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Grant Memorial Hall

Vital Statistics





Keys and Bullock



Also Known As:

Amory, Soldiers Memorial Hall, Womens PE

Grant Memorial Hall was constructed in 1887 to serve as an armory and provide space for military drill practice and other activities. It was named in honor of the recently deceased President, Ullyses S Grant, a civil war general. Grant Memorial Hall, also called the Armory, included a bowling alley on the ground floor, and a gymnasium on the second floor. Lieutenant John J. Pershing, Commander of the Cadet Corps, conducted training exercises in the Grant Hall gymnasium during his years at the University, 1891-1895. The original building had no heat and the interior was unfinished until an addition was completed in 1900. The 1900 addition contained three stories and was called University Soldiers Memorial Hall, which was inscribed in the stone over the west entrance.

The original builidng footprint was 60 x 120 feet, and was situated from east to west in line with University Hall. The addition ran north to south and included a large auditorium. A large pipe organ was housed in the new wing. This organ was originally constructed for the Trans-Mississippi Exposition held in Omaha in 1898. It was purchased by alumni for $3,000 and donated to the University after the closing of the Exposition.

Keys and Bullock, the contractors of Grant Hall, were unable to complete the project due to bankruptcy. They were removed as contractors for the construction of the building, and Charles Chowins, Superintendent of Buildngs, and J Stuart Dales, Secretary to the Regents, took oversight until the construction was completed. Keys and Bullock built no other buildings for the University.

Grant Hall was eventually used as the Women's Physical Education building. When it was closed by the State Fire Marshall in June of 1965, it necessitated the immediate relocation of Women's PE classes to Bancroft Hall by Chancellor Hardin. The building was razed in 1966. Women's Physical Education later moved into the newly contructed Mabel Lee Hall.

Source Information:
University Archives; 10th biennial report of the regents (1891); Scarlet and Cream v1 n1 1900 p 11, 14th biennial rpt (1899); Regents minutes, Oct.4, 1988 (re Keys and Bullock)