White Hall Dormitory was an Iconic Building at the University of Kentucky #TBT

Whitehall Classroom Building at the University of Kentucky – Lexington, Ky.
(Photo: Library of Congress)

The answer to last week’s #TBT puzzler* is, of course, the White Hall Dormitory which stood on the grounds of the University of Kentucky from 1882 to 1967. When it was demolished, it made way for the Patterson Office Tower (the POT) and the Whitehall Classroom Building.

The University of Kentucky, originally State College, was established in 1865. The land for UK’s main campus was donated in order that the College might settle in Lexington as opposed to a vying offer in Bowling Green.

Plans involved three original buildings on which construction began in 1881: White Hall, the Main Building, and the Patterson House. Of these, only the Main Building survives.

White Hall and the Patterson House were both demolished in 1967 for the new Whitehall Classroom Building and Patterson Office Tower. Bricks from the old White Hall were reused as pavers in the new pavilion between the new structures and the Main Building.

Nav130 got the answer almost there, but the Streetsweeper pulled through with all the details we were looking for. Nav130 mentioned that a lot of graffiti was, not surprisingly, painted along the plywood walls outside the demolition zone. He remarked:

My recollection is that it was mostly frats and sororities painting over each other’s most recent and the usual “Go ‘Kats!” sort of thing. The most impressive thing – again, going back 46 years – was that it was such a long wall of plywood that became quite colorful. Maybe the folks at the Kentucky Kernel might have something archived.

He’s right … maybe someone has institutional memory and photographs of the graffiti? I’ve always thought of graffiti as a form of public art (in certain places and when well done) … anyone have a collection of old photographs of Kentucky located graffiti they might want to share?

*@CatclawTheatre suggests, rightly so, that we should always say “puzzler” with the voice of the Magliozzi brothers (the guys from NPR’s CarTalk).