Since Franklin College's establishment in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1787, Franklin & Marshall College has gone through five significant periods of building growth. Not surprisingly, the first four periods directly coincide with the College Presidents of that time: the Emmanuel Vogel Gerhart years, 1855-1866; the John Williamson Nevin years, 1866-1876; the John Summer Stahr years, 1889-1909; and the Henry Harbaugh Apple years, 1909-1935. In these first 150 years, the presidents guided campus construction in such a way that the campus could boast of a broad range of facilities, from classroom and office space to sports facilities and living quarters. Campus designers unified this mix of purposes through the use of common architectural styles and details, which also served to create an aesthetically pleasing campus. The final period, the post-World War II years, are characterized by the addition of primarily non-academic buildings and improved science facilities. These more recent buildings serve to supplement the older buildings as well as improve and modernize facilities. Franklin & Marshall has consistently encouraged the physical growth of its campus in order to provide additional resources and facilities for its students, faculty, staff, and administration. The school aggressively seeks financial resources and donor gifts to support construction of architecturally and structurally sound buildings that bring both functionality and grace to the campus. Since Franklin College's humble beginnings when class was held at a local Lancaster City brew house, the College's grounds have continually prospered and matured into today's beautiful, liberal arts campus.

  • images-departments-ams-vogel-jpg
In the early 1850s, plans to construct the first three buildings on campus - Old Main, Goethean Hall, and Diagnothian Hall - began. Old Main, designed by Dixon, Balburnie & Dixon, a Baltimore architectural firm, and Goethian and Diagnothian Halls, built to house the school's dueling literary societies, were completed and dedicated in 1856, 1857, and 1857, respectively. These three original buildings, inspiring and imposing due to their Gothic revival style, underscore F&M's commitment to creating an impressive campus. Old Main, Goethean Hall, and Diagnothian Hall, as well as the small Buchanan House,which served as a janitor's living quarters, were constructed during Emmanuel Vogel Gerhart's eleven year tenure as president.

  • images-departments-ams-nevin-jpg
  • images-departments-ams-gilmore-jpg
The second president of the College, John Williamson Nevin, served from 1866 to 1876. He focused his building efforts on providing living space for students and professors. The Gerhart Building, built in 1871, housed Lancaster Theological Seminary professors. Harbaugh House, which housed students, was also built in 1871. East Hall, or the Academy Building, served as an additional student dormitory facility. Thomas Gilmore Apple, the third president of the College, was perhaps the one exception to the typical F&M presidents who were committed to improving the campus through the construction of new facilities. Thomas Gilmore Apple built only one new structure, the Scholl Observatory, during his twelve years of service as president, 1877-1889. The next president, John Summers Stahr, maintained a steady stream of construction during his twenty years as president, 1889-1909. Four buildings, Distler Commons (1891), Watts dePeyster Library (1897), Administration Building (1900, later named Stahr Hall), and Hartman Hall were completed during Stahr's presidency.

  • images-departments-ams-pstahr-jpg
  • images-departments-ams-apple-jpg
In the 1920s, under the auspices of President Henry Harbaugh Apple, the grandson of Thomas Gilmore Apple, and Charles Z. Klauder, a prominent Philadelphia architect, the College mounted an aggressive and extensive campus plan that greatly changed the physical layout of Franklin & Marshall. In addition to Williamson Field and Grandstand, Apple coordinated the construction of six buildings with Klauder: Franklin Meyran Hall (1924), Dietz Santee Hall (1925), Hensel Hall (1925), Central Heating Plant (1925), Biesecker Gymnasium (1926), and Fackenthal Laboratories (1929). After Apple's tenure, only one additional building was constructed on campus prior to World War II: the Keiper Liberal Arts Building. It was completed in 1937 during John Ahlum Schaeffer's presidency. The Watts de Peyster Library also underwent major renovations and was renamed Fackenthal Library at a dedication ceremony in 1938.

  • images-departments-ams-schaeffer-jpg
Since the 1950s, the College's growth has steadily improved residential living, science buildings, and non-academic resources. Beginning in 1956 with the construction of Marshall-Buchanan Residence Hall, F&M has developed the residential quadrangle of the campus. Marshall-Buchanan sits at the south end of the quad; Schnader Residence Hall, built in 1959, and Thomas Residence Hall, built in 1968, complete the east side; Ben Franklin Residence Hall, stretching across the west side of the quad, was built in 1964; and the newest residence hall, Weis, completed in 1989, closes the north end of the quad. The College also acquired off-campus housing including the Co-op, French House, and Murray Arts House in 1984, the James Street apartments in 1985, and the International House in 1990.

The College built several non-academic buildings during the last fifty years. In 1959, the Appel Infirmary, named in honor of the Appel family, was constructed. In 1976, the man who designed the World Trade Center, M. Yamasaki, served as architect for the Steinman College Center, which was built to, "supplement the total educational experience that students have at F&M" (Oriflamme, 1976, p.11). College Square, operated by the John Marshall Investment Corporation, furnishes space for businesses which cater to students' needs, such as the F&M bookstore, a laundromat, a copying center, and three restaurants. The Alumni Sports and Fitness Center (ASFC), the most recent addition to F&M's campus, sits with College Square across Harrisburg Pike. The ASFC, which opened in 1995, provides state-of-the-art athletic facilities for the F&M community including alumni. As scientific technology improves, the College continually updates its buildings to maintain modern facilities. The Pfeiffer Science Complex, recently renamed the William M. Hackman Physical Sciences Laboratory (1966), the Whitely Psychology Building (1968), and the Martin Science Library (1990), were built to support and to promote the sciences at F&M. In addition, the Herman Arts Center (1969-70) was built to provide space for studio arts.

For over 210 years, Franklin & Marshall College has worked continually to maintain and improve its campus in order to provide an environment which promotes learning, encourages activity, and inspires a sense of tradition and purpose in its students. The College continues to build on the strong foundation of commitment to building excellence as we enter the 21st century. Hensel Hall, which first graced the campus over seventy years ago, is undergoing major renovations, and talks continue regarding the construction of a fine arts building to supplement our existing art facilities. Appreciating and understanding the history of F&M's buildings serves as a constant reminder of the College's rich past.

Please note: the above photographs show the following presidents of the College in descending order: Emmanuel Vogel Gerhart, John Williamson Nevin, Thomas Gilmore Apple, John Summers Stahr, Henry Harbaugh Apple, and John Ahlum Schaeffer.