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The Lost Landmarks of Kenyon

The Lost Landmarks of Kenyon

By Staff

Milnor Hall

Milnor Hall, erected in 1834, was home for 39 years to a grammar school founded by Philander Chase. Though not technically part of Kenyon College, it descended from a series of preparatory schools that were a department of the College, and thus associated with Kenyon. During the Civil War, interest in the school decreased, leading to its closure in 1873. The building then served briefly as a hotel in the mid-1870s, until becoming the Kenyon Military Academy ラ a school unaffiliated with the College but located on the Hill less than half a mile away. For the annual price of $120, around 80 boys were given a thorough education in drilling and military exercises, as well as a classical preparatory education. For a time, the boys of Milnor were known for their football abilities, even standing undefeated in 1903. Milnor Hall also featured a small library with 600 texts.

The building itself was three stories tall, built with brick and featured a west wing and an east wing extending from the main hall. In 1889, it burned down for the first time. After it was rebuilt, it burned down again on Feb. 24, 1906. Three students were reported missing and presumed dead, with an additional eight injured. The structure was never rebuilt, and the Kenyon Military Academy and the ghost of Milnor Hall were no more.

Delano Hall

As interest in the Kenyon Military Academy grew, the school expanded, requiring another building to house its larger classes. In 1880, thanks to a donation from Columbus Delano, a relative of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the academy built Delano Hall right beside Milnor Hall, doubling the size of the school. In the same fire that destroyed Milnor Hall in 1906, Delano Hall also succumbed. The cause of the fire remains a mystery to this day.

Hubbard Hall

Hubbard Hall, built in the early 1880s, was Kenyon’s first library. The hall was destroyed in a fire on New Year’s Day in 1910, but the attached Stephens Stack Building, which housed most of the library’s books, survived. After its 1910 destruction, the hall was replaced with the Alumni Library. With the 1962 construction of Chalmers Library, the old Alumni Library became Ransom Hall, now the home of The Office of Admissions ラ Chalmers was later unified with Olin Library in 1986. Hubbard Hall stood near the current site of Ransom Hall, north of Peirce, on the west side of Middle Path.

Wertheimer Field House

Wertheimer Field House stood from 1948 until 2003, south of McBride Field, relatively close to the current location of the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC). The structure was once part of a World War II-era U.S. Navy drill yard in Camp Peary, Va. The College paid for the building to be transported in 1948. Although the track was replaced in 1993 and the building rededicated in 1994, the aging field house was replaced with a temporary facility near the Miller Observatory before the KAC’s completion.

Philip Mather Hall

Philip Mather Hall, named after a second-generation Kenyon trustee and son of Samuel Mather, a wealthy iron- mining company owner, once housed the College’s science facilities. Constructed to replace the aging science facilities in the original Samuel Mather Hall, the building once stood next to the current Samuel Mather Hall and the two were connected by an indoor walkway. The College’s science facilities were augmented by the addition of Higley Hall in 1977. After Philip Mather Hall was torn down in 2002, the courtyard of the modern science quad was dedicated to the long-term friend of the College.

The Alwin C. Ernst Center

The Alwin C. Ernst Center, completed on Oct. 3, 1981, was the Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex for 25 years. Prior to the ARC, Kenyon’s only swimming pool, the Shaffer Swimming Pool ラ which is now the Bolton Dance Studio ラ was slowly falling apart. The College felt the need for a new, safer athletic center, and thus the ARC was born. With new facilities and a new swimming pool, students could work out or practice without the dangerous combination of a low ceiling and high diving board like in the Shaffer Swimming Pool. At an estimated cost of $5.5 million in 1981, today the cost of the ARC would be around $12 million.

The ARC was also used as a space for concerts and hosted artists both within and outside the College ラ most famously the Michael Stanley Band.

With the creation of the $78 million Kenyon Athletic Center in 2006, the ARC quickly fell into disuse. Its final function was as a temporary dining hall during Peirce Hall’s renovations. After completion of the renovations, the ARC was finally demolished in 2009.

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