Completed in 1909, Marshbanks Hall is the oldest surviving building designed by an identified architect, Martin Egbert Parmalee of Parmalee & Sons.Originally containing administrative offices, classrooms, two Literary Society Halls, and a one room college library; the building was known as the Library Building until 1921-1922 when it was renamed Moore Hall in honor of President Dr. Robert Lee Moore. Come 1979, the building was renamed Marshbanks Hall in honor of the Marshbanks-Anderson family who had become significant benefactors to the institution
Throughout the years, Marshbanks Hall has provided office space to three of Mars Hill’s most prominent presidents; Moore, Dr. Blackwell, and Dr. Bentley. It is also home to perhaps the most enduring symbol of campus, the campanile or bell tower, that appears prominently on the Mars Hill University seal. In years past, the bell’s toll would signal the changing of classes and was said to be heard within a 3 mile radius of campus. It is said that only the “most trusted Baptist male student” was given the key to the rope-door and tasked with ringing the bell as scheduled.
McLeod, John Angus. From These Stones: Mars Hill College, 1856-1967. North Carolina: Mars Hill College Press, 1968.
Hood, Davyd Foard. Mars Hill College Historic District Nomination for National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service, 2006.