Marist Building and Place Names

Marist College is a state-of-the-art college, leading the country in technology and interactive media. Its history, while relatively brief, sets the stage for Marist's continued tradition of advancement, growth, and higher education. The history of the college's growth is vital to this tradition, and its physical represention is seen in the growth of the campus. While there are several buildings original to the property (Greystone, St. Peter's, and the Kieran Gatehouse), several others have been remodeled, detroyed, moved, or used for several different purposes to suit the needs of the growing College. Marist College currently consists of 49 buildings and 150 acres of riverfront property, but it all started with one house and only 13 acres of land. This Web site attempts to recognize the change and growth Marist College has seen throughout its years by offering a brief description of each building and place name on campus. This site also hopes to offer a snapshot of how Marist continues to grow, develop, and improve not only its structural beauty, but also the minds of its students, its ideals, and its educational excellence.

The Adrian Building

The Adrian building was named after Brother Adrian August who was a Chemistry and Music professor at Marist College. This was one of the buildings constructed almost exclusively by the Marist Brothers, and was completed in 1957. It was a small one-story building located across the road from Donnelly Hall. Its first use was as a place where students could meet with guests. Day students used it as a place to study, eat lunch, and relax. It contained a sitting room, an entertainment audio center, and an office for Brother Nilus Donnelly. In later years it served the needs of the Alumni office and the Marist Poll. It was removed in 2000 for the construction of the James A. Cannavino Library. The commuter lounge was moved to the Student Center and the Alumni office and Marist Poll were both relocated to the new Fontaine Hall.

Beck Place Parking Lot

In the mid-1800s, Edward Bech, founder of the Tuckerman and Bech Iron Comany, purchased Hickory Grove, a 65 acre farm along the Hudson River, which he then renamed "Rosenlund." Although the main house was never built, the three service buildings still remain in the heart of the Marist campus: Kieran Gatehouse, Greystone Carriage house, and St. Peter's. In 1908, the Marist Brothers purchased the Edward Bech estate, by then a 110-acre plot of land, to expand the Hermitage that had been purchased in 1905. This plot of land is the current location of Marist College, west of Route 9 and as far North as Fern Tor and St. Ann's Hermitage. The Beck Place Parking Lot is located across from the Marist Campus and is used as a lot for commuters, visitors, and an over-flow lot for underclassmen with cars.

Benoit & Gregory Houses

Benoit & Gregory Houses were erected in 1968 as residences for the Marist Brothers living on campus. Both houses were constructed identically: the main section, octagonal in design, contains sixteen bedrooms allowing for Benoit and Gregory to house thirty-two students each. Benoit House honors the memory of Brother Fancis Xavier Benoit who taught at Marist for nineteen years, while serving also as a Director of Construction for the Marist Brothers. Gregory House was named in memory of Brother Joseph Gregory Marchessault who was chairman of the Physics Department at Marist until the time of his death in 1969.

The Byrne House

The Byrne House was built in the early days of the expansion of Marist College in 1960. It was built as a residence for the Dominicas Fathers, who were at that time chaplains at the College. After this application, it was used as a location for the campus nurse and counseling activities. At the present time, it is being used as the school ministry and student counseling center. It is located in the back of Champagnat Hall, overlooking the Hudson.

The Byrne House is named after Brother George Frances Byrne, F.M.S. Brother George was born in Western New York in 1908. He became a Marist Brother in July of 1926 and in 1949 he came to Marist College to teach History. Brother George passed away in October of 1953. He is buried in the Marist Brothers' Cemetery on campus.

Champagnat Hall

Champagnat Hall, the tallest building on campus, was constructed in 1964. Named to honor the memory of Marcellin Champagnat, the French priest who founded the Marist Brothers in 1817, the nine-story residence hall houses over 400 first-year students. Residents have dramatic views of the Hudson River Valley, north and south. Special Services offices are located on the first floor. Champagnat was renovated in 2003 and is one of two residence halls with immediate access to the Student Center.

Donnelly Hall

The Donnelly building was built on the land between the Kieran Gate House and the Bech family home. The Bech family home served as a Novitiate for the Marist Brothers as well as a residence for the Brothers who volunteered to help build Donnelly Hall.

