Archive for Friday, May 3, 2013

25 years ago: Hoch to stay open in spite of fire code violations

May 3, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for May 3, 1988:

  • A historic Kansas University building was in violation of several fire codes, it was revealed this week. Paul Markley, chief of the fire prevention division in the fire marshal's office, said today that KU officials should have corrected the serious flaws in Hoch Auditorium, but he added that it was unlikely that the building would be closed soon because of the hazards. The building's deficiencies included inadequate emergency lighting and the absences of a sprinkler system for the stage area. The old auditorium, which was being used for classes, lectures, and performances, hadn't enjoyed many updates in its 60-plus year history. "Hoch has been like it is now since Naismith was playing there," said Tom Anderson, KU director of facilities operations. A follow-up inspection was planned for later this year.
  • Several construction workers and a front-loader were featured in a photograph today on their work site at the Naismith Drive drainage ditch. The $155,172 project involved replacing eroded material in an underground pipe, replacing broken concrete, and removing the 21st Terrace crossing.
  • President Reagan today denied that any policies or decisions that he had made while in office had been influenced by astrology. Published reports had recently claimed that First Lady Nancy Reagan had used astrology to help determine the president's schedule.


Pywacket 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This brings back memories. I don't think I have ever heard so many sirens before or since in my life. I lived in west Lawrence (near Dad Perry Park) and didn't know until later what had burned, but from the sirens and the smoke, knew it was big.

It happened just a few years after I had Chem 184 lecture there. The last time I was ever in the building was to hear Gwendolyn Brooks read her poetry. I cannot imagine how horrible it would have been if the fire had started while the place was packed with students.


Phoghorn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I also remember the "No Smoking in Hoch" stencil signs on all of the doors. The ones on the front doors survived the fire, and remained when the building was re-opened as Budig Hall/Hoch Auditoria. They were removed by KU a few years later though.

Maybe that should be my new tagline. "No Smoking in Hoch". Yeah I like it.

No Smoking in Hoch.


Phoghorn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I had some good times in that old building. It was outdated, but I sure hated to see it go.


Ron Holzwarth 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Fire sparked by lightning destroyed Hoch Auditorium on June 15, 1991.

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