The Ursulines commissioned prominent Toledo architect Edward Oscar (E.O.) Fallis, for an ambitious project of 15 interconnected buildings around three courtyards, essentially a self-contained community including a chapel, library, lecture rooms, art galleries, an auditorium, music building, dormitories, classrooms, the convent, a hospital, bakery, power plant and more.
Of the buildings originally planned, only the music and academy buildings, five stories tall, and power plant were ever constructed. The structure was completed and ready for occupancy on September 6, 1905.
The style was based on 14th and 15th century Flemish and Norman brick architecture, featuring steeply pitched gables and rows of pointed dormers. Fallis desired a certain ‘antique effect’ for the structure using vitrified bricks and a dark-colored mortar along with a roof of a green Spanish tile intended to harmonize with the building’s dark color. The interior was to have stained oak woodwork and ‘high style’ art nouveau stair railings. Much of the original woodwork and flooring, and many of the original wrought iron, light fixtures and stair railings remain.