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Why “Wyckoff”?

Bradley University was established in 1897, but many of the residence halls on campus have not been around for that long. From demolished dorms to housing buildings that never were, explore the history of dorms both past and present with The Scout.

Has beens

  • Constance Hall: Constance Hall was built in 1931 as an all-girls’ dorm. This building has since been remodeled, and it is currently home to the Department of Music.
  • Baker Hall: Now the business hub of campus, Baker Hall used to be an all-girls’ dormitory. Previously named “Lovelace Hall,” the building was built in 1956 and has since been remodeled to house the Foster College of Business and the Turner School for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • Burgess and Sisson Halls: Built in 1951, these connected dorms closed in 1972 to reduce operating costs. They were remodeled in the 1980s and are now the homes of administrative and student activity offices.
  • Comstock: This small, white house located behind the library was originally built as a private residence for university faculty members, but it now serves as an office building for administration members.
  • Wyckoff Hall: Currently closed, Wyckoff Hall was built in 1958 as an all-men’s dorm. Before the residence hall stood in its location, Lydia Moss Bradley built the Bradley Home for Aged Women in 1855. The home was later expanded on to form the foundation for Wyckoff Hall. The dorm is named after Charles Truman Wyckoff, dean emeritus and a member of the original faculty at Bradley University. He left a $25,000 gift to the school when he retired in 1937.

Could’ve Beens

  • Laura Cottage: Laura Cottage, in use from 1915 to1949, used to house wives of servicemen who were stationed at Bradley during World War I. This was later remodeled as a freshman boys’ dormitory, nicknamed “The Greenhouse.” In 1946, the building was changed yet again to Sisson House in honor of Edward Sisson, the first director of Bradley Polytechnic Institute. This building has since been demolished.
  • Becker Hall: Becker Hall, a temporary dorm built in 1990 to address a 30 percent increase in enrollment was demolished soon after. It was named after the builder. In the past, Bradley also took over buildings like the Peoria Weather Bureau and the Peoria YMCA during the mid-1900s to build last-minute dormitories.

Currently Trending

  • Geisert Hall: The tallest dorm on campus and the tallest point in Peoria, Geisert is home to one of Bradley’s two cafeterias. Thought to be haunted by some students, Geisert was built in October, 1970, and is named after Charles Geisert, a World War I veteran and Pekin florist who left his $400,000 estate to the university.
  • Harper Hall: This dorm shares a lobby with Wyckoff Hall. Opened in 1926, Harper was originally a dormitory for men, called “College Hall,” but it transitioned to an all-girls’ residence in 1951. It has since been named Harper Hall after William Rainey Harper, the first president of the Bradley faculty and principal advisor to Lydia Moss Bradley during her establishment of the university.
  • Heitz Hall: Home to Bradley’s ROTC lounge, Heitz Hall was dedicated in 1962. It used to be home to a cafeteria in the 60s and was originally built as a women’s dorm. It is named after 1906 graduate Irene W. Heitz, who gifted the university with $50,000 to build an all-girls dormitory on campus.
  • Williams Hall: Williams Hall is named after Herbert Lewis Williams and his wife Annie Williams, and is home to Bradley’s second and smaller cafeteria. Herbert Williams, a Bradley graduate of the class of 1905, left a large bequest to the University before his death in 1950. The residence hall opened in 1966.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.