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La Salle University History: Buildings

Information about the history of La Salle University and the University Archives

Buildings A-H

Benilde Hall

Former location: Between Leonard Hall and the Roland Holroyd Science Center.

History: Previously an office building for a US Army Ordnance facility near Williamsport, PA in World War II. The building was taken apart and brought to La Salle in Summer 1948.

Dedication: September 19, 1948, by Monsignor Francis J. Furey

Named for: St. Benilde, a canonized Christian Brother from France

Building Blocks

History: Built as private residence in the 1800s. This house was purchased by La Salle in the 1960s for music classes and occasional art exhibits. In December 1969, La Salle's Art Gallery opened on its second floor. The first floor became the new home of La Salle's Building Blocks in Autumn 1975.

Previous names: Fine Arts Building.

Opened: Building Blocks opened October 1973.


Christian Brothers' Residence

Construction: Began Winter 1928.

Opened: First occupied by the Brothers February 22, 1930.

Dedication: May 24, 1931 by Cardinal Dougherty.


College Hall

History: The first building on La Salle's 20th and Olney campus.  Previous home of the auditorium, La Salle's first library, the mail room, the campus store, and the School of Business.

Groundbreaking: February 11, 1928.

Opened: September 29, for La Salle College High School students. First occupied by La Salle College students in February 1930.

Dedication: May 24, 1931, by Cardinal Dougherty.


Communication Center

History: Originally built circa 1964 as the school building for  St. Basil's School.

Purchased: Purchased from the Sisters of St. Basil in 1989.

Dedication: October 8, 1994.


Connelly Library

Groundbreaking: June 9, 1986.

Opened: 1988.

Dedication: March 20, 1988 by Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua

Named for: John F. and Josephine Connelly and the Connelly Foundation, all major donors for its construction.


David Leo Lawrence Administration Center

History: Originally built as La Salle's library. Converted into La Salle's Administration Center, Summer 1989. Renamed the David Leo Lawrence Administration Center on Sept. 13, 2009.

Previous names: Renamed as David Leo Lawrence Memorial Library on May 19, 1969.

Groundbreaking: May 24, 1950.

Opened: Autumn 1952.

Dedicated: September 28, 1953.

Named for: David Leo Lawrence, Pittsburgh mayor and Pennsylvania governor, who was a major friend and benefactor of La Salle in the 1950s and 1960s.



Founder's Hall (School of Business Building)

Groundbreaking: September 2014.

Opened: January 2016

Dedicated: September 26, 2016.

Named for: The philanthropic support of donors, and La Salle's Christian Brothers.


Good Shepherd Hall (Public Safety Headquarters)

History: Originally a residence; purchased for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd as a convent. In 1969, La Salle's Urban Studies and Communication Services Center began leasing this building from Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Previous names: Edgewood House.

Purchased: July 25, 1980.


Hayman Hall

Groundbreaking: May 15, 1969.

Opened: September 8, 1971.

Original Dedication: October 24, 1971 as Olney Hall

Rededicated: March 9, 2019.

Named for: Dr. H. Blake Hayman, class of 1941, a leading obstetrician in Bucks Country and a major benefactor of La Salle in 2019.  See also, TruMark Financial Center.

Buildings I-R

Independence Blue Cross Fitness Center

History: Originally built as a gymnasium for students of St. Basil's School (next door.)

Previous names: James J. Binns Fitness Center.

Purchased: January 1989.

Opened: November 26, 1990.

Dedication: The first dedication ceremony was on Sept. 30, 1990. The second dedication ceremony was on Sept. 30, 1992. Dedication of the renovated and renamed Independence Blue Cross Fitness Center was Nov. 20, 2000.

Named for: Independence Blue Cross, which provided a grant to complete the renovations.


La Salle Apartments

History: Originally an apartment building.

Previous names: Olney Garden Apartments, La Salle Hall.

Purchased: May 1963.

Opened: 1963.


La Salle Union

Groundbreaking: October 9, 1956. The Annex was constructed 1980 - 1981.

Opened: September 1959.

Dedication: April 24, 1960. The Annex was dedicated November 8, 1981.


Leonard Hall

Former location: between Benilde Hall and McShain Hall.

History: Originally an officers' building at Camp Patrick Henry, it was donated to La Salle by the U. S. Government, disassembled, trucked to La Salle, and reassembled in early 1947. Initially housed lounge, barber shop, book store, cafeteria, and administration offices.  Later converted to classrooms and faculty offices.

Opened: 1947.

Dedicated: August 28, 1947.

Named for: Brother Gervald Leonard, FSC, who "had a great interest in extra-curricular activities during his time at La Salle."

Demolition: Summer 1977.


McCarthy Stadium

History: The first football field (minus seating) ran east-west near the edge of Wister Hall. A north-south field was constructed 1933-1936. The first La Salle College football game at McCarthy Stadium was La Salle's win over St. Mary's College on November 1, 1936.

Groundbreaking: August 24, 1936.

Opened: November 1, 1936.

