Digital Archive: Montreat Buildings

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Alba Hotel ruins

The Alba Hotel burned during the Christmas holidays in 1945. It was a rambling white wood structure built in 1907 and served summer guests fro forty years and, after heat was installed, was used by Montreat Normal School and Montreat College as a dormitory. The H-shaped hotel faced the Lake with two stories on the upper side and three on the lower.

Anderson Auditorium in Montreat, NC

Anderson Auditorium burned April 1, 1940 and was rebuilt in 1940-41 in time for the 1941 Presbyterian Church conference season. Montreat College uses the auditorium for Commencement and Opening Convocation. The Mountain Retreat Association uses this building for church conference throughout the year.

Assembly Inn, overlooking Lake Susan

This photo shows a view from the patio of Assembly Inn overlooking Lake Susan and Moore Center in Montreat, NC. Assembly Inn houses church conference speakers and conferees for the Mountain Retreat Association. Montreat is the conference center for the Presbyterian Curch, U.S.A.

Assembly Inn in Montreat, NC

Assembly Inn in Montreat, NC is the conference hotel for the Mountain Retreat Association. The Inn houses church conference speakers and conferees and features a spacious lobby, dining room, conference rooms, and convocation hall. Montreat is the conference center for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.

Assembly Inn

Assembly Inn was completed in 1928 and housed church conference speakers, leaders, and conferees. German and Japanese internees were housed here for six months during World War II. Most of the college and high school faculty lived on the second floor of the Inn and some of the students lived on the third floor in the early 1950’s. Today the Inn serves as the conference hotel for the Mountain Retreat Association and includes a spacious lobby, dining room, conference rooms, and convocation hall.

Assembly Inn, from the far side of Lake Susan

Assembly Inn was completed in 1928 and housed church conference speakers and conferees. German and Japanese internees were housed here for six months during World War II. Today Assembly Inn is the conference hotel for the Mountain Retreat Association and features a spacious lobby, dining room, conference rooms, and convocation hall. This photo shows a view of Assembly Inn from Lake Susan.

Assembly Inn and Lake Susan

Assembly Inn was completed in 1928 and housed church conference speakers, leaders, and conferees. The building featured a large lobby with mica studded stone walls, pillars, and fireplace. German and Japanese internees were housed here for six months during World War II. Most of the Montreat College and high school faculty lived on the second floor of the Inn and some of the students on the third floor in the early 1950’s. Today Assembly Inn is an attractive conference hotel that includes a spacious lobby, dining room, conference rooms, and convocation hall.

Assembly Inn in Montreat, NC

Assembly Inn, completed in 1928, serves as the conference hotel in Montreat, NC. When first constructed, the building included no wood except for the doors and, it featured a large lobby with mica studded stone walls, pillars, and fireplace. Assembly Inn housed conference speakers and leaders, VIPs and conferees. German and Japanese internees were housed here for six months in 1943 during World War II. Most of the college and high school faculty and some of the students lived in the Inn during the early 1950’s.

Belk Campus Center

The W.H. Belk Student Center was completed in 1985 and dedicated on October 24, 1985. The building was named for William Henry Belk, one of the founders of the Belk Department Store chain and a chief benefactor of Montreat in its early development. This building includes classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, campus bookstore, student lounge, and theatre for Montreat College. This photo is an artist’s rendering of the building.

Bell Tower

Bell Tower on the Montreat College campus. The Bell Tower was erected as a memorial gift to Montreat College by the 1940 college senior class. It was designed by Dr. Robert C. Anderson and constructed near Gaither Hall by Mr. Herman Holdway.

Bell Tower on Montreat College campus

The Bell Tower was a memorial gift to Montreat College by the 1940 college senior class. It was designed by Dr. Robert C. Anderson and constructed near Gaither Hall by Mr. Herman Holdway. The bell came from an old wooden tower located on a farm belonging to Mrs. Sadie Anderson’s father.

Chapel of the Prodigal

The Chapel of the Prodigal, designed by architect Richard A. Henley of Charlotte, McCulloch England Associates Architects, is a 220-seat sanctuary completed in the fall of 1998 and dedicated October 23, 1998. The Chapel’s artistic treasure is a fresco on the “Return of the Prodigal Son” by artist Ben Long. The fresco is painted on plaster and is sixteen feet wide by seventeen feet high and portrays the entire parable story. A Prayer Room is located on the Chapel’s balcony. The McGowan Center for Christian Studies, named in honor of Dr. Matthew McGowan, former Chairman of the Montreat College Board of Trustees and former pastor of Central Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, TN, is housed below the sanctuary level and includes a classroom, conference room, and offices for the Bible and Religion faculty of Montreat College.

