Visitors to Whitman College’s Hunter Conservatory are in for an architectural treat. As you enter the historic building’s spacious atrium, three stories of elegant and elaborate details greet you, including neoclassical elements such as Corinthian capitals. Balconies with varied wood-patterned railings wrap the upper levels, looking down onto the open lobby area. Gaze up from the floor of the atrium and you’ll see three leaded-glass skylights that brighten the space, adding to the splendor and drama.

Portland, Oregon, architect Ellis F. Lawrence (1879-1946) designed the Music Conservatory (1908-1910). You can find his historic period styles in other spots on campus—namely Lyman House (1923) and Prentiss Hall (1926). 

For the Whitman community, Hunter’s remarkable atrium is an attractive, quiet location for study, reflection or conversation. Thanks to a renovation in 1998 that included upgrades for the Film and Media Studies Department and Multimedia Development Lab housed there, Hunter offers modern technology, including strong Wi-Fi, in a setting that so beautifully speaks to the past.