Russian House (Allencroft)

front outside view of small brick house with extended front porch.
Facade of Russian House, also known as Allencroft.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

Russian House (Allencroft) is a coeducational residence that supports students’ study of the Russian language. Students can enhance their knowledge of Russian language and culture through programming with faculty, and regular interaction with two native speakers, a faculty in residence, and a Fulbright teaching assistant, who support programming for the 15 students who live here.

This language-based house features a lounge with piano and TV, kitchen, and laundry area. It is open to students from all class years. 

The house was built in 1861 by Ralph Plumb, a hero of the famed Oberlin-Wellington Rescue, Allencroft was home to Dr. Dudley Allen beginning in 1865. In 1899, Allen’s son, Dudley Peter Allen, and his sister, Emily Allen Severance, gave the property to the college, making it the oldest residence hall on campus. It’s been renovated over the years but has retained its welcoming front porch and spacious interior common spaces.

Allencroft was listed as an Oberlin City Landmark in 1975. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Oberlin College thematic nomination in 1978.