History of Manning Hall

Manning Hall, opened in 1834, was the third major building constructed on Brown University's campus. Designed as a double-sized replica of the Doric-order temple of Diana-Propylea in Eleusis, Manning Hall originally housed the university's first free-standing library and its chapel. Later, the building served as a museum of classical antiquities, an architectural drawing studio, and an undergraduate lecture space. In 1959, the upper floor was returned to its original role as the University's chapel, after a hiatus of 65 years. Currently, Manning Hall houses the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's exhibitions and Manning Chapel.

Manning Hall has been renovated for this Museum at President Ruth Simmons's behest. We thank her for her initiative, as well as many others for their subsequent efforts: Provost Robert Zimmer, his staff, and the design and construction team that met under the guidance of Mike McCormick and Joanna Saltonstall in Brown's Department of Facilities Management - William S. Harris and colleagues at Signer Harris Architects; Andy Keating and others at Shawmut Design and Construction; Frances Halsband of R.M. Kliment and Frances Halsband Architects; Jonathan Alger of Chermayaff and Geismar Inc.; and Janet Cooper-Nelson and fellow chaplains in the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life.

For more information on Manning Hall's unique history, please see its entry in the Encyclopedia Brunonia. 

Historical Photographs


Manning Library, ca 1874Manning Library, ca 1874 Gallery of Classical Antiquities, ca 1893Gallery of Classical Antiquities, ca 1893
Manning Hall Classroom, ca 1890Manning Hall Classroom, ca 1890 Modern Classroom - 2003Modern Classroom - 2003
Manning Hall Under Construction - 2004Manning Hall Under Construction - 2004 Manning Gallery TodayManning Gallery Today