- B Hall
- The Woman's Building
- Alice P. Littlefield Hall
- Brackenridge, Roberts and Prather Halls (BRP)
- The Woman's Building
- Col. George P. Brackenridge Hall
Gov. Oran Milo Roberts Hall
President William L. Prather Hall
- Jessie Andrews Hall
- Asenath Carothers Hall
- Moore-Hill Hall
- Asenath Carothers Hall
- Dr. Homer Hill Hall
Dean Moore Hall
The Varsity Cafeteria
- Women's Co-ops
- Whitis Court
- William Stewart Simkins Hall
- Annie Webb Blanton Hall
- George Herbert Kinsolving Hall
- Beauford H. Jester Center
- San Jacinto Hall
- Almetris M. Duren Hall
- Whitis Court
- Original Almetris Co-op
- Men's and Women's Residence Halls Name Change
- Waller Creek
During his speech on November 17, 1882 at the laying of the corner stone of The University, Col. Ashbel Smith said,
Unless an university shall be established in our State, not only is the poor boy excluded from the educations which shall give him an equal start in the great race of life with the son of the rich man, but the father possessing a moderate and comfortable competency is debarred from bestowing on his son an university education. Where is the demagogue that dare refuse this natural right to a thorough education to a poor boy - to the children of the poor? I say natural right; for are not the public lands, and the proceeds of the sales of these lands, the rightful property of the poor as well as of the rich. The University of Texas is emphatically the poor boy's University.(Lane, p27-28)"
Though UT was conceived as a school for poor Texans as well as the rich, in the years after opening, many "claimed, without just cause, that it was a school for "rich men's sons. (Eckhardt Beginnings p53)" Upset hearing this, Colonel Brackenridge, who was then a Regent of UT, wealthy, unmarried and without a son to send himself, decided to do something about the situation. He donated $10,000 for the construction of low cost housing for the boys of the University. The University had exhausted the $10,000 Brackenridge donated without furnishing the rooms or kitchen, so the Colonel donated an additional $7,000. Col. Brackenridge wanted his donations to be anonymous. This is the reason B Hall was originally called University Hall, but the news of his generosity was never kept secret and the name didn't stick.
B Hall was located just east and slightly south of Old Main. If it had not been razed (much to the chagrin of many former B Haller and alumni) in 1952, then it would be located running north and south in between the Hogg and Garrison Buildings on top of the East Mall stairs. The very plain three story rectangle building made of a light yellow brick was opened on December 1, 1890 (Berry Brick p 5, Eckhardt Beginnings p53). Between 1890 and 1899, B Hall could accommodate approximately 50 students and the dining hall could serve 150 students. Rent was $2.50 a month and board was less than $10 a month.
In 1899-1900 B Hall was renovated. Two wings were added to the Northern and Southern ends of the building and a fourth floor was added to the middle section. After the renovations each student room had a bay window, two beds, dressers, bookcases, wardrobes, chairs and a table. After the renovation, 125 students were accommodated by B Hall. The cost of these changes was $25,921.53, $20,000 was paid by the State of Texas and the rest was given by Brackenridge.
B Hall was important to the University not only because it was the first dormitory on The Forty Acres but also because of the B Hallers themselves. Though it is hard to image today, the boys of B Hall practically ran the university.
Most of all such changes [in student life and activities] came through leadership of residents of B Hall. College life was centered under its roof and around its tables. Every boy lived at B Hall or took meals there who could get the privilege of doing so. Even many residents of fraternity chapter houses esteemed it a privilege to be allowed to eat there. (Brown p70)
We also have B Hallers to thank for UT's school song and fight song. It was in room 203 on May 11, 1903 that John Lang Sinclair wrote The Eyes of Texas. The door frame, door and transom to room 203 were not destroyed when B Hall was razed, but rather tucked away for future longhorns (Long, For All Time to Come, p 16). Walter Hunnicutt, a B Haller and president of the group hoping to prevent B Hall from turning into office space, was also student director of the Longhorn band from 1910-1914 four years. During that time James E. King and wrote Texas Taps aka Texas Fight (Berry, Traditions p 60).
