Bicentennial Walking Tour

4. Buttrick Hall

In 1812, construction began on a dining facility known as the Hall of Commons. The building was the first on the Hill to be made of stone, a sandy gray dolostone that turns to an orange-red hue as it weathers. The chance selection of the rock facing of the Hall of Commons set the style for most of the subsequent College buildings constructed throughout the next century-and-a-half. In 1820, the building ceased its role as a dining hall and, in 1834, became home to Horatio Gates Buttrick, superintendent of buildings, for whom it was later named. In 1845, the building became birthplace of future statesman Elihu Root, the son of Mr. Buttrick's daughter and her husband Oren Root, a Hamilton College mathematics professor. In the late 19th century, it housed a mineral collection and classrooms. In 1925, the building was turned over to the administration, the first time that the College's president and other officers had formal space from which to conduct their business on campus.

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