Throwback Thursday – Gordon Wilson Hall at WKU
This week we’re at Western Kentucky University’s Bowling Green campus. Nearly 100-years-old, this week we tell the story of one of the oldest buildings on the Hill. Constructed in 1927, you’ll find hints of Art Deco and classic Greek in Gordon Wilson Hall.
Named for Alexander Gordon Wilson, Sr., the hall is the current home of WKU’s Theatre & Dance Department. Wilson was a well-known folklorist and professor in the 1920s and dedicated over 40 years of service to the university. Teaching English and Latin, Wilson was the Department Head for 31 years until his retirement in 1959.
Gordon Wilson Hall is another WKU building designed by Brinton Davis. Built for just over $200,000, the 92-year-old building was originally the university’s library. It was converted into classrooms when the Margie Helm Library opened in 1965. The official Gordon Wilson Hall dedication was 50 years ago in May of 1969.
The hall’s beautiful white sheen comes from its construction in Warren County limestone. Several WKU buildings during the 1920s and 30s were made from this, like Cherry and Van Meter Halls next door. The monolithic Greek columns at the entrance were common during the era’s Art Deco obsession with classic architecture. The dark wood original trim, winding staircases lining both sides of the grand lobby, and original entrance chandeliers showcase the style.
Gordon Wilson Hall is the current home for WKU theatre students. Many of its classrooms are large dance studios. Student troupes perform in the lab theatre. Visit the WKU Theatre & Dance Department website for the schedule of events.