|Photo||Name||Constructed / Dedicated||Purpose|
Sommerville was originally constructed as a women's gym in the same place that
McCabe Library now stands. It was used as a gymnasium until 1956, when it was
converted to a student union building, somewhat akin to today's Tarble Social Center.
Phoenix articles from the era suggest that the student body very nearly panicked when
the decision was made to raze the building to make room for the new library. Suggestions
for locations for an "Interim Soms" ranged from Parrish basement to the lower level
of Willets. Eventually a new student union, the Tarble Social Center, was built in the
Clement Biddle Memorial Library wing of Carnegie Library - better known to current
students as Old Tarble. Sommerville was demolished soon after May 6, 1966.
Hall Gymnasium was built as the male counterpart to the women's Sommerville Gym. It
apparently had a relatively uneventful history, except that it was once used as a dorm
for overflow housing after soldiers returned from World War II. Hall Gymnasium was
demolished in 1989 to make room for the Lang Performing Arts Center.
|Temple of the Book & Key||1906||
The Temple of the Book & Key was the home to Swarthmore's only secret society.
It was originally organized by alumni in the early 1900's who felt that Swarthmore,
like other prestigious colleges, needed its own secret society. Only seven senior
men were active members of the society at any given time; the induction of new members
took place in May of a student's junior year. Over time the secrecy of the organization
vanished, and the college community grew tired of the notion of a 'secret society'. Book
& Key remained in existence until 1957, when its members decided not to induct any new
members for that year. The temple itself was demolished in 1967.1
Articles on Book & Key can be found on Elizabeth Weber's Swarthmore history page and in the December 1999 Alumni Bulletin.
|Carnegie Library||1907||Carnegie Library was the first building constructed for the sole purpose of being a library. Until Carnegie was built, the main library had been located in Parrish. Other buildings had libraries specifically suited to the building's purpose - Science Hall, for example, contained the college's science library. The Libe, as Carnegie was commonly known, was built between the present-day locations of McCabe and Old Tarble. In fact, Old Tarble was constructed 21 years later as an additional wing to the library. Carnegie served as the college's library until 1967, when the construction of McCabe Library was completed. Sommerville Hall, which housed the student social center, was demolished to make room for McCabe, so the college decided to convert Carnegie into the new student union building - Tarble Social Center. It served in that capacity until September 16, 1983, when an arsonist set fire to the building and almost completely destroyed it. The lone wing that remains today is Old Tarble.|
|Mary Lyon Building 2||1921||
Mary Lyon 2, Miller Crist, was originally built by the Mary Lyon School as the central
administrative building. It had a library, gym, auditorium, swimming pool, and classrooms.
Though it is unknown if it was ever used for student housing after Swarthmore acquired it,
the College once set up a full-scale model of a Dana room in February, 1966, and apparently
rented it out as housing for several years. Around 1980, Swarthmore converted ML2 into a
storage facility. In February, 1982, the Board of Managers gave the administration permission
to demolish Mary Lyon Buildings 2 and 3, but before they could demolish either, ML2 was
destroyed by arsonists on March 26, 1982.
|Mary Lyon Building 3||prior to 1913||
Mary Lyon 3, Seven Gables, was another private property bought by the Mary Lyon School
when it opened. It was used by the school as a dormitory, first for students in grades
1-8, then for junior college students after the elementary portion of the school closed.
Swarthmore used the building as faculty housing until it was converted to a men's dorm in
the 1960's. It was vacated before the 1981-82 school year in favor of the new Mertz, and
then was demolished shortly after the destruction of ML 2 in 1982.
Parrish Annex was a small building that was located just behind Parrish
on the site of the present-day Kohlberg Ruins Garden. It was demolished on
September 13, 1994 so that construction could begin on Kohlberg Hall. At
the time of its destruction, Parrish Annex housed the Personnel Office and
the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
1 - Elizabeth Weber's Swarthmore History Articles