The Faculty Club

Clifford Clark

The Faculty Club, built in 1928, was the brainchild of D. Blake Stewart (Stewsie) then superintendent of buildings and grounds. Before World War I, while female students lived in Gridley Hall (1882-1967), most male students and single faculty members boarded in private houses around town. Between 1913 and 1917, students and single faculty could rent a room for $7 to $7.50 a month; Carleton tuition cost $550 to $575 a year.

Stewsie, who had come to Carleton in 1920, had lived at the home of Mrs. William J. Conrad on First Street, where Cowling Center now stands. When it became evident that its site was needed for a different use, the Conrad house and two others were moved to Second Street.

Minneapolis architect A. R. Van Dyke in 1928 connected the three houses into the Faculty Club, using the popular “English half-timbered” stucco and exposed beam style that was popular at the time. The connecting link in the right corner of the Faculty Club contained a glassed-in porch that served as a dining room for the building’s residents.

In 1928, Stewsie moved into the new Faculty Club and occupied a room in the same Conrad house section in which he had lived earlier. By the 1930s, the club was home to eighteen faculty members.

When he was in his nineties, long after he had formally retired, Stewsie would return in the spring of each year from his winter quarters in Arizona, take up his apartment in the Faculty Club, and use it as a base of operations from which to water and prune shrubs all over the Carleton campus.

Stewsie died in 1981. The east wing of the Faculty Club where he lived still houses visiting professors, but students now live in the central and west wings of the building.