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Moore Hall

Moore Hall
1941
McKIM, MEAD AND WHITE

Moore Hall. Date unknown. Catalog no.: 1485.1

One of the most interesting and important events to chronicle during the past year is the erection of Moore Hall, the fifth dormitory of the College. This munificent gift of Hoyt Augustus Moore, of the class of 1895, is also a mark of confidence, built as it is in this year of doubt, but built not for the next decade but for the next century.

President Sills, in whose May 1941 Report of the President this announcement was made, had also, as dean and acting president, supervised the erection of the last dormitory, Hyde Hall. In 1939 one-fifth of Bowdoin students were still obliged to live off-campus, while the number in dormitories and in chapter houses was roughly equal. President Sills favored a dormitory for seniors that would be somewhat more comfortable, but his wish did not prevail. Harold L. Berry '01, who had replaced Franklin C. Payson as chairman of the Moulton Union building committee, was chairman for the new dormitory. McKim, Mead and White was the architect, and James Kellum Smith the partner in charge.

The donor, Hoyt Augustus Moore, was a lawyer in New York at what was to become, in 1944, Cravath, Swaine, and Moore. He had been an Overseer and, from 1933, a Trustee of the College. Since 1937 he had been giving about $ 2 5,000 a year to Bowdoin. His numerous other benefactions included the Hoyt A. Moore Scholarship Fund. The new dormitory was named for his father, Augustus E. Moore.

Although the original row-Winthrop, Maine, the Chapel, Appleton, and Hyde-was "full," there was still space across the quadrangle where the Visual Arts Center and Gibson Hall now stand. Perhaps by 1940 the College had come to see the rest of the quadrangle as academic, so the new building was placed behind it. The site, behind the Moulton Union at a distance that allows for easy access, is pleasant and reasonable. The handsome planting was included in the donor's gift. The original road onto the campus at this point, an extension of Coffin Street, had to be closed because the building intruded nine feet onto the road. Until at least 196 5 the area in front of Moore Hall was grassy.

The entrances to Moore Hall are not on the ends but on the facade facing the Moulton Union, indicating that Moore was planned as a companion to the union. The heavy cornices and pilasters of Moore support the tall stair landing windows which extend almost two stories. The arched form surrounded by a broad white margin repeats the original back entrance of the Moulton Union, part of which can still be seen inside the union on the landing to the second floor. Its top can be seen outside from the third and fourth floors of Moore Hall.

The new dormitory is a mass of red brick organized, unlike its predecessors, by the white stringcourse that sets off the fourth, or attic, floor, crowned by a molding and white parapet. This formula was repeated in 1958 by McKim, Mead and White when the firm designed Coleman Hall.

Text From: Patricia McGraw Anderson's The Architecture of Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1988). ©Bowdoin College.

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