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Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

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1857–present. Bounded by Perry Ln., Darrow, Meadville, and Normal sts., and U.S. 6 N

Edinboro is among the oldest state teachers' colleges in the commonwealth. Founded in 1857 as Edinboro Academy, the large white frame, cross-gabled original building built by carpenter-architect Nathaniel C. Austin has pride of place on the campus and houses the admissions office. With the demolition of the Waterford Academy in the 1950s, this building became the oldest state normal school building in Pennsylvania. Today, Edinboro University has forty-four buildings on 585 acres of land surrounding man-made Lake Mallory. Ties between the town of Edinboro and the university have been strengthened by the university's reuse of the handsome Greek Revival Biggers House (1850) at the northwest corner of Meadville and Normal streets. Also built by Austin, it is named for Bishop Quince Biggers, who operated it as a hotel until 1897. The brick Taylor House of 1878 (139 Meadville Street) is now the development office, and the university president lives in a house built in 1885 at 214 Meadville Street.

In 1906 and 1908, Diebold Center for the Performing Arts and Reeder Hall were built as a gymnasium and dormitory. Both are substantial brick buildings that expanded the campus to the south along Meadville Street. In 1931, a quadrangle began to take shape with the construction of Loveland Hall to the northeast, designed by Meyers and Johnson of Erie, with a round-arched arcade at the entrance. But the school's major expansion took place between the 1940s and the 1970s. During the 1940s, one- and two-story brick buildings were built in the section of campus bounded by Meadville, Normal, and Scotland (formerly Ontario) streets and Darrow Road. The handsome Memorial Auditorium of 1941, named for those who died in war, has murals by Alfred James Tulk (1899–1988), the Yale-educated mural director of New York's Rambusch Decorating Company. By the 1960s and 1970s, the university had acquired much more acreage to the south and east of the original campus. Today, several modernistic brick dormitories and classroom buildings line curving Scotland Street. The highlight of the group is the Brutalist Baron-Forness Library, named for two Edinboro University librarians and built in 1976. The 7,000 students located on this campus nearly match the population of the town of Edinboro.

The campus has an extension in Erie at 2951 W. 38th Street, the site of the former four-hundred-acre Porreco farm. Now a twenty-seven-acre wooded campus with eleven buildings, a pond, and an orchard, the Porreco Center's primary academic facility is housed in one of the largest standing barns in Erie County, built in the 1850s using handhewn timbers. The former mansion, summer cottage, and garden house all accommodate university activities.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Edinboro University of Pennsylvania", [Edinboro, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 503-504.

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