In September 1918, Wagner College had 42 boarding students occupying a single dorm, the building we now call Reynolds House. By 1921, enrollment had risen to 72 students, and more housing was desperately needed. Construction of a new dormitory was approved, but it wouldn’t be ready until September 1923.
To bridge the gap, a group of alumni pooled their resources and, for $18,000, bought the former boarding house at 86 Glenwood Avenue, a 15-minute walk from campus. The Annex, as it was called, housed 10 or 11 students and three faculty members for two years.
“The house … is three-storied with a very high and roomy attic,” said the College newsletter. “It contains 22 rooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, and 2 heating plants.”
This note described life at the Annex in the spring of 1922:
There are ten jolly good fellows who … certainly enjoy the life of the Annex. It is not so disturbing as up on the hill, except when the next door neighbor tries to make the self-commencer on his “flivver” work early in the morning.
This “Lizzie” is not the only thing that disturbs the peace of the Annex. It is the midnight song [of] … two cats, maybe three or four, or more, which seem to arouse the professors from their slumber, but the studes sleep through it all.
Nevertheless, these ten boys claim that life at the Annex surpasses that of the Dorm.
The College moved all students back to campus when the new dormitory — now called Parker Hall — was finished. But the Annex is still standing, and today looks very much as it did in 1921.
— Lee Manchester