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Storer College
Entry 3 of 9

Anthony Hall began as a dwelling constructed in 1847 to house officers from the U.S. armory at Harpers Ferry. After the Civil War the armory building was granted to Storer College. Between 1881 and 1955 Anthony Hall was the main building for Storer College, being damaged by multiple fires during that time. When the National Park Service acquired the building in the 1960s they renamed it Wirth Hall and it is now part of the Mather Training Center. 


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The original section of Anthony Hall was a house constructed in 1847 as housing for officers overseeing operations at the United States armory. The Civil War damaged the armory building, but it was granted to Storer College along with other armory buildings in 1867 and architect Peter Lauritzen used the building as the base for his design. The 1847 house was used as the south wing of Anthony Hall during the 1881-1882 construction. Most of the funds for constructing Anthony Hall came from donations from the Free Will Baptist’s Women’s Missionary Society who ran a fundraising campaign through the Northeast and Midwest. Lewis William Anthony, a deacon in the church and a trustee of Storer College, donated $5000 and the building was named in his honor. The original design had four rooms on each floor of the two wings, largely classrooms, with a dining hall, music room, offices on the first floor of the central section. The second floor of the center section was an auditorium space used as the campus chapel. The two wings were segregated by gender with female students in the north wing and male students in the south wing.

On October 16, 1927 a fire began at the back of the chapel and quickly destroyed most of Anthony Hall. The structural damage alone was estimated at $50,000-$60,000 but the insurance settlement was only $15,000. Storer College had to initiate a new fundraising campaign and reorganize the campus, moving the library and science laboratories into other buildings. Anthony Hall was rebuilt in 1928-29 to the same basic design but with changes to the roof structure and a smaller, glass-enclosed cupola instead of the original open-air cupola. Two more fires, on November 2, 1939 and again in 1943 damaged sections of the building. This damage presented challenges to Storer College as they struggled with enrollment and finances.

Anthony Memorial Hall, like the other Storer College buildings, was acquired in 1962 by the National Park Service. The building was rehabilitated the following year and renamed Wirth Hall after Conrad L. Wirth, the Director of the National Park Service who was crucial in establishing the NPS training center at Harpers Ferry. The Stephen T. Mather Training Center opened in 1964 as a training facility for NPS employees as part of the Mission 66 program to improve the national parks. 

Description from the 1980 National Register of Historic Places Nomination for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park:

“Armory Dwelling No. 25, first Armory Superintendent’s quarters and later Anthony Hall of Storer College, is on the western crest of Camp Hill south of Fillmore Street. The original building was designed by Maj. John Symington and erected in 1847-48 at a cost of more than $21,700. It was a large two-story brick house over an elevated basement with a two-story wing on the north joined to the main block by a passageway. The roofs were hipped and covered with slate. Four chimneys on the main block and one on the wing served ten fireplaces with marble mantles. In 1851 a brick storehouse about 16’ by 20’ was erected north of the house. Trees were planted on the grounds, the roads around were graveled, and a garden with walks and interior fences were developed. West of the house in 1859 were a brick stable and four acres of pasture enclosed with an eight-foot-high paling fence. Until 1861 the house was occupied by the superintendents of the Armory. In 1864 it was headquarters for Brig. Gen. Max Weber, then commanding the Harpers Ferry defenses. By July 1865 many of the mantles and much woodwork had been removed and the building, then used as Union officers’ quarters, was in bad condition. After the war the building was transferred to Storer College, which occupied it until 1955. In 1881 the college demolished the north wing and incorporated the main house as the south wing of the extant Anthony Hall (Park Bldg. No. 59), which contains a large pedimented central section and a north wind balancing the south. The building was badly damaged by fire and repaired in 1927-28. In 1963 the National Park Service made extensive interior alterations and built new porticos on the east elevations on the wings and a flagstone terrace on the east side of the central section. In the late 1960s an underground bomb shelter was added north of the north wing and connected to it. Now known as Conrad L. Wirth Hall, the building contains classrooms and offices of the Service’s Mather Training Center.”

Description from the 2000 National Register of Historic Places Registration for Storer College:

“Anthony Memorial Hall is situated at the center of the main campus on a high point, facing east onto a wide grassy lawn. The National Park Service currently uses the building as an educational facility. Designed in the Greek Revival style, the two-story brick building rests on a stone foundation. The center section is 2½ stories with a pedimented gable, projecting in the front and rear. This portion of the building has 5 bays with a central entrance; a full stone terrace with white iron railing is situated along the front. The three-part entrance includes 3 light and panel sidelights, a 16 light transom, and decorative trim around the door with pilasters and bull’s eye corner blocks. The 9 over 9 sash windows have stone lintels on the first story and are capped with sunburst windows and brick arches on the second story. The façade is embellished with four brick pilasters, two on the corners and two on either side of the central bay, which rise tow stories to a brick frieze with brick dentils below the pedimented gable. Within the gable pediment is a four-light circular window. The pediment is articulated with a brick corbeled frieze and brick dentils. Centered on the asphalt-shingled roof is a square cupola with paired 6 over 9 sash windows on each elevation, capped with a hipped roof.

