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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Campus Locations - M

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Marting Hall

Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.

The Memorial Building (Marting Hall) was built in 1895-1896 as the new administration and classroom building for German Wallace College. The cornerstone had been laid September 25, 1895 and the building was dedicated on Tuesday, November 24, 1896. Wallace Hall had existed previous to the building of the newer administration building and served as the college's first administration building. It stood directly in front of the new building and was tom down after the Romanesque style building was completed. The land it was built on is part of the earlier Lyceum Square, which was founded as the Lyceum Village and Berea Seminary in 1837. The Architect was Godfrey Fugman, a member of the Cleveland company, C.S. Cramer.

It was formally dedicated on November 24, 1896 and was originally called the Memorial Building, in honor of those who had contributed to its construction. At that time the stone arch above the entrance was inscribed. It was renamed Marting Hall on October 27, 1938 to recognize the contributions and generosity of Dr. and Mrs. John C. Marting. Dr. Marting was an 1866 graduate and the college treasurer from 1895 to 1940, having worked with German Wallace College prior to the merger which he oversaw. During his time as treasurer, he oversaw the building of sixteen buildings and several money-raising campaigns. Marting and his wife donated more than $150,000 to the college. He also served as mayor of Berea for five years.

The hall was home to the President's office and Financial Agent. It also contained the main classrooms, general and Geological Laboratories, the Museum, the Seminary and Academy Libraries, and a gymnasium. The third floor had halls for five literary societies. These societies are the origins of the present panhellenic system at Baldwin-Wallace College. For many years, this building was a centerpiece for the college and community.

However on the morning of January 17, 1982, Marting Hall received extensive damage when cold weather and a power outage caused water pipes to freeze and break, resulting in flooding in the building, The walls and plaster were damaged, creating the danger of falling ceilings. The damage occurred over the weekend and was not found until Monday morning. There were 55 classes in four academic departments that had to be moved out of the building. The building was closed except for faculty, in hopes of reopening it by spring quarter. Many offices were moved to the Conservatory Annex. Three consulting firms were brought in to evaluate renovation possibilities. It was decided that the interior was in need of major work. There was even talk of replacing the damaged, but historic building was a new facility.

An extensive study was released in1984 stating the exact condition of the building and the repairs that were needed. The facilities and mechanical systems inside also were assessed. It was determined that the inside walls and plaster work were in the greatest need of repair, although it was mostly cosmetic damage. In addition, each department's needs were considered when planning renovation. These departments included History, Philosophy, Religion, English, and Art History. At that time, the cost for repairs were estimated at $815,482. The college's increasing enrollment and persistence from President Malicky and community groups, the renovation was made a reality. In 1984, the college's largest funding campaign to date was begun. It was a three year, $15 million funding drive that would be used to renovate Marting Hall and other college buildings. This was part of a ten year campaign to raise $33 million.

Marting Hall stood empty and unused from 1982 until its renovation was completed in 1989. The restoration got underway in 1986, with a budget exceeding $2 million. The project was made possible through tax-free bonds from the Higher Education Facilities Commission that were to be paid back through donations. The renovation, was done by the Cleveland architectural firm of Van Dijk, Johnson, and Partners. Peter Van Dijk was the partner in charge of the renovation, who had received fame for Blossom Music Hall, E.J. Thomas Hall, and other designs and renovations throughout the country.

The new floor plan made more efficient use of the building. New plumbing and wiring were installed along with a computer-controlled energy system. An elevator was installed to provide access for the disabled. A writing lab, computer lab, and 100 person auditorium for multi-media presentations were also provided for in the hall. The stained glass windows, covered in an earlier renovation, were resorted, as well as the lounge on the first floor. Two enclosed, steel stairwells were added along with carpeting. The exterior was changed with the addition of an atrium on the second floor in the rear of the building. Much of the water-damaged interior was sacrificed, but the lobby, incorporating oak paneling and stained glass windows were restored, as was the stone exterior. When completed, the history department was moved back to Marting from Heritage Hall, and English department returned from north Hall. The departments of History, English, Religion, Philosophy, and Art History all returned from various places around campus, making Marting Hall the hub of the Humanities once again. The finished product totaled $3 million.

The rededication of Marting Hall took place on Friday, October 13, 1989. The restoration meant that the hall will remain a visible and beautiful fixture on the Berea skyline and a center of campus life at B-W. The ceremony was held on the front lawn by the steps, where the ribbon cutting occurred. The B-W Brass Choir played music from Marting Tower.

McKelvy Hall

Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.

McKelvy Hall is a lecture hall seating 200 students. It has facilities for chemistry and physics demonstrations and for movie presentations. While McKelvy Hall still serves as a science lecture hall, Wilker Hall is now home to the Political Science Department, which had been within the History Department until 1964. However, much of the classroom space is still used for chemistry and other sciences.

Merner-Pfeiffer Hall

Citation: Albert L. Marting, ed., “Merner-Pfeiffer Hall,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 17, no. 1 (1939): p. 5.

Sketch of Merner-Pfeiffer Hall prior to its construction. Source: Page 5, February, 1939 Alumnus. Click on the image to enlarge.

