Early Amherst Timelines Project (1821 - 61)
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YearMonthDayTimeEnd YearEnd MonthEnd DayEnd TimeDisplay DateHeadlineTextMediaMedia CreditMedia CaptionMedia ThumbnailTypeGroupBackground
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18208918219181821South CollegeCornerstone laid August, 1820. Dedication at inauguration of President Moore on September 18, 1821. Served as dormitory, library, laboratory, and recitation building until other buildings were erected. Exterior today substantially as erected.https://www.amherstma.gov/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=28617“Amherst College”(19th century) – Alexander Jackson Davis and James Archer (1823-1904,1803-1892) / Engraving / Amherst College Mead Art MuseumtitleCollege Buildings
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182191818221822President's House (first)Cornerstone laid the day South College was dedicated.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/Psi_Upsilon_House%2C_Amherst_College_-_LOC_4a18272a.jpg/758px-Psi_Upsilon_House%2C_Amherst_College_-_LOC_4a18272a.jpgThe Psi Upsilon House (pictured) is the approximate site for the old president's house.College Buildings
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182218231823North College Built mainly as dormitory, the fourth floor, south entry, was used for academic purposes. There was one large room which served as chapel, lecture room, and laboratory; the two adjoining rooms were the library and the cabinet for physical and chemical apparatus. https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/99173/original/valen17.gifThis view of Amherst College, showing North College, Johnson Chapel, and South College, remained unchanged ofr nearly 150 years.College Buildings
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182618272281827Johnson ChapelDedication February 28, 1827. Built to house chapel, laboratory, museum, library, and recitation rooms.http://digital-scholarship-2017.wordpress.amherst.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/68/2017/07/079_campus_view-1140x430.jpgJohnson Chapel towers over other buildings on College Row.College Buildings
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182718281828"Old" North College"Old" North dormitory was on present site of Williston Hall. Building destroyed by fire January 19, 1857.https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/85034/original/image7.jpgStudent Lounge in North dorm - Photo by John Lovell, Amherst, from Culver 1878 Class Album.College Buildings
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183418351835Present President's HouseMany repairs and renovations over the years, most of which were supported by alumni gifts and donations.http://www.fredericklane.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/1905-09-21-MA_Amherst_Amherst-College_Presidents-House-acp_010-1024x666.jpgAmherst College's president's house on postcard, 1900 - 1905.College Buildings
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184718486281848OctagonDedication, June 28, 1848. Originally built to house the departments of Astronomy and Geology, as well as the collections of the College, the Octagon became the headquarters of the Department of Music when the Observatory and the Biology-Geology Building were erected.
https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/85035/original/image8.jpgCollege president Edward Hitchcock requested that the building have an octagon shape, a decision that was initially controversial.College Buildings
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18551855Octagon Geology Lecture RoomIn 1n 1934-35 the large room on the second floor was remodeled as the Frank L. Babbott Room in memory of Frank L. Babbott, '78.https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/98165/original/13.JPGAn 1855 addition housed a geology lecture room and a galley for the College's Assyrian reliefs.College Buildings
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1857Octagon Nineveh GalleryThe 1934-35 remodeling was directed by Amherst alum archictect, James Kellum Smith '15, of the firm McKim, Mead and White.http://hcap.artstor.org/collect/cic-hcap/index/assoc/p105.dir/Octagon,%20Amherst%20College-small.jpgOctagon Nineveh gallery pictured in forground. College Buildings
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1852185311221853Morgan LibraryDedication, November 22, 1853. Addition in 1882-83.https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/84733/original/morgan7.gifOriginally built in 1853 to serve as the College library, Morgan was the first College building to be constructed of Pelham gneiss.College Buildings
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1855Appleton CabinetOriginally built as a three-story buliding with a one-story extension to the east. In 1892 the extension was raised to two stories.https://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/amherst/history/1894tyler-ws/chapter08/appletoncabinet.jpgAppleton Cabinet as viewed from the south over a hundred years ago.College Buildings
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185718585191858East CollegeDedication, May 19, 1858. The dormitory was razed in 1883.https://consecratedeminence.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/eastcollege1.jpgEast College was built on the current site of James and Stearns dormitories.College Buildings
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185718585191858Williston HallDedication, May 19, 1858. On its erection, the third floor was occupied by Alumni Hall (also used for examinations), the second floor by libraries of undergraduate societies, and the first floor by the Department of Chemistry. Subsequently, the third floor became a museum for the Mather Art Collection and later a freshman reading room; the two lower floors, after Fayerweather was built, were used as recitation rooms and as headquarters for the Christian Association.https://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/amherst/history/1894tyler-ws/chapter08/willistonhall.jpgWilliston Hall originally had a tower on its flank, since demolished during renovations over the year.College Buildings
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1859101318601860Barrett GymnasiumCornerstone laid October 13, 1859. Material, Pelham gneis. Galleries installed later by Dr. Barrett at his own expense.https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/85032/original/image5.jpgBarrett Gymaniusm served as a fitness center for physical education in early Amherst.College Buildings
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18211823Zephaniah Swift MooreA respected clergyman of the American Congregational, President Moore served as president of Williams College between 1815 and 1821, when he moved to Amherst to become its first president. He died while still serving in office on January 9, 1823. <p> <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/historyAC?shib_redir=1677550341" target="\_tab">READ MORE</a></p>https://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/amherst/history/1894tyler-ws/chapter03/zephaniahswiftmooreengraving.gifPresidents
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182310151845Heman HumphreySuccessor to President Moore, Humphrey was an ordained congregational minister. He announced his resignation on January 19, 1844.<p> <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/historyAC?shib_redir=1677550341" target="\_tab">READ MORE</a></p>https://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/amherst/history/1894tyler-ws/chapter04/hemanhumphreyengraving.gifPresidents
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184541118547111854Edward HitchcockPresident Hitchcock, an ordained congregational pastor (served as pastor of the Congregational church from 1821-25), was influencial in the establishment of the Geology department and the study of astronomy at Amherst College. He was Professor of Chemistry and Natural History at Amherst College throughout his tenure as president, post from which he resigned in 1845. <p> <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/historyAC?shib_redir=1677550341" target="\_tab">READ MORE</a></p> https://consecratedeminence.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/pres_hitchcock.jpgPresidents
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185411111876William A. StearnsA graduate of Harvard College (1827) and Andover Seminary (1831), Stearns served as pastor of Prospect Street Congregational Church from 1831 to 1854. He served as the third Amherst College president from 1854 until his death on June 8, 1876. <p> <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/historyAC?shib_redir=1677550341" target="\_tab">READ MORE</a></p>https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/styles/original/private/media/1982/William%252520A%252520Stearns.jpgPresidents
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18211828Federal Style ArchitectureApart from Johnson Chapel built in 1826, which is Greek Revival architecture, early Amherst architecture was characterized by an austere, simplistic Fedral style architecture fit for "pious young gentlemen" preparing for the Christian ministry. era
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18261835Greek Revival ArchitectureJohnson Chapel, built in 1826, started a trend of Greek Revival architecture that saw the construction of College Hall (1829), the second president's House (1829) in the years therafter. The construction of Willston Hall (1854) concluded this trend in the nineteenth century.era
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18471859Italianate, RevivalWith the exception of East College built in 1857 in a Federal architecural style, the period between 1847 and 1861 was characterized by Italianate and Revival (Classical and Greek) architecture. The Octagon (1847, Italianate), Morgan Library (1852, Italianate), Appleton Cabinet (1855, Classical Revival), Williston Hall (1857, Greek Revival), and Barret Gymnasium (1859, Italianate) were al constructed in this time period.era
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