Florida Southern College is an institution with a rich history—one consistently characterized by growth and development, by change. This page seeks to document the history of change that the college has seen in its more than 130-year history through its academic, residential, and administrative buildings over the years.
The oldest building on the Florida Southern College campus today is the Dormitory for Women, built in 1922. The building was rededicated as Joseph-Reynolds Hall in 1937 - though the building has remained a women's dormitory - and is affectionately known as “JR.” At the time when it was one of only a few buildings on campus, Joseph-Reynolds also contained several offices, including that of The Southern and some administration. Furnishings dated to the 17th Century were provided by the New York City head of sanitation, William F. Carey, and some remain in the drawing room. In 1945, the drawing room in JR was dedicated to Eleanor Searle, a woman who had enrolled as a freshman in the music program but left to find success as a singer, allowing her to become a donor to the college. The current lobby of the hall was not built even as late as 1946; the horseshoe brick structure was open to the air prior to its closing in.
In 2017, Florida Southern College, due to the growing needs of the college and heightened enrollment levels, deemed it necessary to construct a new Admissions Building, one that more than doubled capacity compared to the current facility. The edifice, which was completed in January of 2018, overlooks Lake Hollingsworth between Callahan Court and Harvard Road and looks stylistically similar to Christoverson Humanities Building, due to the design philosophy of Jeff Baker, directing architect, who oversaw the construction of the Usonian house in 2012. It serves as the central office building for the marketing department and the admissions department, which oversees programs like Southern Ambassadors, Day on Campus, and Scholars Weekend.