Matthews Hall (Colorado)

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Matthews Hall was an Episcopal divinity school of higher education at the Colorado University Schools campus at Golden, Colorado. Built in 1872 by the missionary Bishop George Maxwell Randall, Matthews Hall's purpose was the train future Episcopal clergy for work in the frontier region of Colorado. The school was named after its major benefactor, Nathan Matthews, Esq. of Boston. Its building, designed by architect Thayer from Boston, was created to complement is sister schools Jarvis Hall and the Territorial School of Mines on campus. It was a beautiful combination Gothic and Second Empire styled brick edifice with a central bell tower entrance and ornamental brickwork. Inside, Matthews Hall featured on the first floor a chapel, professors' rooms and lavatory; the second floor housed a 1,500 volume theological library, recitation rooms and students' rooms; and the third floor housed students' dormitories. The building starting in 1873 also housed the natural history wing of the Jarvis Hall Museum, organized by prominent Matthews Hall graduate Arthur Lakes. For most of its existence Matthews Hall was headed by Rev. Thomas Lloyd Bellam, and had an initial student body of 10 students.

After the death of Bishop Randall in 1873, however, the school along with Jarvis Hall became a target for persons within the church wishing to move it to Denver. On April 8, 1878, just four days after Jarvis Hall was destroyed by fire from a defective flue, Matthews Hall was discovered to be on fire, later found to have been a deliberate act by an arsonist. Afterward Matthews Hall either ceased to exist or merged with Jarvis Hall, which was eventually quartered in Denver. The Jarvis Hall Museum, reduced to only its geological wing housed in the School of Mines building, has gone on to become the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum.