oldkenyon

Address: South End of Middle Path
Architectural Style: Gothic Revival 
Year Built: 1828-1829; 1834-1836; 1949
Architect/Builder: Reverend Norman Nash, et al 
Original Owner Kenyon College

Old Kenyon was the first major building constructed at Kenyon College, and the building responsible for launching the Gothic Revival tradition.  The foundation stones for Old Kenyon were laid out in 1827, and the building was constructed in 1828-1829, housed the entire college within its four foot thick walls.  It is the earliest Collegiate Gothic building in the United States.  Work on the center portion of the building was done by Reverend Norman Nash, and undoubtedly founder Philander Chase had a hand in its desing and construction, as well.  Charles Bulfinch is throught to have given the steeple design, and Marcus T. C. Wing is credited with the design and construction of the two two front-gable wings.

On the morning of February 27, 1949, a massive and deadly fire raged throughout the building.  This was the worst disaster in Kenyon College history, resulting in the deaths of nine students:

Ernest Ahwajee of Akron, Ohio

Edward Brout of Mount Vernon, New York

Albert Lewis of Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Martin Mangel of New York City

Jack McDonald of Hamilton, Ohio

Marc Peck of Fenton, Michigan

George Pincus of Brooklyn, New York

Stephen Shepard of New York City

Colin Woodworth of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

The rebuilding of Old Kenyon began almost immediately, and it was ready for occupancy by September 11, 1950.  While the interior of the hall was completely remodeled, the exterior remains true to its original design.  It stands as a massive three and one-half story stone structure, and its tall central steeple makes Old Kenyon stand out among all the other campus buildings.  The two exterior bays with steep, crenellated gables also have steeple-like spires that help to balance the building.  The windows are rather squat compared to most Gothic Revival architecture, and those on the third floor are shaped in truncated pointed arches.