The History of Agnes Scott: Buildings That No Longer Stand

When I first visited Agnes Scott, I was in awe of the lush greenery and the beautiful red brick buildings, as I’m sure many others were, too. Agnes Scott is known for its beautiful grass and collegiate, red-brick architecture. The campus serves as our personal bubble when we need to escape the realities of living in a major metropolitan area. As much as I cherish the buildings that are standing today, I am curious of buildings that are no longer on campus that stood when past Scotties attended Agnes (all hail to the alumnae). Thanks to the McCain Library Special Collections and Archives, I was able to explore through past buildings and here are some highlights!

White House (1889-1952)

Originally named The Allen House (later to be called the White House), this building was the first of Agnes Scott’s buildings. The White House was the first and only building when Agnes Scott was originally Decatur Female Seminary. The building stood where Main is now and was moved near Inman when Main was being built. Once Main was built, the White House was used as a residence hall and one of the dining halls. The main dining hall was in Rebekah, and once World War II began, the dining hall in the White House was closed due to rationing. After this time, the building was used less and was eventually demolished in 1952.


Laboratory Building/The Science Hall/Philosophy Hall (1899-1930)

This building served multiple purposes as the college evolved. Its first purpose was to house the science departments of chemistry, biology, and physics. After the construction of a new science building in 1911, the Lowry Science Hall, this building was converted into the Philosophy Hall. The Philosophy Hall housed the classrooms for philosophy, education, and English until our present, Buttrick Hall, was built in 1930 and the building was torn down.

The Science/Philosophy Hall was located behind Main where McCain currently is.


West Lawn/Patillo House (1901-1956)

This building served as housing for students, faculty, and staff. The Patillo House, later renamed West Lawn, was the building that made many moves. The building started off next to Agnes Scott Hall but was moved to accommodate the construction of Rebekah. The residence hall’s second location was where McCain is, but during the construction of McCain, was moved to Campbell’s current location. During the preparation of Campbell Hall, it was moved one more time before being torn down to accommodate for the Walters Hall construction.

Gym (1904-1930)

Towards the end of our founder George Washington Scott’s time on the Board of Trustees, he made it clear that Agnes Scott needed a gymnasium; and not only a gym but a gym with a pool. The gym stood where McCain Library is now and was torn down in 1930 after the construction of an updated, modern gym.


Alumnae Infirmary/Mary Sweet Cottage (1904-1955)

This building was used as an infirmary for the college until the middle of the 20th century and was afterward used for student housing for a short time. The house was one of the first major Agnes Scott Alumnae Association projects and was bought by alumnae who attended Agnes Scott when it was known as Agnes Scott Institute. After being used for housing for a couple years, it was demolished in 1955.


Carnegie Library/Murphey Candler (The Hub) 1911-1955

This building was the Carnegie Library and then was transformed into the student center, the Murphey Candler building.


Lowry Science Hall (1911-1953)


This was the second science building on campus and served as the science building until the construction of Campbell Hall in 1953.


Pine Lodge (1924-1936)

Although not on campus, this cabin was an off-campus retreat spot near Stone Mountain. I wish we had something like this today (not to be confused for cabins used for GFLI). Pine Lodge is no longer standing, but there are some remnants of where the Scottie hangout spot used to be.


Bucher Scott Gymnasium (1925-1999)

This building not only served as a gym but also had an auditorium that hosted graduation ceremonies and housed Agnes Scott’s second pool. After Woodruff Gym was built, Butcher Scott Gymnasium was designated as the new student center. In 1999, the building was demolished and was replaced by our current Alston Campus Center.


Amphitheatre (1925-2008)

The Julia Thompson Smith Chapel now stands where the amphitheater of Agnes Scott was. Various events and festivities were hosted in this place. We need to bring this beautiful area back!


Harrison Hut (1938-1950)

The Harrison Hut served as a replacement for the Pine Lodge and was a place for students to meet and retreat. It stood near where the Bradley Observatory is currently and was torn down after being used for student housing.


Frances Winship Walters Infirmary (1949-1999)

This infirmary was built to replace the Alumnae Infirmary and was located in between what would now be Alston and Winship.


It will be interesting to see how much campus changes in the next 100 years (hopefully Main will get air conditioning). If you are interested in more information about Agnes Scott’s history, there are plenty more stories/resources in the McCain collections and archives!