Simpson Memorial Hall (@ Ehwa Girls’ High School)

Simpson Memorial Hall (Ehwa Girls’ High School)

Ewha College was first established at the house of Presbyterian missionary Mrs. M. F. Scranton in 1886. Simpson Hall was built in 1913 by Miss Lulu E. Frey (1868-1921), principal of the college at the time, who purchased the land to meet the need for more classrooms. The site had been the home for an orphanage run by Reverend Underwood and Sijongwon, a government agency that managed the affairs of the royal family.

The construction was funded by Miss Holbrook of Columbia River Brach, who named the building ‘Simpson Memorial Hall’ in commemoration of Sarah Simpson, her sister who passed away around the time of the construction. After an expansion in March 1922, Simpson Hall, then simply called ‘the academy,’ housed 24 classrooms and was used mainly as a high school building. After Korean independence in 1945, the building was used by Ewha Girl’s Middle School and in July 1960, another expansion was begun, resulting in the present-day structure with total area of more than 2100 square meters.

Currently, the building is being used as office space and as a center for student activities. Maintaining its original form, the building is the archetype of the ‘mission school’ architecture popular during Japanese colonial rule, and to this day its windows and keystones retain their decorative features that highlight the building’s uniqueness. Simpson Memorial Hall is the only building of the original school remaining today, and it has been a registered cultural heritage since 28 February 2002 (Registration Number 3).

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