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Campus buildings being considered for ‘historic landmark’ status

January 31st, 2013

Buildings on John Carroll University’s campus may soon be joining the ranks of prestigious national historic landmarks across the country. The following buildings on campus are pending approval to be honored as such: the Administration Building, Rodman Hall, Bernet Hall and the Boiler House, all built in 1935, as well as Pacelli Hall, built in 1952, Dolan Hall, built in 1955, and Murphy Hall, built in 1963.

Together, the buildings will form the North Quad Historic District, spanning across 19 acres of John Carroll’s 69-acre campus. These will be the first buildings on campus to receive this distinguished recognition.

“The goal in seeking the designation is to preserve John Carroll University’s architectural heritage,” said Dora Pruce, JCU’s director of government and community relations, via email.

Junior Chelsea Neubecker, a resident of Bernet Hall, expressed her excitement at the prospect of living in a residence hall that boasts the title of historic landmark. “I think it’s really cool. It makes me feel in touch with history. I actually didn’t even know that it was in the running to be a historical landmark. It definitely makes me appreciate John Carroll more,” she said.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service determine the criteria for becoming a historic landmark. Buildings must be at least 50 years old to be considered and are also evaluated based on various elements such as architecture, materials and quality of significance in American history.

In the case of the North Quad Historic District of campus, Pruce said the area derives its historical significance primarily from its role in the development of the eastern suburban communities of Cleveland.

Junior Danielle Cappellino, who works in the alumni relations and advancement department of Rodman Hall, explained how the historic recognition will impact her view of the building. “Well, it doesn’t really change my perception of Rodman on a day-to-day basis, but back when I first toured John Carroll and we walked out of Rodman onto the quad, I could really picture myself coming here. I guess it’s almost the epicenter of campus,” she said.

Cappellino believes that it is an honor for the buildings of JCU to bear the distinction of historic landmarks. “It reflects our history here at John Carroll and our reputation,” she said.

The National Park Service will notify John Carroll if the district is listed in the National Historic Register. The University expects to find out if the buildings gain approval at some point during this Semester. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office administered a historical marker on campus once before, in 2011, to celebrate JCU’s 125th anniversary. The marker is located outside of Grasselli Library and Breen Learning Center.