The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The History of Zinzendorf Hall

Photo courtesy of Lola Offenback.

Moravian College and Theological Seminary was relocated from East Church Street to Main Street in 1890. Comenius Hall was the first building to serve the student body, and shortly after that the Refectory, known today as Zinzendorf Hall, was built in 1892. 

The Refectory served students in the same way that the Star does current-day students, hosting communal meals. The first floor of the Refectory housed the kitchen and dining hall and the second floor held the infirmary.

The Refectory also had spaces for staff including, “a sewing room, storage rooms, a laundry, and housekeeper’s and servants’ quarters” according to the Moravian Spring ‘23 magazine. Some of these rooms were dismantled when the basement was converted into a second dining area for students. 

In 1962, with the opening of the HUB, dining services were relocated. The Refectory became known as the Seminary Building. The Seminary Building housed classrooms, administrative offices, and dormitories. 

In 1976, the Seminary was relocated to the Bahnson Center, and the building received its current name: Zinzendorf Hall. This name stemmed from one of the most influential Moravians, Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. He was a bishop of the Moravian Church, and his daughter, Benigna von Zinzendorf, founded the first girls’ school in America, known as the Moravian Female Seminary, on today’s south campus. 

One year after the renaming of the building, Zinzendorf Hall became home to the English Department. Today, it holds classrooms, the Writing Center, and offices for English faculty and The Comenian itself. 

In the 1980s, the basement of Zinzendorf Hall was a popular spot where fraternities and sororities would host parties. It also served as a bar, first for students and then for faculty. After the bar shut down, it remained neglected and unused until the 2010s, when members of the United Student Government (USG) took on the task of updating the space and naming it the Doghouse. Presently, it is used to host club meetings and other events. 

Being one of the first buildings on the Main Street campus, Zinzendorf Hall has been serving students for centuries. From dining services to staff spaces to the Writing Center, the building has benefited students in many ways and continues to adapt to the needs of the institution and student body.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

Any comments that are considered racist, sexist, using expletives or slurs, based on factually inaccurate information, or are derogatory in any way will be deleted.
All The Comenian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • L

    LevonOct 25, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    The zinzendorf building seems like the perfect fit for the English department with all of its rich history