College Hall

College Hall was built in 1942 and served as a women’s dormitory. It had 53 rooms, a laundry, and a large lobby with a beautiful fireplace. The dormitory was renamed McGregor Hall in honor of the college’s second president, Dr. J. Rupert McGregor.

College Hall, now McGregor Hall

College Hall was built in 1942 and served as a women’s dormitory. It had 53 rooms, a laundry, lobby and beautiful stone fireplace. This photo shows the building before the fire in 1953.The building was rebuilt and renamed McGregor Hall in honor of the college’s second president, Dr. J. Rupert McGregor.

Crosby Adams Fine Arts Building and Music Studios

The Crosby Adams Fine Arts Building was named for Mr. and Mrs. Crosby Adams,renowned musicians who directed the music program at Montreat College from 1916 to 1934. Construction of a new music building was planned but never finalized. This building was dedicated in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Adams in 1948 and housed the music program temporarily. The building no longer exists but the Crosby Adams Music collection is now housed in the L. Nelson Bell Library archives at Montreat College.

Davis Hall

Davis Hall was constructed in 1964 as a men’s residence hall accommodating 102 students. It was named in 1972 for Dr. C. Grier Davis, president of Montreat-Anderson College from 1959 to 1972.

Construction of Davis Hall

Construction of Davis Hall on the Montreat-Anderson College campus in 1964. This building serves as a men’s residence hall for 102 students. It is named for Dr. C. Grier Davis, president of Montreat-Anderson College from 1959 to 1972.

Fellowship Hall

The World Fellowship Building was erected in 1937 from funds provided by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Presbyterian Church. The college used this facility in the winter as a dormitory. In 1978, Fellowship Hall was renamed Groseclose Hall and converted from a faculty office facility into a women’s residence hall. The building was named for Mr. Jesse S. Groseclose. The building is now Winsborough Hall.

Gaither Chapel

Gaither Chapel is located in Gaither Hall which was built in 1935. The chestnut timbers and stone used for construction came mostly from the grounds of Montreat. The chapel seats 600 and is used by the college for chapel and convocation. Church services and weddings also take place here. This photo is from a postcard made ca. 1930’s or 1940’s. In October 2015 the chapel was renamed Graham Chapel.

Gaither Chapel interior

Interior of Gaither Chapel (renamed Graham Chapel in 2015). Gaither Chapel is in Gaither Hall which was built in 1935. The chestnut timbers and stone used for construction came mostly from the grounds of Montreat, NC. Montreat College uses the chapel for Chapel and Convocation programs and special events.

Gaither Hall on Montreat College campus

Gaither Hall was built in 1935 as a memorial to Mrs. Sadie Anderson’s parents, Thomas Hall Gaither and Bettie Kelly Gaither. The building was designed to be used as an administration building for the college and for classrooms and other purposes by the Presbyterian church conferences in the summer. The chestnut timbers and stone used for construction came mostly from the grounds of Montreat. Today Gaither Hall houses the Montreat College president’s office, administrative offices and classrooms, and Graham Chapel (formerly Gaither Chapel and renamed Graham Chapel in Oct. 2015).

People walking out of Gaither Hall

Front entrance to Gaither Hall which was built in 1935 as a memorial to Thomas Hall Gaither and Bettie Kelly Gaither, parents of Mrs. Sadie Gaither who funded the project. Gaither Hall houses administrative offices and classrooms for Montreat College. Graham Chapel (formerly Gaither Chapel) is housed in Gaither Hall. Chestnut timbers and local stone were used for construction.

Gaither Hall

Gaither Hall was built in 1935 as a memorial to Thomas Hall Gaither and Bettie Kelly Gaither, parents of Mrs. Sadie Anderson who funded the project. The building features chestnut timbers and local stone and houses administrative offices and classrooms for Montreat College. Graham Chapel is located in this building.

Howerton Hall

Howerton Hall was constructed in 1946-1949 and in 1950 was named for Dr. James R. Howerton, former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC and one of the founding contributors to Montreat as a conference center. This building was constructed to replace the Alba Hotel which burned in 1945. Today it is a men’s residence hall and campus dining hall.

Portico of Howerton Hall

Howerton Hall was constructed in 1946- 1949 and in 1950 was named Howerton Hall in honor of Dr. James R. Howerton, former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC and one of the founding contributors to Montreat as a conference center. The building was constructed to replace Alba Hotel which burned in 1945. Today it is a men’s residence hall and college dining hall.

Howerton Hall on a stormy day

Howerton Hall was constructed in 1946-1949 to replace Alba Hotel which burned in 1945. The building was renamed Howerton Hall in 1950 in honor of Dr. James R. Howerton, former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC and one of the founding contributors to Montreat, NC as a conference center. The building was renovated in 1979 and 2015 and today it is a men’s residence hall and campus dining hall.

