Do we even have talented people today that could build something like this Romanesque Revival with High Victorian Gothic details? The cost back in 1887 was $500,000, what would the cost be today? Well your in luck! Today's cost would be 2,440.6% more in 2018 figuring an average inflation rate of 2.50% per year. The bottom line is $500,000 in 1887 would be, are your ready?, $12,702,793.50 in 2018. That's a difference of $12,202,793.50.
We take pleasure in presenting to our readers an illustration of the John Crouse Memorial College for Women, which it is proposed to erect on the hill west of the Hall of Languages, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N. Y. This edifice is to be the gift of one of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens of Syracuse, Mr. John Crouse. The donor of this magnificent gift well deserves to be held in grateful remembrance by every friend and well wisher of the Syracuse University, as well as by the students and faculty. It is proposed to make this building a model one in every respect, and neither pains nor money are to be spared to render it the most perfectly equipped college to be found in the country. The structure is to be five stories in height, to be built of East Long Meadow brownstone, and to cover an area of nearly two hundred feet square.
In this connection a brief historical sketch of Syracuse University may interest our readers.
The college now known as Syracuse University had its origin in Lima, a pretty little village in Western New York, but quite out of the way, and not easy of access. It was then called Genesee College, and the first gathering of faculty and students occurred on Monday, June 9, 1851. The faculty consisted of Benjamin F. Tefft, D.D. LL.D. and Professors Houghton, Douglass, Whitlock, and Alverson. On June 12 of same year, the Rev. B. F. Tefft was inaugurated president of Genesee College, and on July 10 the names of thirty‐eight students were enrolled on the college register. November 5 saw the faculty increased by the addition of Professors Hoyt and Fowler. The college thus organized continued with varying fortunes until July 7, 1871, when it disbanded. In 1866 the subject of removing the college from Lima began to be agitated, and the idea of a central university for the Methodism of New York was first publicly announced in the Northern Christian Advocate, during the year 1873. From this time forth the new enterprise met with great favor on all sides, except with the citizens of Lima, who were reluctant to see the withdrawal from their midst of their principal attraction, to which we may well believe they had become greatly attached, and who procured an injunction against its removal. Prominent members of the Methodist Central Conference were nevertheless commissioned to carry forward the good work, and substantial aid was soon forthcoming. Syracuse, being the most central city in the State, was finally settled upon as the most appropriate home for the new college. The site now known as University Hill was secured, plans made by the well known architect, H. N. White, were adopted, and July 19, 1871, the contract for building the Hall of Languages was let for the sum of $136,000, and Syracuse University became an assured fact. The corner stone of the Hall of Languages was laid on August 31, with impressive ceremonies, and the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts was inaugurated. On September 1 the college opened in the Myers block, which had been secured for the use of the university, and here the sessions were held until May 1, 1873, when the Hall of Languages being completed, it was on that date occupied for the first time. During the year 1871 the plan for a medical college in connection with the university was adopted, and its first commencement exercises were held February 12, 1873. When the Hall of Languages was erected, other buildings were contemplated at such time as the finances of the university should admit of their realization. The institution has struggled along, sometimes meeting with reverses, but now and then being fortified and strengthened by the reception of substantial encouragement from some of its many and devoted friends. Now at last the wheel of fortune has suddenly turned in its favor, and it finds itself at the flood tide of prosperity, with the prospect before it of a long and honorable course of usefulness and well deserved success. University Hill commands a magnificent view of the belt of hills which girdle the city, with Onondaga Lake set like a sparkling gem in the distance. Upon the west hill an observatory has just been erected, and near the Hall of Languages a suitable building is in process of erection, for the accommodation of the fine and valuable library which has been generously bestowed upon it by one of its friends. Syracusans are proud of the University, and they, in common with its hosts of warm friends throughout all parts of the country, rejoice in the evidence of its well merited prosperity.
The alumni of Syracuse University have members not only in almost every State in the Union, but count among their number graduates from Canada, England, Mexico, San Domingo, Brazil, China, India, and Japan.--Architectural Era.
Taken from: Scientific American Architects and Builders Edition, No. 26, Dec, 1887
I just love this building! Oh, and would love to take a tour of it sometime.