Preserve the Old; Welcome the New

As IUP’s Indiana campus undergoes revitalization, with upgrades to several major buildings and the drama of the Residential Revival, steps are also being taken to preserve the university’s historic buildings and landscapes. IUP is one of four regional universities to be included in the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation’s second Western Pennsylvania Campus Heritage Study, funded by a $200,000 Getty Foundation grant.

This plaque was installed in one of the Suites on Grant buildings to memorialize Wahr Hall, which had been demolished to make way for the Suites. The plaque reads: "On this site was located Wahr Hall, a dormitory that housed approximately 150 students each year from 1960 to 2006. Dedicated May 8, 1960, it was named in memory of Corinne Menk Wahr ('16), who, upon her death in the late 1940s, left a bequest of $125,000 to Indiana State Teachers College. The Wahr Scholarship Fund thus created has benefited students in financial need ever since." (Photo: Keith Boyer)" height="234" alt="This plaque was installed in one of the Suites on Grant buildings to memorialize Wahr Hall, which had been demolished to make way for the Suites. The plaque reads: "On this site was located Wahr Hall, a dormitory that housed approximately 150 students each year from 1960 to 2006. Dedicated May 8, 1960, it was named in memory of Corinne Menk Wahr ('16), who, upon her death in the late 1940s, left a bequest of $125,000 to Indiana State Teachers College. The Wahr Scholarship Fund thus created has benefited students in financial need ever since." (Photo: Keith Boyer)

The outcome of the heritage study will be a preservation plan for the campus, with recommendations for maintenance, restoration, disability access, and improvements. Those involved in the planning will include faculty and staff members, administrators, students, and Indiana residents. Education and training are important components of the process, which was due to commence this fall and continue through next year, with final presentations scheduled for early 2009.

At IUP, the study’s focus is on Breezedale Alumni Center, built in 1868; Sutton Hall, built in 1875; Wilson Hall, built in 1903; Clark Hall, built in 1906 after an earlier structure was destroyed by fire; Waller Hall, built in 1928; McElhaney Hall, built in 1931; Fisher Auditorium, built in 1938; Whitmyre Hall, built in 1950; and Leonard Hall, built in 1954 after an earlier structure was destroyed by fire.

Other campuses included in the cooperative heritage study include California University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1852; Seton Hill University, founded in 1870; and Washington & Jefferson College, founded in 1781.

According to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation grants proposal, “This collection of four colleges, which includes two private colleges and two members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a significant cross section of the cultural and architectural history of Western Pennsylvania’s academic heritage.”

More information about the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the Getty Foundation grant is available at www.phlf.org.