Wilkes University

Catlin Hall

Catlin HallThe mansion-style Catlin Hall Residence Hall is a coed living environment for 1st year students. 

The capacity of this building is 24 beds with a support staff of one RA. Singles, doubles and triples are offered as housing options. 

Catlin HallCatlin hall became our third north-end residence hall when it was acquired by Wilkes in 1957. It was named in honor of George Catlin, who is known as the first American painter to create portraits of Native Americans.

This home features an extra-large lounge, so there is plenty of room for one group to study while another group watches television or socializes. Outside, Catlin has a great stone patio -- perfect for relaxing!

  • Still in use: original front door and silver doorknob
  • Listed on: National Register of Historic Places
If you were at Wilkes before 1957 Catlin Hall still belonged to the Reynolds family. It was built in 1843, as the residence of Elijah W. Reynolds, a merchant. The building was purchased by Elijah's brother William in the late 1850s. Like his brother, William Reynolds was a merchant. He also served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and as a Luzerne County judge.

The home was passed through the hands of other members of the Reynolds family until Mrs. Dorrance Reynolds, a descendent of the original owner, donated it to Wilkes.
As we mentioned earlierWilkes named the former Reynolds' home in honor of George Catlin (1796-1872), who was a lawyer in Luzerne County for four years before he committed his life to painting. He traveled the United States and visited 50 Native American tribes over the span of eight years, creating more than 500 oil paintings that depicted Native American life. The paintings have been featured in the Louvre, the Smithsonian and in other museums around the world.

A historic marker that honors George Catlin can be found near the northwest corner of River and South Streets. You can learn more about Mr. Catlin and his work on the Smithsonian Institution website.
Next time you stand in front of Catlin Hall look up. You will notice capital "R"s, and the numeral 1843 embossed on the top corners of the building, These insignias represent the Reynolds-family initial and the year the building was constructed.

The building didn't always look as it does today. In the late nineteenth century, the original architecture was altered to feature the Victorian look popular at that time. In the twentieth century, however, the façade of the building was returned to its original classical appearance, which included the reappearance of its original front door, still used today.