Great Hall is a large room in Severance Hall built in 1928 as Great Hall Men's Lounging Room. Its design by Patton, Holmes and Flinn of Chicago, was based on the great halls of English country houses. It should not be confused with Great Space, the main room of the campus center in nearby Sayles-Hill.
Great Hall is two stories high, and has windows that stretch nearly the entire height. The floor is covered with several area rugs, and several couches and chairs make for a relaxed studying atmosphere. The space was restored in 2003: fresco work on the ceiling and arches was repainted, windows were reglazed, light fixtures were rebuilt, terrazzo floors repaired, and the original rugs were rewoven to repair damage.
Uses Over the Years
Due to its elegant design, Great Hall has been used for many high-class (and some not-so-high-class) events over the years, such as:
- Speeches, lectures, and concerts by Ethiopian Emperor Halie Selassie, folksinger Leadbelly, singer Fred Small, composer John Cage, singer Harry Chapin, virtuoso sitar master Ravi Shankar, anthropologist Margaret Mead, polymath Stephen J. Gould, and writers Sinclair Lewis, Robert Penn Warren, and John Dos Passos.
- During the remodeling of Leighton Hall in the late 1970s, Great Hall and the hallway just outside of it were converted to offices for the business office and admissions.
- Great Hall appeared twice in the movie "Mighty Ducks 3" as the school's lunchroom.
- Room draw is held in Great Hall.
- ETB produced the play Six Degrees of Separation in Great Hall in 1993 to take advantage of the casual atmosphere.
- The Red Cross generally uses Great Hall when they come to Carleton for blood drives.
- Great Hall is also used for casual studying and socializing, lectures, conferences, dinners, receptions, dances, concerts, recitals, and College Council meetings.