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Architectural History of SRU

Exhibit of a history of the buildings on SRU campus.

 Legacy of Stone: Remembering a Forgotten Landmark

After the original Chapel burned down in 1896, construction of a new Chapel began in 1897 in the Norman-French architectural style. It had an auditorium with seating for 1,000 visitors, a full stage, dressing and storage rooms, an organ, and stained glass windows. The Chapel stood at the end of Morrow Way between North and South Halls, not unlike its predecessor in 1889.

The Chapel on Morrow Way

Automobiles traveling up Morrow Way. This road, often referred to as The Long Walk, ended with a small roundabout at the Chapel.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1931)


The Long Walk

The Long Walk leading to the Chapel. This image highlights the continuity of the State Teachers College in the 1930s to Slippery Rock State College of the 1960s, demonstrating how little the campus changed from its founding to the middle of the twentieth century. 

(Photograph, color, c.1960)

Inside a Forgotten Landmark

The first floor of the Chapel. The Chapel was the main assembly hall for prayer services and the school’s commencement ceremony until 1955.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1908)


Commencement in the Chapel

President J. Linwood Eisenberg presides over commencement in the Chapel at Slippery Rock Normal School.

(Photograph, sepia, c.1929)



The Chapel, South Hall, and West Gym

This photograph shows the Chapel besides South Hall and West Gym. This photograph also perfectly captures the "Long Walk" of Morrow Way.

(Photograph, black and white, 1912)


The Chapel and North Hall

This photograph shows the uniqueness of this era's construction, including North Hall's Turkish tower and the Chapel's Norman-French steeple.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1900)

The Bryant Society

The second floor of the Chapel also had rooms for campus organizations. One of these groups was the Bryant Society, which was a student literary society. This photograph shows the Bryant Society's meeting room.

(Photograph, sepia, c.1898)


Another Room in Chapel

The Chapel also hosted meetings of the Philomathian Society, another literary society.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1989)


The Chapel & Weisenfluh

Since the university’s campus has gone through many changes, it can be hard to imagine the layout of where these buildings were in relation to one another. The Chapel’s location was between North Hall and South Hall, almost directly in front of Weisenfluh Dining Hall.  

(Photograph, black and white, c.1963)

The Chapel: Its Numbered Days

After the community failed to raise funds for the chapel's repair, it was finally demolished in 1931, leaving only photographs and illustrations behind. These artifacts serve as windows to an era over 100 years ago and a gentle reminder of the importance of preserving the relics of humanity's collective past, whether it be photographs or physical spaces.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1971)