Lake Susan

A view from Lake Susan of Howerton Hall and Fellowship Hall in Montreat, NC.

Lake Susan and Assembly Inn

Lake Susan was formed in 1924 when Mr. Allen Graham of Greenville, SC and Mrs. C.E. Graham, his mother, gave funds to build a concrete dam and bridge in place of the old wooden dam. Mrs. Graham’s name was Susan, her mother’s name was Susan, and her granddaughter was named Susan, and at the request of Mrs. Graham the lake thus formed was named after them all. This photo shows the water slide and boating with a view of Assembly Inn in the background.

Lake Susan in Montreat, NC

A view across Lake Susan in Montreat, NC. The Left Bank building and McAlister Gymnasium can be seen across the lake.

Porch of L. Nelson Bell Library

The L. Nelson Bell Library was dedicated on July 30, 1972 in honor of Dr. L. Nelson Bell who served as a missionary in China, a surgeon, author, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S. The 22,000 square foot building was designed by architects, Anthony Lord, Walter Boggs, and Clinton Minnich of Six Associates of Asheville, NC. The Montreat-Anderson College Library was located previously in Gaither Hall. Today the building serves as the library for Montreat College and includes the Edith Gilchrist Hamilton Gallery, the writing center, and the health and wellness center. The library was constructed on the site of the summer home of Mr. and Mes. William Henry Belk. Virginia Buchanan, Librarian of the college from 1951 to 1972, was chairman of the committee to plan the construction of the building.

Picnic tables in front of L. Nelson Bell Library

The L. Nelson Bell Library was dedicated on July 30, 1972 in honor of Dr. L. Nelson Bell, who served as a missionary in China, and as a surgeon, author, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S. The 22,000 square foot building was designed by architects Anthony Lord, Walter Boggs, and Clinton Minnich of Six Associates of Asheville, NC. Today the library building includes the Virginia Buchanan Archives, Edith Gilchrist Hamilton Gallery, the writing center and health and wellness center for Montreat College.

Interior staircase of L. Nelson Bell Library

The L. Nelson Bell Library at Montreat-Anderson College was built in 1972. This photograph shows the interior of the 22,000 square foot building. The library included an audiovisual department, study rooms, dark room, multi-purpose room and student lounge. Today the college library building includes the Virginia Buchanan Archives, Edith Gilchrist Hamilton Gallery, writing center, and health and wellness center.

Five people speaking on the porch of L. Nelson Bell Library

The L. Nelson Bell Library was dedicated on July 30, 1972 in honor of Dr. L. Nelson Bell, missionary to China, surgeon, author, and a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S. The 22,000 square foot building was designed by architects Anthony Lord, Walter Boggs, and Clinton Minnich of Six Associates of Asheville, NC. The library was constructed on the site of the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Belk of Charlotte, NC. Today the college library also houses the Edith Gilchrist Hamilton Gallery, Virginia Buchanan Archives, writing center, and health center. This photo shows Montreat-Anderson College students meeting on the porch of the library.

Dedication ceremony for the L. Nelson Bell Library

This is a photo of the Dedication of the L. Nelson Bell Library at Montreat-Anderson College on July 30, 1972. The library was named for Dr. L. Nelson Bell who served as a missionary, surgeon, author, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S. The architects for the 22,000 square foot building were Anthony Lord, Walter Boggs, and Clinton Minnich of Six Associates of Asheville, NC. Miss Virginia Buchanan was the College Librarian and worked closely with the consultants in planning the new library. Formerly the college library was housed in Gaither Hall.

McAlister Gymnasium

McAlister Hall was constructed in 1954 (later renovated) with a gift from the estate of Mrs. Amelia McAlister Upshur. The building served as a gymnasium and originally also housed the college bookstore and student lounge on the first floor, an assembly room for skating, square dancing and other activities , and a basketball court, showers and lockers on the second floor. Today McAlister houses the Montreat College gymnasium, athletic training facility, offices for coaches and Outdoor Education Department.

Students outside McAlister Gymnasium

McAlister Hall was constructed in 1954 with a gift from the estate of Mrs. Amelia McAlister Upshur. The building served as a gymnasium and originally the building also housed the college bookstore and student lounge on the first floor, an assembly room for skating, square dancing and other activities, and a basketball court, showers, and lockers on the second floor. Today McAlister houses the college gymnasium, athletic training facility, and Outdoor Education Department.

McLeod Hall

McLeod Hall served as the college infirmary for many years. It was renovated in 1976 and, in 1978 it was renamed McLeod Hall and served as a faculty office building. The building was named for college benefactor, Miss Mary Stewart McLeod. It was built in 1942 as a 12-room infirmary with funds donated by Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Anderson.

