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Woodward Hall

139 Grove St


Architectural Style

English Revival


Architecture, Education

Use Type

College or University


Bridgewater Town Center, Bridgewater State University

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

Woodward Hall represents an adventurous and eclectic foray into stylistic trends of the early 20th century--incorporating elements of the Jacobethan, Arts & Crafts and Chateauesque styles. Woodward Hall's progressive architecture stands in contrast to the more conservative Neo Georgian Bridgewater Normal buildings of the mid 1920s. Possessing an H-shaped plan (230' by 59'),it is constructed of red brick with Deer Island granite underpinnings and Vermont marble trim. Its planar wall surface features paired bays along the side walls. It rises 3 1/2 stories from a basement to a distinctive chateauesque roof. Its foundation is of cement concrete which required 20 carloads of crushed stone and about 1200 yeards of sand besides the concrete. Particularly noteworthy is the main facade with Jacobethan gabled bays which flank a recessed, segmental arched entrance. Along the entrance is an English Arts and Crafts style multi-pane window which spans 2 stories. To the rear of Woodward Hall is a similarly rendered maintenance building.

Historical Significance

Initially known as New Dormitory for Women, Woodward Hall was built in 1911 and named in honor of Miss Eliza Bond Woodward in 1917. She was a graduate of Bridgewater Normal and was a member of the faculty from 1857-1887. Woodward Hall is the oldest extant dormitory on the campus. It was built to contain 85 student rooms, besides offices, reception rooms, etc. and was equipped with
all modern conveniences. Ironically Woodward Hall was built in response to anxiety over the potential fire hazards of former campus structures. Woodward Hall escaped destruction during the devestating campus fire of December 10, 1924. Woodward Hall was designed by the leading late 19th-early 20th c. Boston architectural firm of Hartwell, Richardson and Driver (H.W. Hartwell, 1833-1919, W.C. Richardson 1854-1935, and J.C. Driver). This firm's achievements include Boston's Exeter St. Theatre, Boston Normal School and Youth's Campaign Building. In addition, H.R. and D. designed Cambridge Latin School and the Town Hall at Ware, MA.

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