Ochre Court

Salve Regina's central administration building, Ochre Court houses the Office of the President, the Business Office and the offices of Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid and the Registrar, among others. Concerts, student dances, lectures and special functions are held on the first floor throughout the year.

Commissioned by New York real estate magnate Ogden Goelet as his family's summer residence, Ochre Court (1888-1892) was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America's foremost architect of the late 19th century.

For the mansion's exterior, Hunt drew his inspiration from the late medieval period in French architecture, installing high roofs, turrets, whimsical gargoyles and tall chimneys. Inside, he used details from French Gothic chateaux and churches to create a soaring great hall, impressive ground floor reception rooms and private upstairs family rooms designed with imported antique fireplaces and lavish wall coverings.

It was the Goelet family's gift of Ochre Court to the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1947 that established Salve Regina. A far cry from its Gilded Age splendor, the stately 50-room mansion was the entire college for the first few years of the University's existence. The original 58 students lived on the third floor, attended classes on the second, studied and dined on the first, and snacked and purchased books in the basement. The eight Sisters of Mercy who made up the faculty established their own modest living area in the servants' quarters.

Just the Facts

Building Type: Administrative