'Hurst History: Zurn Hall

Many people drive through campus, admiring the buildings that surround them, knowing the old and new overlap, but not knowing much else. With a campus as rich in history as Mercyhurst, every building has a story to tell, some, quite literally, written in stone.

When it comes to Zurn Hall of Sciences and Fine Arts, there are interesting facts that not everyone knows. For example, Zurn was built several years after McAuley Hall, and even after the Federal Work Study Program was initiated.

The building was named for Everett Zurn who pledged $200,000 to help build the expansion. Mercyhurst became the first college in the city of Erie to receive money from the Zurn Foundation, which was created by the successful manufacturing of the Zurn family. This grant money was separate from the money Everett Zurn had pledged.

By 1965, Mercyhurst College was full and in need of more space. On October 10 of the same year, ground was broken for the new arts and sciences building to be located behind Old Main.

Completed in 1967, Zurn Hall was used for science, math, art, home economics, and music departments. The old buildings that had housed those departments were torn down upon their leaving. The D’Angelo School of Music was not added on until the 1980s.

Zurn Hall is home today to the Arts and Sciences of Mercyhurst. The building is a beautiful combination of dancers, artists, archaeologists and other scientists, somehow thriving under a slightly cramped roof.

Zurn continues to hold oddities here and there, such as the resident cat, Bosco, who used to live in the basement and roam freely. Many other animals line the hallways alongside beautiful and unique works of art and music that floats through the air, reminding many that Zurn Hall is home to all sorts of people.