Parrish Hall is the iconic heart of Swarthmore's campus. The last major repairs on its dome were performed in 1982, though the roof was never fully replaced, and many of the existing slate shingles dated from when Parrish was rebuilt after a fire reduced the building to its stone walls in 1881.
Over the last several months, and thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous alumnus, the roof received new slate shingles and metal "hips." The metal around the cupolas was also replaced. Additional improvements to the building include the installation of central air conditioning to the building's basement and first two floors.
Designed by Quaker architect Addison Hutton and later named for the College's first president, Parrish Hall once constituted the entire college and included a library and geological museum as well as classrooms, a chemical laboratory, parlors, dining room, kitchen, and student rooms. After the fire, it was rebuilt and reopened exactly one year later. Now, in addition to being home to the Admissions Office, Parrish is the College's main administration building, the campus post office, and several student activities offices, including Swarthmore's student newspaper, The Phoenix (named to honor the College's rebirth from the 1881 fire.) Its upper floors serve still serve as a student residence.