Clinton College moved from downtown Clinton to Recitation Hall in 1886. It was the first building actually built for the college. Located on the present-day Thornwell campus, it was designed by noted New York architect, A. Page Brown. Finished at a cost of $7,000, it contained housing for the college president, a chapel, five classrooms, a laboratory, a gymnasium, offices, and halls for the college’s literary societies. It was three and one-half stories high and was built of brick and stone.
The college began building on the current campus across Broad Street in 1890, and by 1907 Recitation Hall had been sold to Thornwell Orphanage, bringing all college activities onto one campus. Thornwell used the building as a high school until it was destroyed by fire in 1943.