Giddings Hall Historical Marker

Giddings Hall HM

Written by: Joey Schulte ('14)

The proposal for the principle college building of Georgetown College came from the Kentucky Baptist Education Society on January 24, 1840. The building, then called Recitation Hall, was completed in 1841. It is a four-level rectangular, temple-style Greek revival building supported by six brick columns. Much effort was put into the architecture and design because Georgetown College was the first Baptist school west of the Allegheny Mountains and the founders were determined to achieve excellence in the field of education to compete with established schools on the east coast. Tradition states that Jonathan E. Farnam, professor of Mathematics, drew the plans for the building while an African-American mason laid the foundation and a local brick mason A.L. White built the walls. A document from the College Archives explains that students labored side by side with members of the faculty to complete the structure, and that the bricks for the building were made from clay that was taken from the site on which Asher Science Center now stands.
      Currently named Giddings Hall, the building was renovated in 1974 and 1975 and now houses several major offices including that of the College President. Giddings was the first, central, and most important building in the school for many years and to this day it is arguably one of the most imposing buildings on campus. This building and its sibling, Pawling Hall, were depicted by J.E. Farnam's wife, talented miniaturist Esteria Butler Farnam (1814-1891), whose oil painting of the College from the mid-1840s is on view in the Ensor LRC.