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December 30, 2010

The Tombs

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Mary Chisholm Painter Memorial Gateway

A university as long-lived as ours is bound to develop interesting myths and legends. Some of our more intriguing stories have formed around campus structures. The Tombs, for example, seems a grim nickname for the lovely structure on the north side of Euclid Avenue between Mather House and the Church of the Covenant.

In spite of its menacing sobriquet, the Painter Arch was Flora Stone Mather College’s most frequently used symbol, appearing on yearbook covers, calendars, event programs, postcards, and class pins. It is also a designated Cleveland Landmark.

The Mary Chisholm Painter Memorial Gateway, as it was formally named, was designed by Charles Schweinfurth and constructed in 1904. The Arch, as it was also called, was a gift of William and Mary Stone Chisholm in memory of their daughter, who died in 1901. William Chisholm was a prominent Cleveland businessman with social and business connections to several Western Reserve University trustees.

According to the 1904/05 Western Reserve University Annual Report, the Painter Gateway was the first of what President Thwing hoped would be a series of gateways at the entrances to Western Reserve University.

Posted by jmt3 at December 30, 2010 01:58 PM

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