As the rest of the region was making the shift toward the classical and Gothic revivals, the founders of this Quaker institution adhered to their historic plain-style values that they linked to the agricultural heritage of the region. Indeed more than half of the campus was a working farm with the farmer as a member of the faculty. By the 1850s, the academy had been reconstituted as a college and the Gest Center wing added on the west side of Founders’ Hall as an industrial hall where students could learn the industrial arts that were transforming the economy of the region. Founders’ Hall is rooted in the agricultural heritage of the eighteenth century, and in its use of local stone quarried on the site and stucco sands from its small creek, it was intentionally and expressively local. Originally the entire institution was accommodated in this building, with dining rooms in the basement; administration, classrooms, and library on the first two floors; and tiny dormitory rooms, each with half a window, on the third floor.
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