Monmouth University is privileged to include two historic buildings on its picturesque campus, both of which are still used for both academic and administrative purposes.
Formerly known as Shadow Lawn mansion, Wilson Hall was built in 1929 at a cost of $10.5 million as the private residence of former F.W. Woolworth Co. president Hubert Templeton Parson and his wife Maysie. Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer and his assistant Julian Abele, the first African-American professional architect, designed the mansion in the neoclassical French tradition. The construction incorporates limestone quarried in Bedford, Indiana (also used in the Empire State Building), steel, concrete, and 50 varieties of Italian marble.
Wilson Hall has been described in newspapers throughout the world, is featured in many books on architecture and art, and has been used as backdrop for innumerable print ads and television commercials. Many visitors also recognize it as the setting for the 1982 film version of Annie.
In 1978, Wilson Hall was entered in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1985, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated it a National Historic Landmark.
The Guggenheim Mansion was originally the summer home of Murry and Leonie Guggenheim. The building, completed in 1905, is built in the dignified neoclassical idiom typical of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, but the general effect is lightened by a white stucco exterior, wide arcades curving out from the east and west sides of the buildings, and a predominantly white interior. The ceilings on the first floor are lofty and numerous floor-to-ceiling doors and windows allow summer breezes to cool the rooms. The billiard room and the living room are paneled in chestnut and walnut respectively. A marble floored central corridor provides access to all the rooms on the first floor. Photographs of the cottage interior in its days as a residence show that it was decorated with restrained good taste rather than extravagance.
In 1978, the Guggenheim Mansion was entered in the National Register of Historic Places.