The north and south wings are identical in design. Each is two story, three bays with a central entrance identical to the three part door of the central section. Each entrance in the wings is protected by a one bay porch with a stone base, six smooth narrow columns capped with a stylized lily, and a massive entablature, the frieze decorated with triglyphs. Windows on both wings, all with louvered functional shutters, have 9 over 9 sash with stone lintels on the first story. The 6 over 9 sash windows on the second story abut the wide brick cornice band above. The cornice is decorated with brick dentils. The asphalt-shingled roofs on both wings are hipped with brick interior chimneys.

In 1927, a catastrophic fire gutted Anthony Memorial Hall, leaving only the brick walls standing. Photos from the Storer College Catalogue, dated 1905, prior to the fire, and 1947, after the fire restoration, show a pedimented entrance porch, in the Greek Revival style, on the center section’s entrance. The porches shown in the photos on the south and north wings of the building, appear to be much lighter Victorian style entrance porches with scroll cut decorative elements. In the 1905 photo the cupola was not enclosed with windows but was open with a decorative wood framework.”

"Historic American Building Survey: Addendum to Storer College, Anthony Hall (Wirth Hall)." Library of Congress. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/master/pnp/habshaer/wv/wv0300/wv0368/data/wv0368data.pdf.

"National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park." Accessed August 24, 2021. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/jefferson/66000041.pdf.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Storer College." Accessed August 24, 2021. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/jefferson/01000781.pdf.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Google Maps. Accessed August 25, 2021.

Perks, Doug. "Anthony Hall, the heart of Storer College." Spirit of Jefferson. September 9, 2020. Accessed August 27, 2021. http://www.spiritofjefferson.com/news/article_190faaa8-f2af-11ea-8049-ffc1f0aa3b25.html.

"Anthony Hall under Construction, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/024032.

"Anthony Memorial Hall, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/025504.

"Anthony Memorial Hall, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va.." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/024003.

"Anthony Memorial Hall and 50,000 Gallon Tank, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/025546.

"Buildings on the Campus of Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/025524.

"Storer College Campus, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/025257.

"Anthony Memorial Hall Storer College; Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/042549.

"Anthony Memorial Hall, Storer College; Harper's Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/042582.

"Officials Examine the Ruins of Anthony Hall after the Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022489.

"Anthony Hall after Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/022488.

"Ruins of Anthony Hall after Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022452.

"Anthony Hall after Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022453.

"Anthony Hall after Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022447.

"Chapel in Anthony Hall after the Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022448.

"Anthony Hall after Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/022456.

"Viewing the Ruins after the Fire, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." Storer College Digital Collection. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://storercollege.lib.wvu.edu/catalog/025412.

"Anthony Hall, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/022449.

"Anthony Hall, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/022466.

"Anthony Hall, Storer College, Harpers Ferry, W. Va." West Virginia History OnView. West Virginia & Regional History Center. Accessed August 27, 2021. https://wvhistoryonview.org/catalog/022468.

"PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF EAST (FRONT) AND NORTH SIDE - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--1. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hhh.wv0368/photos.172551p.

"PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF EAST (FRONT) AND SOUTH SIDE - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--2. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.172552p/.

"PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF WEST (REAR) - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--3. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.172553p/.

"DETAILED PERSPECTIVE OF EAST (FRONT) PORTAL - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--4. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.172554p/.

"Perspective view looking southeast - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--5. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579105p/.

"View of east entrance porch - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--6. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579106p/.

"Perspective view looking northeast - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--7. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579107p/.

"West elevation - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--8. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579108p/.

"Interior view of Storer College museum room on first floor, looking northeast - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--9. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579109p/.

"Interior view of meeting room on second floor, looking northwest - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A--10. Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.photos.579110p/.

"1. Site plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 1 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00001a/resource/.

"2. Mather Annex plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 2 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00002a/resource/.

"3. Basement plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 3 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00003a/resource/.

"4. First floor plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 4 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00004a/resource/.

"5. Second floor plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 5 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00005a/resource/.

"6. Attic plan - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 6 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00006a/resource/.

"7. East elevation - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 7 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00007a/resource/.

"8. North elevation - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 8 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00008a/resource/.

"9. West elevation - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 9 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00009a/resource/.

"10. South elevation - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 10 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00010a/resource/.

"11. Section A-A - Storer College, Anthony Hall, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." HABS WVA,19-HARF,32-A- (sheet 11 of 11). Library of Congress. Accessed August 25, 2021. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/wv0368.sheet.00011a/resource/.