Berry College, Rome, GA 30149
The “Ford Castle” pr Ford Complex is the “city on a hill” of Berry College. The building consists of a dining hall, gymnasium, auditorium, Clara Hall, the Mary halls, admissions office, music department and the Alumni Center. It is visible from Martha Berry Highway before entering the Berry College Campus.
After visiting the Berry schools in 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Ford became very interested in the school Martha Berry had begun. In 1925, Clara hall was built and named after Mrs. Clara Ford. To accompany this new structure, in 1928 the Mary halls, a recitation hall, auditorium, weaving room, library, and recreation hall were added: this group of buildings completed the Ford Complex. These buildings were constructed over the course of three years by the Thomas Starrett Company of New York in a million dollar contract. Ford chose his own architects and stonemasons to ensure that this venture would be a beautiful success. However, he did not want to be accredited for these buildings at Berry because he believed that then he would be expected to maintain them throughout his life. These buildings were referred to as the “Martha Berry School for Girls” until Ford’s death in 1947. After his death, the buildings began being called the Ford Complex.