Carroll University Historic District Walking Tour
Stroll through nearly 175 years of local history at Wisonsin's first 4-year institution of higher ed.
117 Wright Street started as the simple family home of Fred and Dora Wolfe. However, when Carroll bought the house in 1994, it became home to one of the school’s most unique programs, the Walter Young Center for Counseling and Career Development. Unfortunately, this extraordinarily helpful program found its origin in a tragic event for the Carroll community.
Main Hall is probably the most recognizable buildings on Carroll's campus, and figures prominently on institutional publications and swag. Since its $4 million renovation (2001-2), Main has housed classrooms and a gallery space. Earlier generations of students and faculty, however, remember Main as the heart and soul of campus. In all its incarnations, Main Hall is known for the bell tower, stained glass and steep central staircase.
Recognizing two of Carroll University's greatest--if little known--financial supporters, Voorhees Hall certainly lives up to the Voorhees' commitment to the education of women. Originally a women's dorm, this building quickly became premier destination for a long-time courting tradition among student couples. Today, other important, albeit less romantic rituals are performed at Voorhees Hall. Visiting high schoolers shake hands with admission counselors while parents wait nervously in the lobby. Students stop by to request graduation audits, pay tuition bills, and--if they're lucky--pet the Gnadingers' puppy.
Constructed in 1923, Ganfield Gymnasium replaced Carroll's original athletic facility, which had been in the basement of Main Hall. The new Ganfield gym quickly became both a social and academic hub, hosting sporting events, dances and even academic classes. Although small compared to the more modern sports complexes on today's campus, Ganfield still represents Carroll University's commitment to developing the whole student--and the growth of NCAA athletics on campus.
This Mediterranean-style home, located just up the hill from Carroll University's softball field, was once the home of Carroll alum and U.S. Army veteran Frank L. Roberts. The Kenosha native--and Christmas baby--left his position as assistant cashier at Waukesha's Teller National Bank Exchange to pursue a Carroll degree in 1915. Less than two years later, Roberts left Carroll to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, which sent him to France in 1918.
An old building alongside an historic campus, the Walter S. Chandler House is a beautiful example of the architecture both on and around Carroll University. Though no longer owned by Carroll, the Chandler House, with its state-renowned Victorian Gothic architecture, continues to wow passersby and provide a scenic focal point for students climbing the College Avenue hill to class or the Campus Center.
In its historic 113 years, Rankin Hall has housed multiple departments and countless general education courses. And all of it is thanks to a massive donation from a friend of Carroll's second president, Walter Rankin. However, Ralph Voorhees, a blind philanthropist from the East Coast who went to school with Walter Rankin, and his wife, Elizabeth, never visited the school.
MacAllister Hall is characterized by its bright columns, light bricks, and its old world feel. This building has had a long history of Carroll University, housing academic offices and even students. However, this building is home to many of Carroll University’s ghost tales. One such tale involves Lydia Morgan, benefactor and ghoulish resident of the building.
With its pristine siding and columned porch, Sneeden House has long been a beacon of welcome on East Avenue. The nearly hundred year-old home reminds guests of Waukesha's past and Carroll's commitment to hospitality. From students and alumni to faculty, staff and trustees, thousands of Pioneers have enjoyed good food and rich conversation in Sneeden House.