Montreat College Library

Interior of Montreat College Library, Gaither Hall. The Cora A. Stone Library was placed in Gaither Hall after that building was constructed in 1935 and formed the nucleus of the college library. The library remained in Gaither until the early 1970’s when the new library was built. This room is now Gaither Fellowship Hall. The L. Nelson Bell Library would be built in 1972.

Montreat Gate

Stone entrance gate to Montreat, NC. This gate was built in 1922 and replaced the original wood gate which was built in 1909. A gate fee was collected from all who entered Montreat during church conference season to help pay the cost of facilities and services. The Montreat Board of Directors discontinued the gate fee in 1969.

Montreat Hotel

Built in 1899 by Montreat benefactor and leading financial founder John S. Huyler, the Montreat Hotel served between 1916 and 1922 as the only Montreat Normal School facility, with classes conducted on the first floor and dormitory rooms located on the upper floors. The hotel continued to serve as a dormitory until it burned on January 21, 1924. Most of the contents were destroyed. The school moved into Sylvan Heights and two Montreat Camp buildings that were equipped with heating facilities. The fire occurred on a Friday night and, the following Monday morning the school opened as usual without the loss of a day. The hotel was located where Assembly Inn now stands. In the fall of 1924 work began on removing the rubbish to prepare for a new hotel which afterwards was called Assembly Inn.

Montreat-Anderson College Library

The Montreat-Anderson College Library was located in Gaither Hall until the present library was built in 1972. This photograph shows the interior of the library when it was located in Gaither Hall. Today Gaither Fellowship Hall is located in this space.

Montreat-Anderson Hall

Montreat-Anderson Hall was built in 1968 as the main women’s residence hall at Montreat-Anderson College. The five-story building was later renamed Anderson Hall and was renovated in 2014. The dormitory provides housing for 144 women.

Exterior of Morgan Science Building

Morgan Science Building was built in 1969 with funds from the Board of Higher Education of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. and from the Morgan Foundation. It houses the Natural Sciences Department of Montreat College and provides space and laboratories for mathematics and science classes.

Classroom inside Morgan Science Building

Science laboratory and classroom in Morgan Science Building at Montreat College. Built in 1969, Morgan Science Building houses the Natural Sciences Department and provides space for laboratories and math and science classes.

Interior of Morgan Science Building

Morgan Science Building was built in 1969 with funds from the Board of Higher Education of the Presbyterian Church U.S. and from the Morgan Foundation. It houses the Natural Sciences Department of Montreat College and includes laboratories, classrooms for science and math, and faculty offices. This photo shows a science laboratory and classroom.

Prayer Porch

A small frame structure known as the Prayer Room was constructed in June 1926 with funds given by Miss Eliza Murphy of Wilmington, NC and several of her friends. The current Prayer Porch, pictured here, was erected in 1985 and was dedicated on July 25, 1986 in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Moody who were instrumental in preserving the site. In 1970 Mrs. Ted Lewis Moody wrote the book, The Sacred Spot, to lead the drive to refurbish the Prayer Porch which is located adjacent to the Belk Campus Center at Montreat College.

Prayer Porch

A small frame structure known as the Prayer Room was constructed in June 1926 with funds given by Miss Eliza Murphy of Wilmington, NC and several of her friends. The current Prayer Porch, pictured here, was erected in 1985 adjacent to the Belk Campus Center and was dedicated on July 25, 1986 in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Moody who were instrumental in preserving the site. In 1970 Mrs. Ted Lewis Moody wrote the book, The Sacred Spot, to lead the drive to refurbish the Prayer Porch.

Entrance to student area of W.H. Belk Campus Center

The W.H. Belk Campus Center was completed in 1985 and dedicated on October 24, 1985. The building was named for William Henry Belk, one of the founders of the Belk Department Store chain and a chief benefactor of Montreat in its early development. The building includes classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, campus bookstore, student lounge, and a theatre for Montreat College.

Sidewalk leading up to W.H. Belk Campus Center

The W. H. Belk Campus Center was completed in 1985 and dedicated on October 24, 1985. The building was named for William Henry Belk, one of the founders of the Belk Department Store chain and a chief benefactor of Montreat in its early development. The building includes classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, campus bookstore, student lounge, and theatre for Montreat College.

Stairs leading into W.H. Belk Campus Center

The W.H. Belk Campus Center was completed in 1985 and dedicated on October 24, 1985. The building was named for William Henry Belk, one of the founders of the Belk Department Store chain and a chief benefactor of Montreat in its early development. The building includes classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, campus bookstore, student lounge, and a theatre for Montreat College.