The construction of this building was a mammoth task considering the fact that the workers were schoolteachers who were untrained in construction work. Brother Nilus Donnelly, for whom the building is named, directed all the work and operated the heavy machinery.

After three summers of hard labor, the building took its final shape in 1962. It was at this time that Marian College, as it was called then, began accepting resident lay students. Since there was no dormitory, a last minute modification of the Donnelly building was made for this purpose. At that time, there was a total of eight resident students.

Donnelly was the main classroom building for the next 10 years. In 1985, Donnelly was renovated. The ramp surrounding the building became part of the interior of the building. External walls were built and the rooms, which were on the outside of the building, were enlarged by absorbing the space occupied by the ramp. Over the years, Donnelly Hall has served as headquarters for nearly every college activity. It currently houses the School of Science, science labs, the Fashion Program, photography darkrooms, lecture halls, classrooms, administrative offices including Security, the Registrar, Financial Aid, Information Technology, Human Resources, the computer store, a coffee shop, and the Copy Center.

Dyson Center

The Dyson Center was completed in 1990 and is named in honor of the late businessman and philanthropist Charles H. Dyson and his late wife Margaret. The three-story Dyson Center houses the School of Management, which recently added online M.P.A. and M.B.A. degree programs to its offerings. Also located here are the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education, the Bureau of Economic Research, and corporate education and training programs. The 53,000 square-foot Dyson Center holds 23 classrooms and 55 faculty offices as well as seminar rooms and a computer lab. The building's coffee shop and its three-story atriums are popular areas for students to meet and relax between classes.

Fern Tor

Fern Tor is the 13 acre estate acquired by Marist College in 1997. The estate, at the campus's northern boundary, is a quiet retreat rich with trees, wild flowers, herbs, shrubs, wildlife and several ecological habitats. It is graced by a Hudson River view and 800 feet of shoreline. The land remained undeveloped until 1861 when Thomas Newbold purchased it for the site of his family's home. By the 1880s Newbold had constructed a mansion with a southern vista of the Hudson River, a summerhouse, formal gardens, greenhouses, a man-made pond, and a carriage house. Frederick Newbold inherited the estate from his father, and Frederick named the property Fern Tor after its ferns and rocky hills. The next generation of Newbolds sold the property to the Way family, who transformed the carriage house into their home and eventually sold the parcel to Marist. The foundations are all that remain of the mansion, which marked the highest point on the Marist campus.

Now environmental science and non-science majors are benifitting greatly from Fern Tor. Previously only science majors could go on the field trips necessary to make field observations, because travel and access were too difficult to arrange for large classes of non-science majors. Now any Marist student can walk to this undisturbed area to use it as an ecological lab or to just enjoy the peace and quiet.

Fontaine Hall

Fontaine Hall was named after Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine, FMS. President Emeritus and a Life Trustee of the College, Brother Paul played an integral role in shaping Marist during its early years. The original Fontaine Hall served as a study hall and dining room for the student Brothers at Marist College, although its purpose varied as the College expanded. It was constructed by the Marist Brothers in 1956, and later an addition was made to serve as a dormitory for the student Brothers. Subsequently, the addition was used as an office building for the Humanities Division. The original part of the building served as a library until shortly before the Cannavino Library was built. With the decision to construct the Cannavino Library on the same site, the original Fontaine Hall was razed and new Fontaine Hall was built to house the offices of the School of Liberal Arts on the northern end of campus.

From its opening in May of 2000, new Fontaine Hall has housed the School of Liberal Arts office and faculty, the Office of College Advancement, which includes the offices of Public Affairs and the Alumni Affairs. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) which used to be housed here has been moved to the third floor of the Hancock Building. The building also holds four classrooms and a multimedia "black box" theatre, and two conference rooms, including the striking Henry Hudson Room - a large conference space with skylights and a beautiful view of the Hudson.

