Roundly chastised for being too elaborate and costly when built, the former president's house adds a welcome note of domesticity among its institutional surroundings. University president Daniel B. Purinton, for whom it was later named, commissioned the house, which is faced with regular courses of quarry-faced sandstone and covered with a prominent, dormered, red tile roof. Although the materials relate to Stewart Hall across University Avenue, the Beaux-Arts massing and Colonial Revival details do anything but. A curved, giant-order Ionic portico frames the entrance, and a onestory porch extends across the facade and beyond, terminating in a porte-cochere to the south. Architect Fulton could have designed a Romanesque Revival structure, as his many other West Virginia commissions—among them the nearby Wesley United Methodist Church ( ML4)—amply prove. Here he purposely, and probably wisely, opted for a more traditional domestic approach. In 1967 the university president moved to new quarters on the Evansdale campus, and Purinton House was converted to offices.
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