Moorhead Environmental Complex

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Campus History

Origins & Inspirations

One of the most striking aspects of our campus is how well its design reflects the rural character and heritage of Chester County. The original building sits on the site of an 18th-century barn and incorporates the barn’s stone wall into the Ruth Patrick Library. Our lecture space echoes the architecture of two nearby Quaker meetinghouses.

Removing old siding from a run-down house across the courtyard revealed a log cabin dating to about 1720. The cabin has been restored to its original style and now houses visiting scientists.

Over 44 years we have grown into a modern, well-equipped campus situated on a country road and overlooking White Clay Creek, a nationally designated Wild & Scenic River. It is a place of contrasts — rustic in appearance yet sophisticated in operation, filled with art and devoted to science. It evokes a sense of warmth and comfort that is an ideal climate for our flourishing research.


Campus buildings

History of the Center’s campus. Top row, L to R: log cabin circa 1720; Joan & Dick Stroud’s garage, where the Center began; main building circa 1968. Middle row: main building entrance, 1996; the streamhouse, dedicated in1999. Bottom row: Moorhead Environmental Complex, dedicated in 2012.