Foy Townhouses

The Foy Townhouses were built in 1982 and are named after President Emeritus and Life Trustee, Dr. Linus Richard Foy. Dr. Foy was named President of Marist College in 1958 and became, at the age of 28, the youngest college president in the United States. He served as President of Marist College from 1958 to 1979, and made countless contributions to the continued development and success of the College

The Foy Townhouses accomodate 210 students in three buildings overlooking the Hudson River. Each of the three buildings is divided into seven three-story town houses with living, dining, and lounging areas, as well as terraces overlooking the Hudson. Each town house has space for ten students - the main floor consists of a full kitchen and large common area, upstairs there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and on the lowest level there is another small common area, one bathroom, and two bedrooms. A specially designed annex was built to accommodate qualified, physical handicapped students. These town houses currently house sophomore students.

Gartland Commons

The Gartland Commons were built in 1985. The fifty-two unit apartments accommodate 306 students in four buildings. Overlooking the Hudson River, each apartment provides a living room, bathroom, three bedrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen with nearby recreational facilities.

The Gartland Commons are named in honor of John J. Gartland, Jr., long time Marist College Benefactor, Board Member, and Advisor. John Gartland, better known as Jack, was born in 1914 in Poughkeepsie and past away in 2003. He was admitted to the bar in 1939 and later joined the law firm that bears his name after beginning practice in Poughkeepsie in 1946. During World War II, Gartland served in the U.S. Army Air Force, discharged with the rank of major. He earned a bachelor's of science degree from Georgetown University in 1935 and earned law degrees from Fordham and St. John's. Marist awarded Gartland with a doctorate in humane letters in 1980. He served on the boards of numerous local organizations, including Marist, the Astor Home, New York Archdiocese Catholic Charities and St. Mary's Church, just to name a few. He was also honored by the pope as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the highest honors the church can bestow upon a lay person.

As a lawyer and longtime head of the the charitable McCann Foundation, Jack Gartland's influence and vision of what the area could become have made this part of the Hudson Valley what it is today. His work spanned all aspects of life from the arts and education to recreation and religion.


Greystone is one of three Marist buildings that were part of the Rosenlund Estate purchased by the Marist Brothers in 1908. Listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places, Greystone dates to around 1865 when it was built as a carriage house; a hayloft occupied the top floor, carriages and horse the middle floor, and a blacksmith shop occupied the lowest level. Through remodeling in 1909, 1928, and 1964, the building has served as a dormitory, classrooms, science labs, and a library. Since 1964 the building has housed the office of the College President. Greystone closely resembled the style of St. Peter's and the Kieran Gatehouse when it was first constructed. When the College was first established and was still known as Marian College, the renovated carriage house was surrounded by wooden structures. The carriage house was nicknamed "Greystone" by the Marist Brothers on campus because of its distinctive stonewalls. The name was made official in 1929 when the junior college was established.

James A. Cannavino Library

The Library is named after James A. Cannavino, a long-time Trustee and former Chairman of the Board. Developed as part of the worldwide Digital Library Initiative launched by the IBM Corporation to facilitate anytime, anywhere access to books, periodicals, works of art, film, music, and rare manuscripts, the Cannavino Library is a model for academic libraries of the new century. Overlooking the campus green and the Hudson River, this 83,000-square-foot facility is a state-of-the-art electronic teaching and service center at the hub of an electronic network linking all parts of the Marist campus to libraries and databases throughout the world. In addition to providing a number of spacious study areas and attractive quiet rooms for research, conferences, and collaborative work, the Library also houses the Archives and Special Collections rooms, an office overlooking the campus for the College President, and a multi-media language center on the third floor. A small cafe on the main floor of the Library also provides the students with a gathering place where they can have a bite to eat, drink coffee, and not have to worry quite as much about the level of their voices.

James J. McCann Recreation Center

The McCann Center is home to Marist College’s intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational athletics programs. The original 57,200 square-foot McCann Center, including a field house, Olympic swimming pool, dance studio, and weight room, was built in 1977 with funding from the James J. McCann Foundation. The McCann Foundation again gave its support to construct a 20,000 square-foot addition that opened in 1997. The expansion features an 11,000 square-foot multipurpose gymnasium, a 4,300 square-foot weight training area, a 4,000 square-foot cardiovascular area, a student lounge and locker rooms, and the electronic Pepsi Athletic Hall of Fame, a multimedia room and computer lab honoring athletes and teams from Marist College and surrounding Dutchess County.

