BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Last week, Bennington College joined the National Register of Historic Places. The designation focused on the age and history behind campus architecture, through two different acknowledgments.

Bennington College was designated as a historic place in recognition of structures including the campus’ 1785 shingle cottage, the Jennings Estate, and wood-framed Colonial houses that all stand on its campus. It also received a Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse and Rehabilitation award from the Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Vermont).

“The unique and striking beauty of Bennington’s campus arises from the dynamic interaction between our diverse and remarkable architecture, the landscape that grounds and inspires them, and the community that inhabits them,” said Bennington College’s Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning Andrew Schlatter, AIA. “It is our privilege to preserve these buildings, even as we adapt their uses to meet the ever-changing needs of the present day.”

Bennington College’s history is often divided into three periods. The campus’ land has a history of 19th-century use as farmland, followed by the construction of the Jennings Estate around those farms starting at the end of the 19th and leading into the 20th. The third and final era, starting in the 1930s, saw the raising of Bennington College begin, with its founding in 1932 as a women’s liberal arts college.

When the college came to be, the existing farm and estate structures were adapted to become part of the college, later joined by the Edward Clark Crossett Library and other additional structures over the decades. Contemporary structures stand in contrast to the remaining farm-era buildings that still call the campus home.

“Bennington College’s historical architecture, brilliant restorations, and new buildings reflect Bennington’s history of design and creativity,” said Bennington College President Laura Walker. “We are delighted with both these honors, because they acknowledge our drive to embrace our history and look to the future.”

The college’s AIA Vermont award acknowledged a recent project at The Barn at Bennington College. In 2019, part of the historic barn burned, and the college took to the task of rebuilding. Inside, the barn has been turned into a modern academic space, while its exterior still looks like it belongs on a farm from 200 years ago.