorary degree in 1971. Parsons House is still used as a campus residence.
Howard House (1974, purchased)
Opened as a dormitory in 1974, the building is named for Stanley Edwin Howard ’10, who served as College trustee from 1933-1972. Located at 145 Wood Street, it is still used as a campus residence.
Moulton House (1975, purchased)
Located at 19 Frye Street, the building was originally owned by Parker Waite. It was purchased in 1975 for use as a dormitory and is named for Edward Moulton ’19 who served as a College trustee from 1951-1975; it is still used as a campus residence.
Stillman House (1975, purchased)
Originally owned by Clarence March, this house is named for Harlene Kane Stillman ’16, College trustee from 1947-1970. Located at 154 Wood Street, it was purchased in 1975 for use as a dormitory and is still used as a campus residence.
Davis House (1975, purchased)
Located at 151 Wood Street, this building opened as a dormitory in 1975. Named for Wayne E. Davis ’12, who served as College trustee from 1942-1972; it is still used as a campus residence.
Leadbetter House (1975, purchased)
Located at 149 Wood Street, this building was acquired in 1975 for use as a dormitory. Named for Wyland F. Leadbetter ’28 who served as a College trustee from 1947-1957, it is still used as a campus residence.
Turner House (1975, purchased)
Acquired in 1975 as a dormitory, the building is named for long-time College trustee (1921-1973) and honorary degree recipient (1937), Clair E. Turner ’12. Located at 241-243 College Street, it is still used as a campus residence.
Clason House (1977, purchased)
This building was purchased for $30,000 from Mr. Daniel Goyette in 1977 for use as a dormitory. Located at 239 College Street, it is named for long-time College trustee (1888-1931) Oliver Clason ’77 and is still used as a campus residence.
Webb House (1977, purchased)
Located at 17 Frye Street, it was acquired in 1977 for use as a dormitory. Named for College trustee (1936-1948) Genevive Dunlap Webb ’17, it is still used as a campus residence.
Hayes House (1979, purchased)
Acquired in 1979 for use as a dormitory, it is named for long-time College trustee (1949-1979) and honorary degree recipient (1960), Frederick D. Hayes ’31 Located at 226 College Street, it is still used as a campus residence.
Holmes House (1979, purchased)
Located at 143 Wood Street, the building was acquired in 1979 for use as a dormitory. Named for long-time College trustee (1952-1982) Cecil Holmes ’19, it is still used as a campus residence.
Merrill Gymnasium (1980)
Built at a cost of approximately $6 million by the Architects Collaborative of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Merrill Gymnasium was dedicated in September of 1980. It was named for Margaret Hopkins Merrill, daughter of Bates graduate Elizabeth Watson Merrill ’02.
The complex consists of the Reis Wing named for Bates graduate Waldo F. Reis ’24. It contains six squash courts, two handball-racquetball courts, two classrooms, two weight-training rooms, a multi-purpose room along with locker and shower facilities. The 25-meter pool is named for Bates graduate Carolyn E. Tarbell ’19 and has eight lanes and an underwater window. The field house has a 200-meter track which encloses four tennis/volleyball courts. The facility has both oil and natural gas boilers. Originally, solar panels on the roof were used for heating water however these were removed in the late 1990s. Additions in 2004 included the Bert Andrews Room, a cardiovascular fitness center, and the Marcy Plavin Dance Studios.
Canham House (1985, dedicated)
Canham House, located at 146 Wood Street, was dedicated in 1985 and named for Erwin D. Canham ’25. Mr. Canham served as a College trustee for forty-five years and was a former editor-in-chief of the Christian Science Monitor. Originally housing the history department, which moved to Pettengill Hall in 1999, the building then became home to the Mathematics and Statistics Workshop until it moved to Ladd Library in 2013. Canham is now the home of the Center for Purposeful Work.
Olin Arts Center (1986)
The Olin Arts Center was built with a gift from the F. W. Olin Foundation in 1986. In addition to the Bates College Museum of Art and a 300-seat concert hall, Olin houses a slide library, classrooms, faculty offices, individual and group practice rooms for musicians, art studios (including a drawing studio with a panoramic view of Lake Andrews), and two photographic darkrooms.
Residential Village (1992)
The Residential Village was built in 1992, at the north end of Garcelon Field. The Village consists of three student dorms — the Moody, Rzasa, and Arthur P. Hopkins Houses — and the Benjamin Mays Center. The Mays Center, finished in 1993, is a multi-purpose structure used for lectures, movies, theatrical productions, buffets, dances, a weekday lunch service, and quiet study time.
Underhilll Arena (1995)
Constructed for $4 million in 1995 after a bequest from Joseph Underhill, class of 1917. The Arena houses a full-size ice rink for hockey and recreational skating, as well as the Davis Fitness Center, a strength and conditioning facility. In non-winter months the rink area is used a a multi-purpose space, and in 2020-21 was home to the college’s COVID-19 testing center.
Pettengill Hall (1999)
Pettengill Hall was designed by Shepley Bulfinch of Boston, Massachusetts and was completed in 1999. It is named in honor of the late Frederick B. “Pat” Pettengill, Bates class of 1931, and his wife, Ursula P. Pettengill. The building houses Bates’ social science departments and related interdisciplinary programs, and features expanded faculty office and department lounge space, multimedia and seminar classrooms, and Perry Atrium, an 8,000-square-foot three-story glass atrium overlooking Lake Andrews.
Gillespie Hall (280 College Street)(2007)
This residential building was designed by Shepley Bulfinch of Boston, Massachusetts. It houses houses 152 students, and is composed of several First-Year Centers, where First-Year students reside in doubles and includes many environmentally friendly features, such as storm water management via retention in underground tanks, occupancy sensors for lighting, water efficient landscaping, and dedicated recycling centers throughout the facility.
New Commons Building (2008)
Opened in February 2008, the Bates dining Commons was designed by Sasaki to be environmentally responsible, meeting the LEED Silver standard. Among its many eco-friendly features are: ample access to daylight, occupancy sensors that control room lighting help control energy consumption, “dual-flush” toilets can reduce water for flushing by two-thirds, recycled and certified-green building materials, and primarily natural summer ventilation (air is cooled mechanically only in the hottest parts of the kitchen). The building is located at the terminus of Bates Alumni Walk, also designed by Sasaki to connect the East and West sides of campus together.
Chu and Kalperis Halls (2016)
Located at 55 and 65 Campus Avenue, together these two buildings are home to nearly 250 students, and also offer kitchen, lounge and common areas, and technology spaces. Kalperis Hall is also home to the College Bookstore and the Post and Print office. The buildings were named after Michael Chu ’80 and Elizabeth Kalperis Chu ’80.