Albion Interactive History / Robinson Hall

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Albion College

Robinson Hall, 1907

    Rebuilt 1923

    Renovated 1997

Block +
US Census Block # 34-118

Builder +
Perry T. Sharp (1873-1951), builder
Leon Claucherty, contractor

The college announced through the catalog of 1905-1906 intention to rebuild the first college structure, the Central building and to add to it a three-story, 45 by 60 foot addition. This was in 1906. The renovation would so completely refurbish the structure that it would be regarded as a new building, the college expected. The new addition would contain biology laboratories, biology lecture room, work rooms, and store rooms. It would be named Robinson Hall in honor of George O. Robinson, LL. D., of Detroit, “who contributed the funds for the improvement of the building,” the catalog states. A statement in the succeeding was printed in 1907. The entire interior of the old Central Building was rebuilt and the addition attached to the east side of it. It is not known what the renovation and addition cost the institution.

Robinson Hall was extensively damaged by fire. this was on December 16, 1922. The catalog of 1922-1923 stated “within the old walls a modern interior will be constructed providing an adequate home for the Biological Department and its laboratories.

In 1938 administrative offices in Robinson Hall were shifted to the Gassette building. This provided additional classroom space in Robinson Hall. Gildart, 215


Renovated Robinson Hall before the disastrous fire of 1923.

Source: Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960, A History. Chicago: Donnelley Lakeside Press, 1961.

From the Albion College Archives

Robinson Hall

Images of Robinson over time…

ca. 1932

ca.1910, signed D.M. Bennett



Gift of Albion Public Library

Housing many of our classrooms and faculty offices, this building replaced the Central Building, which was gutted by fire in December of 1923. The Biology Department was the worst hit. Quick action by students managed to save Dr. Chickering’s prized microscope, but his collection of original slides documenting nine years of work were lost. All of the books in the library of natural science and Dr. Chickering’s personal collection, as well as over 2500 instructional slides valued at $12,000 were destroyed. The English Department faculty lost personal notes of many years, photographs, and furniture. (Fennimore, pp.468-70) It has also been noted that many of the College’s historical records from 1835-1922 may have been lost in this fire.

Robinson Hall, n.d.From the Albion College Archives Photograph Collection

Robinson Hall was erected around the skeleton of the Central Building and completed in 1924.

The Atrium of the new building is a particularly stunning place, filled at every floor with small lounge areas for students and faculty. One of the favorite features of the building for students and visitors are the gargoyles over the doorways inside each restroom. Each one is different, and students often name them for professors.

Robinson Hall, like all of our buildings, is fully wired for computers, and contains many electronic teaching aids, though many of the classrooms in Robinson Hall are very small. Albion’s student/faculty ratio is 13:1, and average class size is less than 20.

All photographs are from the Albion College Archives Photograph Files, unless otherwise noted.


Networked Resources

Source: Albion College Archives, 2003 [Downloaded July 3, 2003]

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