You are here

Parrish Hall, Administration Building

-A A +A
1864–1869, Sloan and Hutton; 1881 rebuilt, Addison Hutton
  • (© George E. Thomas)

In the 1850s Samuel Sloan had planned Riverton, New Jersey, and designed several houses there for the Parrish family, who were advocates of the college. The addition of Quaker Addison Hutton to the masthead of the firm brought renewed connections to the Society of Friends that resulted in commissions at Haverford College ( DE36) and Swarthmore. Swarthmore's central building stands on axis with the great allee of trees that forms the connection to the railroad station, emphasizing the railroad-centered order of the mid-nineteenth century. Parrish Hall, named for the founder and first president of the college, is a mighty pile of granite crowned by an immense convex slate mansard roof. The raised center and side wings reflect the hierarchy of the college, with its administration in the center and classrooms in the wings. After a fire in 1881 destroyed all but the exterior walls, it was rebuilt in somewhat more Victorian fashion by Hutton, although the present Roman Tuscan porch is a turn-of-the-twentieth-century replacement. Within, Parrish Hall retains something of the character of an immense house, its parlors and domestic-scaled fireplaces providing a homey atmosphere.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Parrish Hall, Administration Building", [Swarthmore, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 228-229.

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.