Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeSisters of Providence logo

Founded by the Sisters of Providence in 1840 as Saint Mary’s Academy, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in west-central Indiana is the nation’s oldest Catholic women’s college. The College campus consists of six historic buildings dating from 1913 to 1969. The 67-acre campus is also home to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence, whose buildings date from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Four generations of Bohlen and Son architectural firm of Indianapolis (D.A. Bohlen, Oscar Bohlen, August Bohlen, Robert Bohlen)  completed more than sixty projects for the Sisters of Providence from 1858 - 1967, including all six of the historic College buildings. More than 20 Bohlen projects are listed by the National Register of Historic Places.

In designing the campus, the architects intentionally maintained a pastoral, bucolic setting. A French influence reminiscent of Georges-Eugene Haussmann is seen in the picturesque landscape with straight walkways and open views to points of interests. The buildings are representative of popular styles of architecture at the time they were built, yet are connected by a Classical inspiration that is evident even in the more modern styles. Interestingly, maintenance of the campus was supervised by three generations of the Joseph Bisch family from 1894 until the 1970s.

Gallery menu thumbnails with a black border indicate the College owned buildings; others are Sisters of Providence-owned. Select the small photos to view other pictures along with their descriptions. To see a different slideshow, use the links at the bottom of each page.