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  • A Walk Through Mead Hall

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This tour will describe the architecture and history of the building and some of the many functions of its various rooms.

North (Main) Façade

Its imposing size (145′ x 90′) and impressive architectural features have earned Mead Hall an important place among New Jersey ‘s largest and finest Greek Revival-style houses. Along the main façade, a full-height portico is supported by six massive Ionic columns of fluted and carved wood, each 36 feet high. The brick walls of the house were once painted, probably in a light-gray color simulating stone. The paint was removed in 1958, to complement other redbrick buildings on the Drew Campus. (The Rose Memorial Library immediately east of Mead Hall was constructed in 1939, with many Greek Revival features that echo those of Mead Hall.)  At either end of the portico are brownstone mounting blocks, tangible reminders of William Gibbons’ interest in horses. The white-painted lintels incised with Greek-key designs that rest above the tall windows are of brownstone; originally, the stone was exposed. The portico floor retains its original gray marble tiles. The paneled wood front door, with its silver-plated hardware, is also original. Overall, the design of the T-shaped house hints of the southern origins of its builder, recalling the gracious proportions and high ceilings of antebellum plantation houses below the Mason-Dixon Line.

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