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The classroom and college administration building for Belmont Abbey College. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part the Belmont Abbey Historic District in 1993.


  • Contemporary view of Robert Lee Stowe Hall
  • College Building, Abbey Monastery, and Abbey Basilica, c. 1888.
  • College Building on the left, connected to the Monastery on the right.
  • Stowe Classroom, c. 1900.
  • Stowe Dining Hall, c. 1886.
  • Museum in Stowe Hall, late 19th century.
  • College students pictured outside of Stowe Hall, c. 1894.
  • Ruins of Stowe Hall after the fire of 1900.
  • Interior of Stowe Hall following the fire of 1900.
  • Portico in front of Stowe Hall following its reconstruction, c. 1904.
  • Portrait of Robert Lee Stowe (1919).
  • Dedication of Robert Lee Stowe Hall in 1983.

Originally known as the “College Building,” Stowe Hall has served as the academic center of Belmont Abbey College since its construction in the late 19th century. Over the generations this structure has served as the college’s main classroom building, as well as offices for college administrators and faculty. Over the generations Stowe Hall has also housed students and monks, a dining hall, a chapel, a museum, and even a rifle range. Renamed Robert Lee Stowe Hall in 1983, this building remains a center of academic and administrative activity for Belmont Abbey College.

The College Building was built under the direction of Abbot Leo Haid and Brother Wolfgang Traxler, O.S.B, of St. Vincent’s Abbey (Latrobe, PA). Construction began in 1886 and was finally completed in 1898. The design of the College Building featured a direct structural connection to the Monastery. This architectural feature reflects the continuous involvement of the Benedictine community in the sponsorship and operation of the college since its early beginnings. Other notable architectural features include the Gothic tower on the western side of the building, and a portico at the front entrance of the building.

The Administration Building has served the academic center of campus for over 130 years. That period, however, has been marked by several destructive fires, including a disastrous blaze in 1900. That fire gutted the building, only two years after construction had been completed. Much of the college’s classroom furniture and equipment was lost, including the bulk of college’s library collection. Thankfully, no loss of life occurred, despite the severity of the blaze. Work and fund raising to restore the building began immediately, and the college resumed classes in the College Building the following academic year.

Over the course of the twentieth century, the College Building continued to serve as a classroom building and administrative center. In 1983, Belmont Abbey College renamed the building in honor of Robert Lee Stowe (1866-1963). A local entrepreneur and leader in the regional textile industry, Stowe’s management of Belmont textile mills resulted in the city’s growth and development in the early 20th century. A noted philanthropist, Stowe and his extended family have supported numerous charitable and educational endeavors within in the city of Belmont and local community.

Robert Lee Stowe Hall was included as a part of the Belmont Abbey College Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. 

Baumstein, O.S.B., Paschal. Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey . Belmont, NC. Archives of Belmont Abbey, 1997.

Baumstein, O.S.B., Paschal. My Lord of Belmont: A Biography of Leo Haid. Belmont, North Carolina. Laney Smith Publishers, 1995.

Connor, R.D.W.. HIstory of North Carolina. Volume 5. New York City, New York. Lewis Publishing, 1919.

Registration Form, Belmont Abbey Historic District, National Register of Historic Places. May 26, 1993. North Carolina State Preservation Office. http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/nr/gs0020.pdf

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)

R.D.W. Connor, ed. et al. History of North Carolina, vol. 5, Biography..

Paschal Baumstein, O.S.B., Blessings in the Years to Come: A Pictorial History of Belmont Abbey (1997)