De La Roche Hall (1934)

Merton Tour Stop #5

When Thomas Merton taught here at St. Bonaventure, his classroom was in De la Roche Hall.  Other than being the classroom building, it also housed the bookstore and post office.  Merton recalled that “the Sisters always came back with the right answer, although they sometimes had circles under their eyes.  The clerics had the right answers but no circles, because they got the answer from the Sisters.”

Next Stop

De La Roche Hall was dedicated on June 12, 1934.  It took the place of Lynch Hall which had been heavily damaged by fire the previous year, and which was itself on the site of an earlier college academic building which had burned in 1908.

The building was named for the Franciscan Missionary, Father Joseph De La Roche d'Allion who was the first European to find oil in North America at the Seneca Oil Spring near Cuba, N.Y., in 1627.  The plaque over the main entrance highlights the coincidental relationship between the building's namesake De La Roche, "of the rock", and petroleum, "oil of the rock".

References:
"Big Science Hall For Bona's Now Certain." The St. Bona Venture. 8 April 1927, p. 1+.
Elinski, Francis Xavier. "History of De La Roche Hall Highlighted By Series Of Fires." The Bona Venture. 20 Oct. 1950, p.?.
Please visit our buildings site for more information about De la Roche Hall.

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For more information about this building, visit the St. Bonaventure University Archives in Friedsam Library.
Last updated:  11/03/06