Architects: Louis Warren Ross
Design and construction
Knowlton Hall is an approximately 35,000 square foot residential building on the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts, one of ten structures comprising the Northeast Residential Area. The L-shaped building is 4-stories with a basement level accessible to grade at the rear (east) elevation. The south wing is 8 bays wide by 3 bays deep with a gable roof. The north wing is 8 wings wide by 3 bays deep and also has a gable roof that forms a hip at the building’s northwest corner. The main building entrance occurs at the 3 central bays of the north wing’s west elevation. These bays project from the façade and are distinguished by a cross gable. This elevation also includes a 2-story wing with flat roof that serves as an accessible terrace. The terrace is bounded by a wrought-iron railing.
The common-bond brick pattern is used throughout all elevations. A molded-brick water table defines the basement level and a brick beltcourse occurs at the second floor level. All windows are wood, as well as the cornice defining the roofline and the gable peaks. The façade includes a window pattern of primarily double-hung sash. The exposed basement through third floor levels of the building have 8/12 double-hung sash. The fourth floor has 8/8 sash. At the attic level, the gable ends are framed as pediments and contain circular radial pane windows with decorative brickwork. Copper downspouts with collector heads are still in place.
The main building entrance features a granite staircase to access the raised first floor level. The doors are framed by a rusticated wood doorcase with pediment. The double wood doors have divided lights and a fixed transom. Above the pediment, the second floor bay has a wood-paneled window case. The secondary entrance at this elevation occurs at grade at an interfloor stair landing. It features a wood-paneled doorcase and is vertically reinforced at the upper bays with a large arched window and smaller fixed divided light beneath.
Naming of the building
Named in honor of Helen Knowlton (1879-1941), Professor of Home Economics 1924-1941 and first Head of The Homestead 1928.
- From the Massachusetts Historical Commission, UMass Amherst Building Survey reports (2009).
- For additional information, consult the University Archives (RG 36/101).