B Hall was a breeding ground for traditions and legends. The everyday at B Hall was so intriguing that after a B Haller reunion in 1937, one of them wrote a book. B Hall, Texas is a necessary read for anyone interested in the UT of yesteryear or wanting some ammunition for when their parents say "well in my day" (because there is no way the Longhorn of today could get away with the same things as the B Hallers did.) They pulled pranks on each other, other unsuspecting students, the faculty and administration and unfortunate Austinites. One pretended to be President of the University to register freshmen students. Another pretended to fall out of a third floor window and pulled of his prank so well that the other B Hall boys wired his parents about the tragedy.
George Washington Brackenridge
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Though very briefly named "Oran N. Roberts Memorial Hall (Quebedeaux p34)", The Woman's building was the only University paid for dormitory to be built for almost 30 years. Ground was broken for the building on April 24, 1902. It was located just south of the Hogg Memorial Auditorium and East of the Texas Union, where the FAC/UGL currently stands. The Woman's Building was L-shaped and made of yellow brick with limestone accents. The building included a number of amenities not seen in University residence halls before or since including a swimming pool, gymnasium and infirmary.
Prior to the September 1, 1965, students could only live in University approved housing (Allen p80). At the turn of the century this meant that the women lived in boarding houses, private dormitories or private homes. Private homes were thought best though "they did not see that no educational program is well rounded which fails to employ housing as a means of developing the cultural, social, and physical aspects of its students. (Quebedeaux p20)" The University's attitude toward its male students was attentive and supportive, but a bit hands off, the faculty and administration as well as many parents saw the University's role as a guardian of the women when their parents were not around. Many parents refused to let their daughters attend the University until on-campus housing was provided (Quoted in Allen p48-9, referenced to University of Texas, Annual Faculty Report, 1900-1901, p. 9.) As such, housing for women was a reoccurring topic in debates and reports. Take the following excerpt from the Report of the Board of Regents, 1987 as example.
If the University is to be open to women, their delicate and refined physical organisms should be cared for. To this end there is imperative need of an elevator in the Main Building, whereby the young ladies can be taken up and down the several floors without endangering their health by climbing long and steep flights of stairs. There is urgent need, also, for the same reason, of a Woman's Building, wherein the young women may live on the campus, close to their work. Thus, they will be relieved of the necessity of exposure to cold and damp during the winter and heat and dust during the summer. (Quoted in Quebedeaux p26 and Allen p42. Referenced as Seventh Biennial Report, Board of Regents of The University of Texas, February 1987, page 9.)
The attitude of the University towards the Woman's Building and B Hall easily illuminates the differing attitudes of the University to the male and female students. Col. Brackenridge donated the money for B Hall to help the students economically. The reasons the Woman's Building was needed included economy, but focused more on the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of the women. (Allen p50)
Opening in 1903, The Woman's Building was the University's answer to the growing concern of appropriate and safe housing for the women of the University.
Erected for the young women of the University, it will contain seventy-two single bedrooms for students, a large reception room, a gymnasium and swimming tank, a diet kitchen, nurse's room, dispensary and physician's room, besides a dining room and its adjuncts. A competent housekeeper, a physical directress, and a matron will give every care, respectively, to the comfort, the health, and the social and moral well-being of the young women. It is hoped that the cost of board and rooms will be little, if any, higher than at University Hall (B Hall). (Allen p49 University of Texas Catalogue for 1902-1903, 14.)
With all the focus placed on social, physical, cultural and moral upbringing of the women through The Woman's Building, it's no wonder that it became the hub of activity for the female students. There were plenty of social events for the residents of the building including an annual Valentine's Tea which was a much anticipate event throughout the year (Quebedeaux p38). The building offered so much for the residents to enjoy that applications were often sent years in advance to secure a room. Though the building was the center of activity for the women, the male students also enjoyed looking at the coeds in the gym. Unfortunately they liked it so much that paper was put up on the windows to keep out their prying eyes.
It should also be noted that due to the general attitude toward women and their "delicate and refined physical organisms," in 1903 the Woman's Building was a bit of an anomaly with a working elevator.
In 1940 The Woman's Building was closed as a dorm. It held both the Modern Languages and Drama Departments until it burned in a fire on January 23, 1952.
