History of Goodrich Hall

 By Mac Harman ' 98

Web Site Conversion By Ryan Mayhew '01


Goodrich Hall is a Gothic revival, rustic limestone structure built in 1859 to serve as the College Chapel, Alumni Hall, and classroom building. It has undergone at least two major renovations; however, a great part of the historic fabric remains. Most recently the building housed the studio arts program which was moved to the WLS Spencer Studio Arts Building in 1996.

Timeline Quick Navigation



Goodrich Hall Timeline

Click on the Dates for an expanded history.

Society of Alumni resolve to raise $10,000 for new building

August 6, 1856

Daniel Dewey urges Calvin Durfee to keep his proposed alterations to himself; expected expenditures exceed available funds

April 19, 1857

Rumor printed that Chapel is to be built; Gothic architecture proposed for variety

June 1857

Gervase Wheeler is selected as architect of new Chapel

c. 1857

Biographical sketch of Gervase Wheeler

Wheeler in Philadelphia

Wheeler flees Philadelphia for New York with his reputation in question

Wheeler returns to England

Gervase Wheeler writes Calvin Durfee in reference to enlarging rear building of proposed Chapel

July 14, 1857

Gervase Wheeler writes Calvin Durfee and President Hopkins in reference to proposed addition of building to south of Alumni Hall

July 22, 1857

Committee formed to build new Chapel

August 3, 1857

Society of Alumni hold annual meeting

August 4-5 1857

$6,150 raised by Society of Alumni for new Chapel

August 5, 1857

Donation of rope for Chapel bell immediately matched by gift of bell

Cte. formed to canvass town for funds to purchase clock for new Chapel

Student account of Society of Alumni meeting

Local report of contributions to funds for new Chapel

August 26, 1857

Alumni Hall expected to be finished by next commencement

September 23, 1857

Correspondence from Daniel Dewey in regard to contractors bidding to build new Chapel

October 5, 1857

Revised plan of new Chapel received

October 7, 1857

William Linn writes Calvin Durfee to ask if it is too late to make offer to build new Chapel

January 15, 1858

Work on Chapel planned to start in spring; funds are contributed and plans adopted

January 27, 1858

Foundation laid for new Chapel

May 5, 1858

New Chapel subject of conversational hobby: architecture praised, question posed as to why there is no cellar (to facilitate heating) in design, possible square tower ridiculed

June 1858

Philosophical Lecture Room added to plan for new Chapel

August 2, 1858

Alumni pleased with progress of new Chapel

August 4, 1858

New bell, cast in West Troy, NY, is hoisted into Chapel tower; it peals jubilantly

October 23, 1858

Students report construction progressing slowly; clear, musical tone of new bell appreciated

November 1858

Outside walls and roofing of Chapel are nearly finished

November 13, 1858

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