5/14/2019 Michael Lear

The Campaign for Fackenthal and Stahr

This magazine article is part of Spring 2019 / Issue 93

The College’s current capital campaign, Now to Next, is part of a long history of fundraising for the operation of the College. At a meeting with alumni in 1946, President Theodore Distler announced plans for the Campus Development Program with a goal of raising $600,000 for additions and renovations to Fackenthal Laboratories (now the Patricia Harris Center for Business, Government and Public Policy) and Stahr Hall (now Stager Hall) to relieve classroom overcrowding.

Plans for Fackenthal called for adding a new wing to accommodate additional biology and chemistry facilities at a cost of $200,000, while proposals for Stahr called for adding two red-brick wings to the front of the building to harmonize with the Colonial Revival architectural character of the rest of campus. Additional plans called for creating an arched entryway through the building as a new grand entrance to campus and a full renovation of the rest of the building. This “thrifty solution,” as campaign literature billed it, was intended to save money by expanding the space needed for the sciences and other programs without constructing two or three new buildings. Construction on the new wing to Fackenthal Lab began on May 14, 1948, with an expanded project cost of $350,000. Construction on the new wings to Stahr Hall began in 1952. Due to a lack of funding, the renovation was not fully completed until 1958, when the rest of the exterior was finally encased in red brick and the arched entryway concept was abandoned. This unfinished condition is best characterized by the April 9, 1952, edition of the F&M Student Weekly, which reported: “When the wings are finished, the grey brick of the old building will be incongruous with the red brick of the additions.”

  • South side of Stahr Hall
Renovation plans for Fackenthal Labs
Renovation plans for Stahr Auditorium
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