This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Drexel Hall

One of the events listed on the SJC homecoming schedule was an open house at Drexel Hall. Drexel Hall served as a dormitory for many years, finally being closed around 1980. Alumni who had lived there enjoy coming back and seeing their old residence, and I went thinking it might be an opportunity to get a few pictures for this blog.
The building is now being used by Rensselaer's Adult Education, which helps people who dropped out of high school get their GEDs. Louis Ames is the person in charge of the program, and she was there answering questions and showing people what they were doing in the new building.

A certificate on the wall noted that the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Below is the hallway that runs north-south at the front of the building. To the right, where you can see the computer monitor through the little window, is the office. People could sign a guest register there, and my name was almost the only one that did not have a graduation year after the name. Almost everyone who came either had lived in the dorm or had connections to someone who did.
The rooms look totally modern. There is little if anything to tell you that you are in a building that is well over a century old.
The sign below would not make much sense in the classrooms of SJC, but seems appropriate in this room.Along the south side of the building is this computer classroom.
The courtyard looks nice but seems little used--see the weed growing on the left of the picture.At the back of the building was a storage room. Foam insulation had been sprayed on the outside wall, but the interior walls were untouched and still had the peeling paint that they had had before the building had been renovated. I thought it was rather nice to end my tour seeing a bit of the old, unrestored building. (I do not know why they had so many old computer monitors and did not ask.)
As I was leaving, a group of people were on the stairs leading to the second floor. Mrs Ames said that they could not go up there because the door was locked. However, she was wrong--the door was not locked. And at this point my visit to Drexel Hall got a lot more interesting. When I get a bit more time, I will tell you what happened next.


Sheila said...

Oh the suspense!

I have been wanting to view the inside of the school for some time. I didn't realize there was an open house last weekend, or I would have gone. Thanks for the pictures,'s next best to being there.

reMark said...

I too am interested in your upper room adventure! Please do share!