Luhr Building

[Luhr Library]

Address: 475 E. Lockwood Ave.
Groundbreaking: March 29, 1967
Dedication: October 27, 1968
Cost: $1,225,839.25
Gross area (3 floors): 36,000 square feet
Architect: William P. Wenzler, A.I.A., Brookfield, WI
Rededication: October 13, 1985

The Eden library was originally located in the seminary's administration building, but as the collection grew, the need for a larger space became apparent. Dr. Robert T. Fauth, Eden President, wrote in the dedication program: "The need to make these materials available to scholars, the growth of the Eden library to almost 50,000 volumes, and the changing concept of a library as a campus study center, made the erection of a library building imperative."

[Luhr Library]

A notable aspect of the building's architecture are the pillars which resemble Christian crosses. The architect, William Wenzler, noted in the dedication program that "...influenced by the concept of the fan vault, I planned a sculptured tree form to spread the support of the floor beyond the column dimensions. This design maintains flexibility at the floor level, solves the structural problem, and creates a sculptural mass within the building consistent with the principals of the original Gothic."

In 1969, Eden Theological Seminary and Webster University signed an agreement creating the Eden-Webster Library. Webster moved its collection to the Luhr building in time for the fall semester. The two schools continued to share the space until the Emerson Library opened in 2003.

In October, 1986, the building was named the Luhr Library in honor of Adelheid Luhr and her husband Eugene. Mrs. Luhr, a former board member at Eden Theological Seminary, was active in United Church of Christ ministries, especially in the Southern Illinois area. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Eden in 1993.

In 2010, Webster University purchased the Luhr building along with two other buildings on the Eden campus. Part of the Eden library collection was moved to the Emerson Library and some of it moved to the Eden administration building. The two institutions continue to share library resources and services through the Eden-Webster Library System.

The Luhr Building is currently used for hosting various meetings and receptions. It is also the home for some university offices as well as the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE).

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