Bracken House:
The President's Home

Bracken House

The brick Georgian Revival structure surrounded by foliage in Muncie’s historic Westwood Neighborhood is a cultural pillar of Ball State University.

Bracken House, which the university received in 1998 as a bequest from Alexander M. and Rosemary Ball Bracken, is home to President Paul W. Ferguson and his wife, Grace.

President Ferguson, Wes Moore and Guests of Bracken House President Ferguson hosted author Wes Moore, who wrote the Freshman Common Reader for the 2014-2015 academic year.

There, the Fergusons routinely open their doors to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other guests for dinners, receptions, and other formal and informal events.

History

In late December 1937, the Brackens moved to 10 Berwyn Road, just west of Ball State’s campus.

Alec, an attorney who became chairman of Ball Corp., and Rosemary, daughter of Ball State and Ball Corp. co-founder Frank C. Ball, did not move far—just two doors down. But they needed more space for their young family to grow.

Despite its size, the 8,600-square-foot home rarely had a quiet day over the more than 50 years the Brackens lived there.

Five children grew up in the house, which was also home to a live-in nurse, three dogs, and a bevy of other animals.

The children made heavy use of a playroom with a large train set and a basement with a small stage to perform theatrical classics such as A Christmas Carol and You Can’t Take It with You.

Over the years, Bracken House hosted traditional family affairs—a large 25th anniversary party for Rosemary and Alec, as well as a wedding for one of their daughters.

Bracken House

Architecture

The Brackens hired Walter S. Scholer, a respected architect from Lafayette, Indiana, to design the house.

Construction took almost two years. Masonry alone was exhaustive, with 170,000 bricks going into load-bearing interior walls. 

The original design, on top of standard bedrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms, included a library on the first floor, multiple playrooms on the second floor, and a sleeping porch.

Ball State renovated the home after receiving it in 1998. It turned to a familiar name for counsel, Scholer Corp., who found the home only needed light changes to update it for its new purpose.

Visit Bracken House

If you are invited to attend an event at Bracken House and are not sure where it is located, see our campus map for more information.

You may park in a small parking area to the north of the home or along Warwick Road, also to the north.

If you have questions, call the president's office at 765-285-5555.