The McCann Center was named after James J. McCann, who was born in Poughkeepsie in 1880. He and his family operated the McCann Feed and Grain Store on Main Street, and McCann eventually amassed a large estate through the stock market. In 1967, two years before his death, McCann established the McCann Foundation, which began awarding money in 1969 for "progressive human welfare work."

Kieran Gatehouse

Listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places, the Kieran Gatehouse dates to 1865 and was a gatehouse on the estate purchased by the Marist Brothers in 1908. This quaint cottage has remained in constant use, first as a headquarters for the Poughkeepsie Province of the Marist Brothers and then as office space and a private residence. Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine used the Gatehouse as his office during his tenure as President of the College. The Gatehouse was renamed the Kieran Gatehouse in October 1990 when it was dedicated to the late Brother Kieran Thomas Brennan. Not only was Brother Brennan a long-time trustee of Marist College, but he was also the director of student Brothers from 1954 to 1964.

The Kirk House

Professor Daniel Kirk, former Chairman of the Psychology Department, built the Kirk House in 1976 for his private residence. Dr. Kirk generously willed his home to Marist College. It became the residence of the Marist College Catholic Chaplain and continues to be used for this purpose today.

Leo Hall

The Construction for Leo Hall was funded with a federal government loan, and the dorm opened in 1963. When women were invited to live on campus in 1969 they first occupied the sixth floor of Leo Hall. Currently used as a coed residence for freshman, it is dedicated to the memory of Brother Leo Brouiletter, Provincial of the Marist Brothers, from 1921-1930. Brother Leo was responsible for securing the original charter for the Marist Normal Training School in 1929.

Leonidoff Field

Leonidoff Field, Marist College's first major athletic field, is an outdoor stadium that provides seating for over 3,000 spectators for home soccer, lacrosse, and football games. The athletic field is named after Dr. Aleski A. Leonidoff and was dedicated in 1968. Raised and educated in Russia, Aleski Leonidoff developed a relationship with Marist College through Jack Gartland. During his tenure as a physician at St. Francis Hospital, Dr. Leonidoff donated money to the College for the construction of the Leonidoff Athletic Field. Dr. Leonidoff also donated funds to suport a scholarship for students specializing in science pre-medical studies.

Lowell Thomas Center

The Lowell Thomas Communications Center houses the academic disciplines of communications and computer science. Features of the center, which opened in 1987, include the Charles and Cornelia Murray Journalism Room, which offers everything students need to write, edit, and present printed news. The building holds five classrooms with computer and television access, two television studios, two radio broadcast production rooms, and film processing areas. These facilities, along with adjacent faculty offices, meet the demands of almost 700 undergraduate students annually who concentrate in communications, Marist's largest major. The building is named after Lowell Thomas, who was a pioneer in the field of communications, an author, and a world traveler.

Marian Hall

The present Marian building was built as a gym in 1948. This was the first large building put up by the Marist Brothers on what is now the Marist College campus. Brother Francis Xavier, who at the time taught Philosophy and Psychology at the College, supervised the work. "Frank," as he was known, was a man of all trades and as much a contractor as he was a professor.

The building was constructed entirely by the Brothers, with the exception of the bricklayers and steamfitters. The student Brothers helped by mixing concrete for the masons, carrying the pipes for the steam fitters, unloading the trucks delivering the cinder blocks and bricks, doing the carpentry with Brother Paul Ernest (the Professor of Physics), and operating the jack hammer, as well as other such tasks as were needed.

The building was used primarily as a gym with other facilities installed in the wings. These facilities included a carpenter shop, a printing shop, a laundry room, garages, and storage space.

In 1983 the old gym was transformed into a dormitory; the wings of the original building were renovated in order to make a second floor and the gym portion was also transformed into a two-story dormitory. The building stands at the center of the campus and currently houses mostly first and second year students.