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In the early years of the 20th century, many of the University's founders, faculty and staff, Col. Brackenridge among them, were worried that at the rate UT was growing that it would soon outgrow the forty acres. In 1911, Col. Brackenridge deeded 500 acres of land along the Colorado River to the University. It was always Brackenridge's hope that the University would move its main campus to that location (Long For All Time p21-end, p27). The Colonel also tried to get the other wealthy family who owned land in the same area to donate or sell their land, but many refused or failed to donate enough to satisfy Brackenridge's vision (Long For All Time p21-26, 30). He however remained undeterred. Brackenridge continued to push for the move to Colorado tract of land and expansion. The debate over the University's location continued for more than a decade and even after Col. Brackenridge died in late December 1920. One of the most prominent arguments against the move was that UT would lose hundreds of thousands if not a few million dollars because of the physical plant that could not be moved and the million dollars Major George Littlefield left in his will for the Main building, a Girls' dormitory and a memorial arch. Though it was eventually decided to keep the main campus on The Forty Acres and expand into the neighboring community and other plots throughout Austin including the Colorado tract, it is the $300,000 donation for a Girls' dormitory that will be expanded upon now.
Being the oldest on-campus residence hall still in use, Littlefield has a lot of history. As mentioned above the Major, who died on November 10, 1920, gave the money to the University for a dormitory in honor of his wife Alice. He left the money with the provisions that: "The dormitory is to be used to accommodate the Freshmen Class of young women entering the University as they need assistance and protection more than girls who have been in the University before them. Girls of the other classes may be given accommodation, but those of the Freshmen Class shall have preference until all desiring rooms shall have them. (Wagner p19)
The building be used to house the Freshman whom he felt were at the largest risk of being swallowed up by the University and Austin because many of the students were from the small shelter towns of Texas. Perhaps this is a reason Littlefield was one of the first dorms to institute a system of sophomore advisors. Because the money donated by Major Littlefield was for the express purpose of freshman women, the Sophomore Advisors are the only non-freshmen aside from Resident Assistants (RAs) and the Assistant Hall Coordinator allowed to live in the building. The 12 Advisors are elected towards the end of the spring semester by the other freshman Littlefield residents. The advisory helps RAs plan programs for residents, help them feel welcome and adjust to UT and college in general and they give the residents another person to go to for advice.
The Littlefield Dormitory is a beautiful building though many of the most beautiful features can't be seen from the outside of the building. The large fireplace, the painting of Alice Littlefield and the hand painted ceiling beams are only a part of the architectural treasures. The building is Spanish Renaissance like many of the other building on campus designed by Paul Cret. "The walls are of yellow-brown brick on a basement of limestone, while the roof features tiles of varying shades of red and a wide cornice is painted to harmonize with rich dark colors. (Berry Brick p30-31)" Though the rooms may be small, the Littlefield women don't have reason to complain about the size of their closets because they were originally built to hold twin size Murphy beds. It is, however, not the architecture that makes Littlefield what it is today. Because the residents are all freshmen women, they go through a lot of the same experiences at the same time and as such can easily relate to each. So no matter what chaos is surrounding them outside Littlefield they always have a place to call "home" and over the almost eighty years since it was first opened, hundreds have.
Some Littlefield traditions and customs and are as follows though not all are still in practice (List complied with the help of Assistant Hall Coordinator (2005-2006) Michela Palmieri, Stephanie Kotara(Former RA), and the Advisors, RAs and residents of Littlefield):
- The Littlefield mascot is the ladybug
Their colors are green and white
Their song is Littlefield Brigade
- The residents are called Littlefield Ladies or Ladybugs
- The running of the L's takes place in the Fall and is a contest to see which wing can find the most paper L's hidden throughout the building
- Christmas Dinner and decorating the Christmas tree. A student decorated tree is still put up during the winter season, but now it is used to celebrate and recognize all religions and cultures.
- Lighting the fireplace before singing Christmas carols
- The Major George Littlefield Dinner held around his birthday to celebrate the man who donated the money for the building.
- Watermelon Fest held on Labor day to give the Men and Women dorm's residents a chance to meet each other (1970s)
- Decorating for Halloween and inviting local children to participate in the fun
- Littlefield and Simkins have a special bond
- In 1975 the Littlefield Ladies and Simkins men tried to break the world record for longest phone conversation. They talked 24hours a day for over 400 hours.
