Steinheim Castle

Allen Steinheim Museum

  • Administration
  • Museum

Once the private residence of Professor Ida Kenyon, who wanted to reproduce the architecture of a castle in her native Germany, the Allen Steinheim Museum, affectionately known to many as the Castle, sits prominently on the hillside edge of Alfred University's valley campus.

Statistics and History

  • Constructed: 1875-1876
  • In Honor of: Jonathan Allen

About this Facility

Professor Kenyon started construction on the building in 1875, using stones collected from the area. She ran out of money before her castle was completed, and it was purchased by Jonathan Allen, the University's second president, who completed it for use as a natural history museum and classroom.

After 75 years' use and too little maintenance, the building was in disrepair and was closed in 1953. A decade later, basic repairs were made, allowing the building to be used for nearly 30 more years before it again closed, this time for a major renovation that would transform it into the Career Development Center. The renovation project won an architectural award for its careful blending of the old with the new. In 2022, the Career Development Center centralized to Alumni Hall, leaving the Castle vacant and available for a variety of future uses.

The Architecture

The walls of the building are a geological museum in themselves, made of more than 8,000 kinds of rock collected from ice age debris, all from within three miles of campus.

The interior of the building is finished primarily in native wood from local forests. More than 800 kinds of wood can be found in the Steinheim.