The Martin Boathouse

The Martin boathouse was built in 1963 in memory of William Martin who was the chairman for the fund drive to build the boathouse. The boathouse was built to house the rowing and sailing equipment of Marist College. There are two ramps leading directly from the boathouse into the Hudson, which are used to launch the crew boats and the sailboats. Initially, Marist competed in sailing and crew. Blue Jays were used in sailing competition and pleasure sailing for the students and faculty of Marist College. These were 13-foot wooden sloop rigged boats. In 1966 the Blue Jays were replaced by Barnegates, which were 19-foot fiberglass sloops. These could carry up to six people, but were also used in competition with a crew of two. Smaller boats later replaced the Barnegates. Marist crew has been very active in the competitive sports world since the early 1960s.

New Townhouses

The New Townhouses were built in 1993 and accommodate 144 junior and senior students in six buildings overlooking the Hudson River. Each building has a number of units with space for eight students, including living, dining, and lounging areas. The complex has its own central laundry facility. Some units are avaliable to accommodate qualified, physical handicapped students.

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel

When the chapel was built in 1953, its circular design was one of the first for a Catholic church in the United States. The altar dominates the center with the congregation intimately flowing completely around it. It was not until the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that churches began to move their altars into a similar relationship with their parishioners.

Acting as contractor and using simple building techniques, Brother Nilus Donnelly built the chapel with Marist Brothers' labor.

Instead of stained glass windows, Brother Nilus borrowed an idea of Eastman Kodak that he had seen displayed in Grand Central Station. He lined the upper inner perimeter of the chapel with photographic images of the Virgin Mary. On sheets of heavy plastic he embedded the images of a model portraying the Madonna with accompanying quotes from scripture. The plastic sheets were suspended on springs which compensated for the expansion from the sunlight and the contraction during the night.

Depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary was a professional model, Rita Hunt. She and her husband were friends of Brother Nilus and she did the work gratis. In a subsequent photo of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles, taken for the adjacent study hall, the photographer used the same model along with some Marist Brothers construction workers as the apostles. Unfortunately, over the years, the images have faded through the bleaching action of the sun. Recently stained glass windows were installed in the Chapel depicting scenes from around the Hudson River Valley.

Through its serenity and spirituality, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel forms the core, the anchor, and the inspiration for the Marist College campus.

St. Ann's Hermitage

In 1905, with the help of Father H. Havens Richards, SJ, St. Ann's Hermitage was the first building in Poughkeepsie purchased by the Marist Brothers. It had previously been the homestead of the Mac Pherson family. Brother Zepheriny, FMS, purchased this estate from its owner, Mrs. Goodwin of New York City. The property, which was at the time a mile outside of the City of Poughkeepsie, included some 35 acres north of the Waterworks Road and sold for $9,000.00. This building was used as a Provincial House until the early fifties. In addition to the provincial administration, it also housed the Scholastics usually numbering around 75 students. There was a chapel with a pipe organ where a Jesuit from St. Andrew's celebrated daily mass. Also living in this building was a community consisting of the provincial tailors who made the cassocks for all the Brothers of the province. Others living in this building included a director, a cook, several young brothers to help in the tailor shop, in the garden, and with the laundry, a farmer who took care of the cows and pigs, and two farmers who took care of an extensive vegetable garden and a green house which was located across from St. Peter's. The infirmary, which had from 5 to 13 Brothers who needed medical attention, was also located in this building.

Between 1955 to 1957 the original Fontaine Hall was built to house the scholastics, the faculty was moved to St. Peter's, and the infirmary was relocated to Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. The farmers were moved to St. Peter's leaving the Hermitage empty. In 1958, it was decided the building should be demolished. However, before the demolition was completed the building caught fire and burned to the ground.

In 1997 the College purchased a private residence that has been renamed St. Ann's in memory of the building that served the Marist Brothers for over 50 years. This former home is part of the 13-acre estate known as Fern Tor, adjacent to Marist College's northern boundary. A previous resident of Fern Tor was Thomas Newbold, one of the founders of the Horticultural Society of New York and an uncle of Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer Edith Wharton.

St. Peter's

Built circa 1865, St. Peter's originally housed the Rosenlund Estate's gardener and his family. The Marist Brothers purchased the estate in 1908 and until 1969, St. Peter's served as a residence for the Marist Brothers. Currently it houses administrative offices. It is named St. Peter's because the Brothers who lived there from 1909 until 1936 taught in St. Peter's school in Poughkeepsie.

