Postcard views of Notre Dame


Chemistry Hall, (now the Crowley Hall of Music) in a vintage 1909 postcard. It was the site of many of Father Nieuwlandís chemistry experiments.


The following description of the Rockne Memorial Building is from the superb guide book, Notre Dame, the Official Campus Guide, by Damaine Vonada. It's available in the book section at:

Chemistry Hall (Crowley Hall of Music)

Until 1916, this two-story building was a three-story building. That's when a chemistry experiment gone awry caused an explosive phosphorus fire. The sparks not only cost the hall its top floor, but also prompted the construction of a dedicated chemistry building (now Riley Hall). Probably no classroom building on campus has been recycled as many times as Crowley Hall. It was originally used for engineering, then pressed into service for chemistry, pharmacy, architecture, law, psychology, and music, and at one point it a military recreation center. As the hallís identity shifted, so did its name. The aliases began with Institute of Technology, then changed to Hoynes College of Law, and finally ended with Crowley Hall of Music in 1976.

One of Notre Dame's oldest structures, this rather dainty-looking brick building is located near the southeast corner of Main Quad and was built in 1893. It was another one of Father Zahmís pet projects, and he worked with Brother Harding to design a proper facility for engineering students. The engineers quickly outgrew this hall, and after they vacated it 1900s, the succession of diverse tenants began. In the mid-1970s, the hall was adapted for the last time when it was outfitted with studios and rehearsal rooms to become the newest home of Notre Dameís expanding Department of Music. This fine tuning occurred courtesy of John B. Caron, class of 1945, a New York industrialist and university trustee. His gift was made in memory of his brother-in-law, Patrick F. Crowley, a Chicago attorney who was graduated from Notre Dame in 1933. Mr. Crowley and his wife Patricia played a principal role in founding the international Christian Family Movement, and in 1966, they were the first couple ever to receive the university's Laetare Medal.

The Department of Music has a 150-year history that can be traced to the beginnings of the university. Music, in fact, was so important to Notre Dame's founders that a music hall was one of the first major buildings they constructed on campus. That 1846 hall, like so many of Notre Dame's early buildings, was lost to fire, but music instruction at the university would both survive and continue to thrive, particularly in the area of sacred and liturgical music. With the university's introducing a fine arts requirement and going co- ed in the 1970s, the music department grew rapidly and is now renowned for its many first-rate performing groups. The two oldest of those groups, incidentally, also happen to be the most famous: the Glee Club, founded in 1915, and the Marching Band, which started circa 1846.




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