The new Holland Hall

Holland Hall, modeled on the Mont-Saint-Michel monastery in France, stands as one of the most majestic and iconic buildings on St. Olaf College’s campus. Thanks to a recent $13 million renovation, the interior of Holland is now as beautiful as its exterior.

First opened in 1925, Holland Hall had its interior renovated in 1969. The 1969 renovation enabled more departments to use the building; however, much of the Holland Hall’s character was lost. The renovation of Holland Hall this year revives its original design, combining classic architecture and adaptable classrooms filled with modern teaching technologies. The new technology was made possible by a generous $1 million donation from Carol and Ward Klein ’77.

The updated Holland Hall houses the Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Social Work and Family Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology departments.

Improvements to Holland include:

  • A light-filled interior with expanded views of campus and the surrounding countryside.
  • Windows engineered for energy efficiency, with certain components custom-built to match the original design.
  • An ADA floor lift, making the 5th and 6th floors accessible.
  • Offices positioned toward the building’s exterior to take advantage of natural light.
  • New study spaces, including lounge areas, rooms for group work, and quiet study spots.
  • New classrooms, including seminar rooms, a computer lab, and an undergraduate research lab. Many classrooms now match the initial 1924 floor plans.

“Anyone entering Holland Hall today with any memory of the prior iteration will certainly acknowledge it is a transformed space,” Associate Provost and Professor of Music Dan Dressen says. “It has become a beautiful gateway to the college for those who enter it from the community.”

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