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Crouse College, Syracuse University


Crouse College, Syracuse University

Crouse College, Syracuse University
Crouse College, Syracuse University is located in New York
Crouse College, Syracuse University
Location Syracuse, New York
Built 1881
Architect Archimedes Russell
Architectural style Romanesque revivalRichardsonian Romanesque
& Other.
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP July 30, 1974

Crouse College, also known as Crouse Memorial College and historically as John Crouse Memorial College for Women, is a building on the Syracuse University campus. It was funded by John R. Crouse, an "enormously wealthy Syracuse banker".[2] The architect, Archimedes Russell, was charged with coming up with a spectacular building, and used the Romanesque revivalRichardsonian Romanesque style.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[2]


  • History 1
    • Construction 1.1
    • Sculpture and stained glass 1.2
    • Setnor Auditorium 1.3
    • Bell tower 1.4
    • Recent usage 1.5
  • Gallery 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Crouse College was home to the first College of Fine Arts in the United States[3] and now is known for both its College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Rose, Jules R., and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music.[3]


The first cornerstone for the new college was laid in June 1888, and the building was completed in September 1889.[3] The building cost almost half a million dollars and was a gift from local merchant and banker, John Crouse, and his son, D. Edgar Crouse. The elder Crouse was a trustee of the university and built the college as a memorial to his wife.[3] The architect, Archimedes Russell, exceeded the original budget.

The building was intended for use as a women's college and was originally named the John Crouse Memorial College for Women;[3] however, John Crouse died during its construction and his son opened the institution for use by both men and women.[3]

At the time of construction, it was the third building on campus and the highest structure in the city. It was built in the Romanesqueue Revival style "with High Victorian Gothic qualities."[3]

The structure is supported by a "stout" granite foundation and the exterior is covered with Longmeadow brownstone. Architectural details include high roofs, gables, dormer windows and rounded arches. The interior is "distinctively" Romanesque and carved hardwood woodwork designs, representative of the period, are displayed throughout.[3]

Sculpture and stained glass

Winged Victory, a sculpture that was modeled after the original, which was discovered in the Mediterranean Sea and since moved to the Louvre, is located at the bottom of the main staircase. The building also contains stained glass "associated with religious subject matter and spiritual renewal." The stained glass was designed by Richard Wolff, a former faculty member, and students from the college’s School of Art and Design and was installed in 1970.[3]

Setnor Auditorium

An auditorium seating about 700 people was included, although intended at first as a chapel.[3] There is a pipe organ in the auditorium which is one of America's most important historic instruments. It represents a style of American organ building that flourished in the mid-20th century and is closely associated with builder Walter Holtkamp. It is widely considered to be his magnum opus.[3]

Bell tower

The bell tower of the building housed the first "tower chimes" installed in Syracuse, which is still in use today.[3]

Recent usage

Today, Crouse College houses Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts. Chiefly, its classrooms and auditorium are at the service of the Setnor School of Music.


See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b Brooks, Cornelia E. (March 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Crouse College / John Crouse Memorial College for Women". Retrieved 2008-01-09.  and Accompanying 3 photos, exterior and interior, from 1973
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "History of Crouse College". Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011. 

External links

  • Crouse Memorial College, at Syracuse Then and Now
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NY-6195, "John R. Crouse College, Syracuse University, Syracuse, Onondaga County, NY", 1 photo, 1 photo caption page
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