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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/25/2006
St. Joseph's College & Mother Seton Shrine
Inventory No.: F-6-20
Date Listed: 1/1/1976
Location: 16825 S. Seton Avenue , Emmitsburg, Frederick County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1809-1945
Architect/Builder: Architect: Edmund G. Lind
Description: St. Joseph's College, currently referred to as the National Emergency Training Center, and the Mother Seton Shrine are set within the rural landscape of northern Frederick County, just south of Emmitsburg, Maryland. Containing buildings that date from the late 18th century to the mid 20th century, the college was developed by the Sisters of Charity as a religious and educational institution. The historic district consists of numerous extant 18th and 19th century buildings that were designed in a variety of architectural styles, including Second Empire, Gothic Revival, and Federal. Buildings such as St. Vincent's Hall, Seton Hall, and Rosary Hall were erected during the early to mid 20th century, reflecting the architectural styles and landscape plans of their time and as commonly found at other colleges and universities throughout the United States. Significance: St. Joseph's College and the Mother Seton Shrine form an architecturally and historically significant group of buildings, structures, and sites set within the rural landscape of northern Frederick County, Maryland. Founded as a girls' boarding school in 1809 with an emphasis on religious training, St. Joseph's Academy was the first parochial school, and later as St. Joseph's College, one of only three Catholic institutions of higher education for women in the United States. It was incorporated under Maryland Law as a school in 1816. Concurrent with the establishment of the school, St. Joseph's campus became the home of the Sisters of Charity, an American order established by Mother Seton that was associated with the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul of France. Based on this and numerous other accomplishments, Mother Elizabeth Seton was beatified and canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and is the only American-born woman so honored. After operating for over 160 years, St. Joseph's College closed in 1973. St. Joseph's College is an excellent illustration of the creation and subsequent growth of a parochial school in the early 19th century, and the development of a Catholic women's institution in the 20th century in the United States. Further, its physical evolution and characteristics illustrate the significant patterns of late-19th and early-20th century college architecture and landscape planning. St. Joseph's College encompasses fine examples of architecture ranging from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century. Distinctive architectural achievements of the late 19th century can be seen in the Second Empire style Burlando Building, designed by noted architect Edmund G. Lind in 1870. The remaining buildings are clearly products of skilled workmen and builders. The educational buildings that appear throughout the college illustrate the architectural and planning trends of colleges and universities in the early to mid 20th century. Finally, the campus of St. Joseph's College contains several potential archaeological resources dating from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.


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