You are here

Grove City College

-A A +A
1930s, W. G. Eckles Company Architects and Olmsted Brothers. 100 Campus Dr.

Founded as Pine Grove Academy in 1876, Grove City College assumed its present name in 1884. It was founded by Isaac Conrad Ketler, a Mercer County native, with an initial enrollment of thirteen students. By the 1970s, the student body had grown to 2,050, the approximate size at which it remains today.

The 150-acre campus plan was drawn c. 1930 by the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, in conjunction with the Eckles architectural firm of New Castle. Today, approximately two dozen buildings, most in the Collegiate Gothic style, are arranged in quadrangles on the upper or east campus. Wolf Creek divides the athletic facilities and Thorn Field (west campus) from the academic campus (east campus). The two are joined by the graceful stone Rainbow Bridge. The Eckles firm designed the stone Science Building (1930), Harbison Chapel (1931), and Crawford Hall (1938) in a Collegiate Gothic style similar to that employed at Princeton University.

Two generations of Mercer County's (later Philadelphia's) Pew family, who made their fortune in the oil and natural gas businesses, chaired the college's board from 1895 to 1971. Joseph Newton Pew and his son, J. Howard Pew, were generous donors, but refused to establish an endowment fund, setting a precedent of running the college without relying on federal funds while keeping tuition low and affordable for the middle class.

The Colonial Hall Apartments (2005–2006, IKM/Grant), a four-story, red brick student housing facility with soaring roofs was designed in collaboration by two firms: Pittsburgh's IKM and Baltimore's Grant Architects. The campus is meticulously maintained and homogeneous in architectural character and enrollment.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Grove City College", [Grove City, 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, 545-546.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,