Later, as the number of Brothers attached to the Scholasticate (the post High School) grew, St. Peter's was used to house some of the faculty. An addition was put on the front of the building toward the road passing in front of it. This addition was used as an office for Brother Nilus Donnelly, who was constructing new buildings on the property. Another addition was built on the side of St. Peter's facing Route 9. This part of the building housed faculty of Marist College as well as the printer Brother Tarcisius and Gardeners Brother Abelus and Brother Sanctus. It also housed the print shop, which was used to print documents for the Marist Brothers Province as well as the College. These additions were demolished in 1969, when the print shop was moved to the gym and the faculty was moved to Benoit House and the facade of the original building was restored to its former design.

St. Peter's currently houses the staff of the Upward Bound program. Founded in the spring of 1965, Marist College's program is among the longest established in the country. It has helped motivate and academically prepare hundreds of disadvantaged high school students from the Hudson Valley to pursue a college education. Upward Bound is an outstanding example of Marist's longstanding commitment to serve the community beyond the campus.

Sheahan Hall

In March of 1961 Brother Linus Richard Foy, President of Marist College, received confirmation for a government loan for a dormitory that would accommodate 120 students and three faculty advisors. This was the first building on the property that was not constructed by the Marist Brothers since the property was purchased in 1908. Sheahan Hall was one of the first dormitories where women lived when the College became a coeducational institution in 1969. It currently houses freshman students and is named in memory of Monsignor J. F. Sheahan, pastor of St. Peter's Church in Poughkeepsie. Monsignor Sheahan used his influence to help the Brothers purchase the Bech Estate in 1908. Today this property forms the entire Marist College campus south of the Waterworks Road (the main entrance to the campus).

Steel Plant Studio

The Marist College Art Gallery is a 3,200 square-foot space located in the Steel Plant Studios along with the Fine Arts Program. It was purchased in 1997 to house the college library temporarily while the new James A. Cannavino Library was under construction. After the library was built, the old industrial site was renovated to become the Steel Plant Studios. The building houses several studios including: a 2D/Graphic Desin Studio, Drawing and Painting Studios, a 3D/Sculpture Studio, a Special Processes & Techniques Studio, a fully equipped Digital Media Studio, and a new 2,500 square-foot Art Gallery. The Art Gallery retains the industrial look of the former steel plant with concrete floors and exposed 15-foot ceilings. The exhibition program focuses primarily on contemporary regional artists working in all fine arts media.

Student Center

The Student Center serves as the focal point of the College, bringing together all members of the Marist Community.

The original building, a 66,000 square foot, three story structure, was completed in 1965. Renovations and expansion during the summer of 1994 added an additional 63,000 square feet. The Student Center is connected to the Mid-Rise Residence Hall by a three-story domed and columned rotunda which provides the main entry into both the Student Center and the residence area. There is also a 4 acre campus green adjacent to the Student Center overlooking the Hudson River. A glass-enclosed south entry connects the Student Center with Champagnat Hall. The Champagnat Courtyard, which leads into the entry, was redesigned in 1989 through the generosity of the Reese family.

The Center provides various student services and serves as a comfortable place for students to meet, organize and attend a variety of events. Facilities and services within the Student Center include: classroom and meeting rooms, theatre, performing arts room, music practice rooms, dining services, health services, billiards/video game room, commuter lounge, student government offices, student radio and television studios, campus post office, and video rentals.

Talmadge Court Apartments

The Talmadge Court Apartments were purchased in 1996 and are located about one-quarter of a mile from the south entrance of Marist College. The complex contains 11 apartments, consisting of nine two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. Profesional housing staff live on-site with the students.

West Cedar

West Cedar is divided into two sections across Route 9 on West Cedar Street. The two sections, Lower (labled O-S and completed in 1998) and Upper (labeled T-Y and completed in 2000) together accommodate 468 students in twelve buildings. Each building has a number of units with space for either eight or eleven students, including living, dining, and lounging areas. The complex has its own central laundry facility. The students in West Cedar enjoy a community-like life just off campus to experience the independance of being a little farther away, and yet close enough to enjoy the comforts of Marist security.

Revised: 2010 June 22