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Liberal Arts Hall and Charles E. Albert Hall (Science Hall)

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Science Hall
1924–1926, Walter F. Martens. East of Halliehurst on the lower campus
  • (West Virginia Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
  • Liberal Arts Hall and Charles E. Albert Hall (Science Hall) (State Historic Preservation Office, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, James E. Harding)

These adjoining Georgian Revival brick buildings, standing on a sloping ridge, were the first two structures the college erected on its new campus. Designed together, and similar in size and general arrangement, each was named for one of the two academic concentrations the college offered. Both buildings have long, nine-bay central blocks three and one-half stories tall, with shorter wings at each end. A cupola centers the dormered gable roof of Liberal Arts Hall, while pilasters defining the bays identify Science Hall. A later stone arcade that steps down in stages connects the basement level of Liberal Arts with the second floor of Science, which was renamed in 1958 to honor faculty member Charles E. Albert. Although unfinished in 1926, the two buildings were sufficiently complete to be occupied when the college moved to its new campus that September. Upper stories were not finished until 1946–1947, when increased enrollment necessitated their use. Science Hall was restored after a fire destroyed the upper stories in 1956.

At the time the halls were under construction, Charleston architect Martens was designing the Executive Mansion ( CH33), and all three buildings show his mastery of Georgian design. Martens also designed the college heating plant, located to the rear and east of Science Hall. When the group was dedicated, the local press singled out the 100-foot-8-inch smokestack as a “work of art,” quickly adding, “this cannot be said of all smoke stacks.” In 1975 the former heating plant was refurbished and converted into the Boiler House Theater. Its work-of-art smokestack remains.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


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S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Liberal Arts Hall and Charles E. Albert Hall (Science Hall)", [Elkins, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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