Dedication: October 10, 1937, at a game against Catholic University.

Named for: John McCarthy, a local banker who supported many Philadelphia charities and causes. 


McShain Hall

History: Until Summer 2016, housed the Religion Department, Graduate Theolody and Ministry, Counseling and Health Services, the Honors Program, the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Center, and the Student Counseling Center.

Groundbreaking: March 18, 1940.

Dedication: September 23, 1940.

Named for: John McShain, a nationally known builder and a great friend of the Christian Brothers who was an early benefactor of La Salle.

Demolition: Summer 2016.


Multicultural and International Center

History: Originally built in the 1930s or 1940s. First used by La Salle as its Admissions Office, late 1960s. Career Planning and Placement Bureau, 1983-1989. Urban Studies and Community Services Center moved in in 1989.


Peale House (Alumni House at Peale)

History: Converted to the Office of the President in late 1985 or early 1986. For earlier history, see Connelly Library's Special Collections.  The building was rededicated as the Alumni House at Peale on April 21, 2018

Purchased: April 1984.

Named for: Charles Willson Peale. For more about the Peale family, see Connelly Library's Special Collections.


Roland Holroyd Science Center

Groundbreaking: February 1, 1959. Groundbreaking for total renovation was March 20, 2008. 

Opened: April 24, 1960.

Dedication: October 20, 1960. Named "Roland Holroyd Science Center" on January 11, 1970. Dedication of the newly renovated Holroyd Hall, featuring the Hugh and Nancy Devlin Center for Science and Technology, was September 2, 2009.

Renovation: Groundbreaking was March 20, 2008. Holroyd remained closed for renovations for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Named for: Roland Holroyd, La Salle's pre-eminent Biology professor from 1920-1973.

Buildings S-W

St. Albert and St. Bernard Residence Halls 

Groundbreaking: 1952.

Opened: September 9, 1953.

Dedication: September 28, 1953.

Named for: St. Albert the Great and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.


St. Basil Court and Treetops Café

Groundbreaking: March 18, 2004.

Opened: Late August 2005.

Dedication: September 18, 2005.

Named for: St. Basil the Great.


St. Benilde Tower

Purchased: Former Germantown Hospital property purchased May 2007.


St. Cassian and St. Denis Residence Halls

Groundbreaking: May 16, 1955.

Opened: September 1956.

Named for: St. Cassian of Imola and St. Denis.


St. Edward and St. Francis Residence Halls

Groundbreaking: April 9, 1961.

Opened: September 1962.

Named for: St. Edward the Confessor and St. Francis de Sales.


St. George, St. Hilary, and St. Jerome Residence Halls

Groundbreaking: April 1965.

Opened: September 12, 1966.

Named for: St. George, St. Hilary of Poitiers, and St. Jerome.


St. John Neumann Residence Hall

History: Originally built as residence hall for residents of St. Basil's School circa 1964..

Purchased: January 1989.

Renovated: 1989-1990.

Opened: September 1990.

Named for: St. John Neumann.


St. Katharine Residence Hall

Groundbreaking: Spring 1982.

Opened: September 1983.

Named for: St. Katharine of Siena.


St. Miguel Court Townhouses

Groundbreaking: May 1988.

Opened: September 1989.

Dedicated: March 15, 1990.

Named for: St. (Bro.) Miguel Febres Cordero


St. Mutien Hall

History: Originally built in the Civil War era. Served as the St. Basil Home nursery school and as the convent for the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, a Ukrainian order of nuns who occupied it from 1954 to 1989. Previously served as a small Christian Brothers' community and a living and learning center for international students.

Purchased: January 1989.

Opened: First occupied by a small Christian Brothers' community on April 1, 1991.

Dedication: January 29, 1982.

Named for: St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux.


St. Teresa Court

History: Originally an apartment building.

Previously named: Weston Court Apartments.

Purchased: 1978 or 1979.

Opened: September 1979.

Named for: St. Teresa of Avila.


TruMark Financial Center

Groundbreaking: June 9, 1969.

Opened: September 1972

Renovation: 1997-1998

Dedication:  November 12, 1972. The dedication of the new Hayman Center for a La Salle basketball game was on Feb 1, 1998.  The new Tom Gola Arena at Hayman Center was dedicated on November 21, 1998.  The building was rededicated as the TruMark Financial Center on November 11, 2017.

Mary and Frances Wister House

Previous names: The Snake House, because of a resident who owned snakes there. Fine Arts and Print Studio. Renamed Wister Art Studio in 1994.

Named for: Mary and Frances Wister. For more about the Wister Family, see Connelly Library Special Collections.


Wister Hall

Groundbreaking: May 15, 1929.

Previous names: the High School, or the High School Building. La Salle College High School occupied it from 1930 to 1960, when the school moved to Wyndmoor, PA.

Opened: February 5, 1930.

Dedicated: May 24, 1931 by Cardinal Dougherty.

Named for: the Wister family (see Connelly Library Special Collections).