With the arrival on Saturday, January 7, of a check representing the first payment on a pledge of $100,000, for a new freshman dormitory, another much needed Baldwin-Wallace project was definitely launched. Mrs. Henry Pfeiffer of New York City, elect Methodist lady, has included Baldwin-Wallace among the wonderful benefactions by which a number of Methodist colleges and organizations have benefitted. She has been bravely carrying on business affairs while nursing her husband, now ill for many months. The gift, of course, comes jointly from Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer as a mark of confidence in our Methodist institutions and in this case, Baldwin-Wallace in particular.

The new hall is to be erected on the south campus, among the trees, immediately east of music hall. With its completion and the hope for the remodeling of the old men's dormitory, the two will form companion buildings on this part of the campus. The new structure is to house sixty students and will be modern in all its appointments. It will be known as Merner-Pfeiffer Hall. Mrs. Pfeiffer's maiden name was Merner, she being a relative of Mrs. Thelma Merner Goldsword of the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music.

Plans are practically completed for the building and bids will be immediately received. Work will be begun as soon as weather permits, which probably means about April 1, in the hope that the building will be ready for occupancy during the next school year. Wilbur J. Watson is consulting engineer with Mellenbrook and Foley as architects. All three are alumni of Baldwin-Wallace.

This generous gift meets a real need here. It is anticipated that the enrollment of men at the college will take a definite upward swing as a consequence, the housing facilities for men having been so very inadequate in recent years. The heartiest thanks of students, faculty and alumni go to Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer for their fine appreciation of Christian education and their readiness to help young people in these parts. Efforts will immediately be made to raise sufficient funds for the thorough renovation of the old dormitory.

Citation: Bette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 96.

Taken in 1942. Interior of room 108 in Merner-Pfeiffer. Source: Alumnae Marilyn Weiss as part of the V-12 oral history project. Click on the image to enlarge.

The college gained another Tudor style dormitory in 1940 when Mrs. Henry Pfeiffer of New York turned over 1,000 shares of preferred stock to Baldwin-Wallace. This gift provided the payment of the final $40,000.00 needed for the building.

Over the years, Merner-Pfeffier has housed some 100 students each year serving sometimes as a men’s dorm and other times as a home for co-eds. However, the 1974-75 school year will find M-P doing duty as a classroom building for the Conservatory. The dorm will be redesigned to have practice rooms and office space. An enclosed bridge will connect M-P to Kulas Hall. The change in duty will come as a blessing for the overcrowded conservatory.

Citation: Maria J. Hoffmann, ed., Grindstone (Berea, OH: Baldwin-Wallace College, 1978), p. 7.

Facing Kohler Hall is Merner-Pfeiffer Hall. Originally constructed as a men's dormitory in 1940 Merner-Pfeiffer was reconverted during World War II as a women's residence. The building, which now houses the administrative office of the Conservatory of Music, was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Pfeiffer.

Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.

Merner-Pfeiffer Hall was built on Seminary Street, on the south campus, just behind Kulas Hall. The hall was dedicated in a service on May 17, 1940. Mellenbrook, Folley, and Scott were the architects, and Wilber Watson & Associates was the consulting engineer for the brick and stone building. The cost for building the hall totaled $120,000.

Taken in 1943. Looking at Merner-Pfeiffer from the northeast. Winter scene. Source:  Alumnae Marilyn Weiss as part of the V-12 oral history project.

Click on the image to enlarge.

The building was designed with a main section and a wing forming an "L" shape, with three stories and a basement. The wing includes a reception room and a suite for the house director. Its double an single rooms were designed to accommodate sixty-three freshman men. The basement housed a general dining room, a private dining room, and a game room. The increasing enrollment of the college made the building a necessity. Although the hall was intended for men, it was used to house women during World War II.

The donors for the hall were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Pfeiffer, of New York City. Mr. Pfeiffer, who gave $120,000, was a philanthropist who gave much money to aid many Methodist colleges. He was president of William R. Warner pharmaceutical company, director of Richard Hudnut cosmetic firm, and director of many other corporations. He was active in the manufacture of chemicals and drugs, with factories throughout America and fifteen foreign countries. Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer had also given money to support the Methodist Colleges for Negroes, with annual donations of $50,000. Henry Pfeiffer died two days after the announcement of the gift to Baldwin-Wallace. Mrs. Pfeiffer was present at the dedication of Merner-Pfeiffer Hall. Mrs. Pfeiffer's maiden name was Merner, resulting in that part of the name.

In 1976, the hall was transformed into an annex to the Kulas Musical Arts Building. It was dedicated F1iday, November 19, 197 6 as the Conservatory Annex. In 1972, the conservatory's 75th year, $480,000 was raised to renovate Merner-Pfeiffer Hall. $150,000 was received from the Kulas Foundation. It now houses the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, the Bach Library, a manuscript, music library, a lounge, music studios, practice rooms, listening laboratories, and offices. In 1980, the second floor of Merner-Pfeiffer was refurbished to house the Musical Therapy Department.