History of Studio Cottage into Unity House
1903-4: Studio Cottage built by Rev. Henry T. Spangler, the retired third president of Ursinus, as a “family summer home in the country”. It was built on the side of the Perkiomen as a boathouse. (UC Bulletin January 1985; Alumni Journal August 1968)
1914: Studio Cottage moved to Ursinus College as the home of his daughter Marion Gertrude Spangler. Spangler “added a large, acoustically sound music studio to the existing structure”. This is technically when the name of the house was coined as “Studio Cottage”. Her home became the campus hub for musical events and Spangler herself hosted many recitals. Ursinus faculty also rented rooms from Miss Spangler to live in; she eventually rented the four rooms upstairs to students as well. As reported by Ken Schaffer, former student and Director of Annual Giving in 1985, “[Spangler] didn’t interfere in our lives, [b]ut you had to learn to walk upstairs properly”. The home itself was placed upon the old grounds of Prospect Terrace, “the fashionable watering place of the wealthy Drew Family”’. Studio Cottage stood next to the Alumni Memorial Library. Prospect Terrace was a private property and was described by Spangler as “the forbidden forest”. It burnt down in 1897 before Studio Cottage was there. (UC Bulletin January 1985; Alumni Journal August 1968)
March 1957: Previously owned by Dr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Wismer, Studio Cottage was turned over to Ursinus College by the couple. Other properties turned over by the Wismers include 646 Main Street, 724 Main Street (Todd Hall), 942 Main Street, and 944 Main Street. The only non-dormitory at the time, Studio Cottage was home to Miss Marian G. Spangler-- a former student and instructor of music at Ursinus. This acquisition was a very asset to the college. (Ursinus College Bulletin Alumni Journal March 1957)
January 1985: Studio Cottage undergoes renovations and becomes the home of Career Planning and Placement, Counseling Services, and Education. This is the first time all of these offices have been under one roof. As said by the Assistant Dean at the time, Carla Rinde, “[W]e can use each other as a network of support. And we hope that by providing a comfortable atmosphere, traffic will increase-- students will feel free to stop in and use the facilities here.” (Ursinus College Bulletin January 1985)
1971: Marion Spangler passes away and leaves Studio Cottage to Ursinus College. (UC Bulletin January 1985)
- February 1999- Unity House hosts a viewing of the film, "Birmingham 1960s", to celebrate Black History Month. Birmingham 1960s is a film about the racial divide in Birmingham that occured throughout the 1960s. Movements like Sit-Ins and the civil movmements were depicted in this film as they worked to fight racial discrimination of colored people. This event was a way for students and the Collegeville community to emburse themselves in black culture and have the opportunity to hear professor Lynne Edwards speak.
- October 2015- Unity house hosts weekly fellowship meetings for Christian athletes (The Grizzly October 2015)
- February 2016- The Rainbow Resource Center returned to the Ursinus campus, locating itself on the Second floor of Unity House with a newly redone office space. The RRC was an office for student affairs that helped change campus policies for minoritized genders and LGBTQ+ members on campus. Jordan Ostrum, the student director, described his excitement for the RRC being brought back to life, saying that it would help students gain access to gender neutral bathrooms, help transgender students seeking name changes, and provide proper staff training for encountering transgender individuals. This marked a new opportunity for the Unity house to help the Ursinus community understand, aid, and make aware of issues of diversity. Jordan also stated how the social on-campus club Gender and Sexual Alliance (GSA) would work hand-in-hand with the RRC to provide necessary resources and security for LGBTQ+ members. (The Grizzly February 2016)
- August 2018- Ursinus announces on their website the date when the Unity House will be destroyed for the forthcoming of "The Commons". The announcement also gives detail about the new Institute for Inclusion and Equity and where it will be located.