Founded by the Sisters of Providence in 1840 as Saint Mary’s Academy for women, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the Sisters of Providence Motherhouse are located in west-central Indiana, approximately 70 miles from Indianapolis. Four generations of Bohlen and Son architectural firm of Indianapolis completed more than sixty projects for the Sisters of Providence from 1858 – 1967, purposefully maintaining a pastoral, bucolic setting. Eight historic College buildings date from 1913 to 1969. Historic buildings of the adjacent Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence date from the 19th and 20th Centuries.
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. The Sisters of Providence constructed impressive buildings for religious purposes including the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the Church of Immaculate Conception. The growth experienced by the college from 1910 to the 1960s resulted in two major building campaigns that produced impressive examples of the Classical Revival, Renaissance, and Beaux-Arts styles, reflective of the City Beautiful Movement. A later campaign resulted in three impressive examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture with Art Deco and Moderne features that relate to the general composition of the earlier buildings, but with a modern interpretation. Other buildings, structures, and objects constructed during these periods complete the site and provide an overall feeling of unity on the campus.
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.