Cutler Hall (Colorado Springs)
William McAllister circa 1898-1900. His land donation made the hall possible
Cutler Hall in 1882
Cutler Hall in 1902
Cutler Hall as it looks today
Cutler Hall Drill Academy standing in front of Cutler Hall in 1892
Backstory and Context
Major Henry McAllister donated land to the growing city for the construction of a building. Peabody and Sterns, an architectural organization in Boston, was hired to design the building. The High Victorian Gothic building was built between 1877 and 1880 and between 1881 and 1882 wings were added to the building. It look several years to complete the building, due to lack of funding. William Jackson Palmer, realizing the importance of the college to the new city, provided the funding necessary to complete construction of the building. It was the first college building, and was first called "the College" and included all the necessary rooms for the college: classrooms, library, combination auditorium and chapel, and a chemistry lab. The college also taught students for the affiliated Cutler Academy, a preparatory school.
The school taught metallurgy and chemistry courses, such as assaying and blowpipe analysis, which attracted prospectors and miners to the school, such as Winfield Scott Stratton. It taught physics and other sciences, and was involved in early study of x-ray photography. Artus Van Briggle studied local clays and pottery, later founding the Van Briggle Pottery company.
The building was named "Palmer Hall" in 1889 in honor of William Jackson Palmer's dedication to the college. Palmer funded the construction of a science building. The new building was named Palmer Hall, and the original college building was named Cutler Hall for philanthropist Henry Cutler who was a contributor to the college. Cutler Academy classes were held until 1914.
The bell on top of the building was used to call students to classes, and students rang the bell after athletic victories. The bell was rung vigorously at the end of World War II by Marine students. It fell and was irreparably damaged. The Navy loaned a bell to the school from the World War II carrier, the U.S.S. Geneva.
The hall was renovated in 1937 for college administrative offices, and geology classes were still conducted in the building. In 1966 college administrative offices moved to Armstrong Hall, and the Education Department moved its offices to Cutler Hall. The building was remodeled in 1972 and alumni affairs, public information, yearbook and college publication offices moved into the hall. College relations and development offices moved into the all in the 1980s.
Colorado Historical Fund grants provided funds in the 1990s for restoration of the exterior and windows. The hall now has the financial aid and admissions offices.
Phillipps, David (April 22, 2007). "Building Blocks - Institute of Architects names 20 greatest structures in region". The Gazette (accessed via HighBeam Research). Colorado Springs, CO.