Archive for Monday, August 23, 1993


August 23, 1993


New students at Kansas University soon will find that they spend much of their time on Jayhawk Boulevard, attending classes, studying at the library, taking a break at the Kansas Union, handling administrative tasks at Strong Hall or eating lunch at the Wescoe Hall cafeteria.

But they may not realize the history behind many of the buildings along the university's main street.

Craig Patterson, of the Historic Mount Oread Fund, pointed out that the organization has developed a self-guided tour of the university's historic landmarks -- Spooner Hall, Watson Library, Stauffer-Flint Hall, Hoch Auditorium, Marvin Hall, Snow Hall, Strong Hall, Bailey Hall, Lippincott Hall and Dyche Hall. The Historic Mount Oread Fund is dedicated to preserving historic KU landmarks.

"KU has a unique campus," Patterson said. "Many campuses have squares, but KU has Jayhawk Boulevard on top of the hill that makes up the spine of the campus. Each one of the buildings is like a chapter in the evolution of the campus."

Patterson said Mount Oread is a landmark in itself, and the buildings become familiar to students and staff not only by their unique appearance, but also by their function.

"Many times what makes the building a landmark is how it's used," he said. For example, everyone knows where Strong Hall is because everyone's had to go there during enrollment.

Memories also help make buildings into landmarks. Until it was gutted by fire in 1991, Hoch Auditorium helped create memories for thousands of students. Patterson recalled attending a concert by Bill Cosby at Hoch in 1968, when the comedian announced that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot. Over the years, Hoch served as a basketball court, auditorium, lecture hall and concert stage.

Following is information about KU's historic buildings as described in the Historic Mount Oread Fund brochure. The brochure, featuring the self-guided tour, is available at the Kansas Union, Natural History Museum and Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

Spooner Hall: KU's sixth building opened in 1894 as Spooner Library, one of the rare examples of Romanesque revival-styled libraries popularized by Henry van Brunt and Henry Hobson Richardson. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It became the Spooner-Thayer Art Museum in 1924 and the Museum of Anthropology in 1984. Named for William B. Spooner, Boston philanthropist.

Watson Library: The Gothic-style library opened in 1924, with a west addition in 1941 and a southeast addition in 1950. Architects were George Chandler and Ray Gamble. Interior renovation work took place in 1982, and the entry porch, designed to resemble a bridge, was rebuilt in 1982 with limestone walls and a ramp. Named for Carrie Watson, librarian from 1887 to 1921.

Stauffer-Flint Hall: The building that now houses the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication opened in 1899 as Fowler Shops, marking the western edge of campus. A fire in 1918 destroyed the west tower. It became the Military Science and Tactics Building during World War II. In 1951, it was remodeled for the journalism school and renamed Flint Hall. Its current name was bestowed in 1982. Named for Oscar Stauffer, communications magnate, and Leon Flint, journalism dean.

Hoch Auditorium: The Kansas Legislature authorized $250,000 for construction of Hoch, which opened in 1927. Basketball goals and movable chairs could be set up in a day to seat 3,500 people. Lightning struck the building in 1991, and fire destroyed the interior. An $18 million reconstruction project is under way and is expected to be finished by the fall of 1995. PKG Design Group of Lawrence is the lead architect for the project. Named for Edward W. Hoch, governor from 1905 to 1909.

Marvin Hall: Marvin was one of four halls under construction in 1908, the year enrollment hit 2,000. It opened in 1910 to house the engineering school. In 1963, it became the home of the newly organized school of architecture and urban design. Gould Evans Architects directed an award-winning renovation in 1980. Named for James Marvin, chancellor from 1875 to 1883 and his son, F.O. Marvin, dean of engineering.

Snow Hall: Charles Cuthbert, state architect, and H.H. Lane, zoology chair, designed Snow, which opened in 1930 to house the entomology, botany, bacteriology and zoology departments. The northeast wing was added in 1950 and the northwest wing was added in 1958. The building was renovated for math and computer science in 1988. Named for Francis Snow, biologist, and originally housed Snow's 100,000-specimen insect collection.

Strong Hall: The east wing opened in 1911, west wing in 1918 and central section in 1923. It was called the Administration Building until 1938. Navy machinists quartered on the top floor of the west wing from 1942 to 1944. Named for Frank Strong, chancellor from 1902 to 1920.

Bailey Hall: Designed by architect John G. Haskell, it opened in 1900 for chemistry and pharmacy classes and laboratories. Remodeled for the school of education in 1951, when the original 18 chimneys were removed and a porch was added. Named for Edgar Bailey, chemist.

Lippincott Hall: The Greek revival-style building opened in 1905 as Green Hall, named for James Green, law dean from 1878 to 1919. It was renamed in 1979 after Joshua A. Lippincott, chancellor from 1883 to 1889. The statue in front of the building was unveiled in 1924 and features "Uncle Jimmy" Green and Alfred Alford, a KU student killed in the Spanish-American War.

Dyche Hall: The Romanesque-style building opened in 1903 featuring plant and animal sculptures by Joseph Frazee. The entry was modeled after the St. Trophime Church portal in Arles, France. The north wing was added in 1963, and the building was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Named after Lewis Lindsay Dyche, explorer and scientist.

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