There are some buildings that have been changed so much since their initial construction that it is often hard to fully appreciate their quality of design. The Men's Building, known as Wilder Hall, at Oberlin College is such a building. While the exterior of the building retains almost all of its remarkable Romanesque features, the interior bears almost no resemblance to what it once was.schemes for several buildings, Wilder Hall was the second and final structure that the college built to his plans.
Gary Y.M.C.A., built about a year later, to see how Silsbee adapted this type to another context. The design that Silsbee presented to college trustees changed at least four times before a final one was chosen and constructed. An initial design was considered out of step with the look of the immediate college campus. In order to compliment Warner Gymnasium by Chicago architect, Norman Patton (pictured below), a Romanesque style was chosen. The primary design debate centered around the building's entrance. Initially planned with a shallow portico with three arches above, a covered veranda was desired by the building committee. Silsbee resisted the covering of the open piazza in the front of the building, noting that it would shut out light from the great hall on the first floor. Another scheme included a modified covered entry with a large single recessed arch articulated above (pictured above). The final scheme omitted the arch in favor of an austere squared cut-stone configuration above the main entry.
A woven checkerboard motif is used on the inside and outside of the buildings to accent engaged piers and stair raining balusters.Initially planed as a single large open room with fireplaces at each end, the current main hall is now subdivided into a series of small meeting spaces. Off the main room, small alcoves were designed for more intimate gatherings. Only one of these alcoves still exists. Natural light would color the room in a gold hue as it passed through delicately detailed art glass transoms above each window.