Connecticut Hall, Yale University
|Location||1017 Chapel Street
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
|Architect||Francis Letort, Thomas Bills|
|Restored by||Douglas Orr|
|Governing body||Yale University|
|NRHP Reference #||66000806|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||December 21, 1965|
Connecticut Hall (formerly South Middle College) is a Georgian-style building on the Old Campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Built between 1750 and 1756, it is the only surviving 18th-century structure on the Yale campus, and the second-oldest building built in New Haven for Yale College. It is the last surviving member of the Old Brick Row, the rest of which was demolished after the American Civil War. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
When Yale College moved to New Haven in 1718, the town had constructed a wooden building known as the College House for its occupancy at the corner of College and Chapel Streets. By 1747, the College House held less than half of the college's enrolled students, and college president Thomas Clap announced that funds would be raised from the Colony of Connecticut for a "new College House" of three stories. The money used to fund the project came from the sale of a French ship, a lottery, and a grant from the Connecticut Assembly. Construction, completed by 1752, was headed by Francis Letort and Thomas Bills, who also designed the college's next building, the First Chapel. The new dormitory was built 100 feet (30 m) long, 40 feet (12 m) wide, three stories tall, and, because President Clap instructed the builders to follow plans he received from Harvard University, appeared nearly a duplicate of the latter's Massachusetts Hall, completed in 1720. In its original incarnation, just under one hundred rooms were fit under its gambrel roof.
Connecticut Hall became the anchor and template for Old Brick Row's building pattern, and became known as South Middle College as buildings were added to its north and south. By 1824, Old Brick Row had four "colleges" resembling Connecticut Hall: Union Hall (South College), Connecticut Hall (South Middle College), Berkeley Hall (North Middle College), and North College. When Old Brick Row was slated for demolition in the early 20th century, Connecticut Hall was saved by a group of alumni led by Professor Henry W. Farnam. In 1925, Yale broke ground on McClellan Hall, a student dormitory intended to be a symmetrical model of Connecticut Hall. At the time, many students and faculty felt Connecticut Hall was a vestigial structure that marred the campus' beauty, and objected to the administration's sudden plans to erect a facsimile building to balance its presence on the Old Campus.  They dubbed McClellan "Hush Hall" and staged a "Pageant of Symmetry" to oppose its construction.
The building has been renovated several times and appears substantially different from its early appearance and function. A 1797 addition swapped it for a fourth story and a pitched roof. In 1905, a restoration led by Grosvenor Atterbury rebuilt the gambrel roof, bringing the building closer to its original form. In 1952, a project funded by Paul Mellon and designed by Douglas Orr and Richard A. Kimball gutted the structure and rebuilt it as an academic building.
Connecticut Hall remained a student dormitory for nearly 200 years, but has always been joined by other uses. Lacking sufficient space, Thomas Clap and other faculty would hold class sessions in the entryways. Before pupose-built structures could be constructed, a physics laboratory, art gallery, and natural history collection were housed in various parts of the building.
As a residence, South Middle gained a reputation as cramped, damp, and cold, and was considered undesirable housing by most of its occupants. Shortly after the Atterbury restoration, Yale College Dean Frederick S. Jones announced he would move his offices there to "get to the center of the college." There they remained until World War II, when they were moved to Sterling-Sheffield-Strathcona Hall on Prospect Street and the Orr renovation fully converted the building to departmental offices and faculty meeting space.
Today, the building contains the offices of Yale's Department of Philosophy. The Faculty Room, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences holds its meetings, is located on the second floor. There is also a computer cluster in the basement.
Connecticut Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Connecticut and the only remaining example of colonial-era architecture built at Yale.
The first two residence halls at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, originally dubbed "Yale of the Early West", are modeled after Connecticut Hall.
- Horace Bushnell, theologian and Congregationalist minister
- Nathan Hale, American Revolutionary War spy 
- James Hillhouse, early New Haven benefactor
- David Humphries, aide-de-camp to George Washington, ambassador and author
- James Kent, American jurist and legal scholar
- Jeremiah Mason, United States Senator
- Noah Porter, president of Yale College
- John William Sterling, lawyer and Yale benefactor
- Noah Webster, author of the first American dictionary
- Theodore Woolsey, president of Yale College
- Eli Whitney, inventor of interchangeable parts and the cotton gin
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Connecticut
- National Register of Historic Places listings in New Haven, Connecticut
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Connecticut Hall, Yale University". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- Higgins Schroer, Blanche; Snell, Charles W.; Bradford, S. Sydney (December 6, 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Connecticut Hall, Yale University" (PDF). National Park Service. and Accompanying photo from 1974 and etching from 1807/1910
- Franklin Tolles, Bryant (2011). Architecture and Academe: College Buildings in New England Before 1860. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. pp. 26–29. ISBN 1584658916. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Davis, Harold H. (1936). Connecticut Hall (PDF) (Report). New Haven: Historic American Buildings Survey. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Schiff, Judith Ann (February 2001). "Nathan Hale Slept Here". Yale Alumni Magazine: 104.
- Mills Brown, Elizabeth (1976). New Haven: A Guide to Architecture and Urban Design. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 122.
- Pierson, George W. (1955). Yale: the University College, 1921-1937. Yale University Press. p. 79.
- Listing on National Historic Landmarks webpage
- Media related to Connecticut Hall at Wikimedia Commons