- Sophomore Advisors (See Above for more)
- Littlefield Luau
George Washington Littlefield
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Currently located at 303 East 21st Street (through the mid 40's the address was 201 East 21st Street, but that address is currently used for Jester Center), the new Brackenridge Hall (See B Hall for more info on the 1st hall of the same name) was built to help alleviate some of the housing shortage after B Hall was closed and in response to the growing number of men returning to college after WWI. During the war, students too young for military service and military men in one of the University's training programs were housed in B Hall, Little Campus and in "The Shacks" (Simple wooden frame buildings built for utility and not aesthetic purposes. They were commonly known by a letter of the alphabet. WWI saw the first set of shacks, though another set was built and used during and after WWII.)
Brackenridge Hall was built of tan brick and red tile roofing like many other buildings at UT from the Paul Cret years. One unique feature of the building is the terra cotta plaques under the eaves of the building. These plaques are to symbolize ranch life in Texas.
Set in the wall between the top story windows, beginning at the northeast, are the following: north side, east to west: boot and spur, legging, bucking horse, Hereford head, horse and colt, knife, coyote, pistol and holster, roll of wire fencing, cactus, head of horse, gun and holster, longhorn head; south side, west to east: canteen of water, windmill, pots for boiling meat, ten-gallon hat, snake coiled, branding irons and brand XIT, horseshoes, saddle, gloves, bucket, rope pot, chuck-wagon, coffee pot. (Berry Brick p38) (If you are curious as to why the XIT brand was chosen over all the other brands used on Texas ranches, you should know that the XIT brand was used by the XIT ranch which was over 3 million acres in 10 counties of the Texas panhandle and at one point had over 150,000 head of cattle. As such this brand is definitely representative of Texas ranch life. This is not the official reason for choosing it, but it helps clarify for the curious.) (XIT Museum))
When originally built, Brackenridge was divided into four sections (A-D) that did not connect except through the basement. This is the reason why Section D of Brackenridge was one of the first on-campus housing spaces integrated on-campus in the 60's. That section could be integrated without the entire building being integrated. Today, however, sections A and B have been connected as have sections C and D.
Another feature of Brackenridge Hall that is not still in use today but was common and very important many years ago was sleeping porches. Just try to imagine studying and sleeping in the hot Texas days and nights without air conditioning. Brackenridge (along with several other residence halls) was not installed with air-conditioning until 1993 and before that time sleeping porches were used. The sleeping porches were located on the South side of the two Eastern units and were equipped five bunk beds in each porch. Sleeping porches were simply an open space, screened or unscreened that allowed the cool night breeze to pass through and cool off the sleepers.
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Roberts Hall was built in 1936 at a cost of $220,000 (including the 52-54 renovations) just East of Brackenridge Hall on the Cavanaugh tract. The building was named in honor of Oran Milo Roberts who served as Governor from 1878 to 1883. He also was a UT Professor of Law where he got the nickname "The Old Alcalde." The residence hall is of the same architectural style as Brackenridge - Spanish Renaissance because Paul Cret was consulting architect and features the same tan bricks and red tile roof. Two interesting features of Roberts are the sundial located on the South wall of the building
Roberts has three stories for resident rooms and a basement. It, like Brackenridge, also featured sleeping porches long before the building was installed with air-conditioning in the summer of 1993. Originally the building housed 145 men but in 1993 the building became coed and now houses 129 men and women. (Berry Brick p52)
Oran Milo Roberts
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Prather Hall is perpendicular to Roberts to the South. Plans for the building were approved by the Board of Regents in September 1935, but the building was not complete until 1973. The construction of the building, part of which was funded by a grant from the Public Works Administration, cost $234,000. A cornerstone in the Northeast section of the building indicated that the building was "Project No. 9229-Y of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works." Paul Cret was consulting architect and as a result the building is of Spanish Renaissance style with golden tan bricks and red tile roof very similar in style to Brackenridge and Roberts Halls. (Berry Brick p54)
Prather Hall was named for William L. Prather who was a lawyer (1871-1899), President of the Texas State Bar Association (1895-1896), member, vice-chair and chair of the board of regents (1887-1899), and President of UT from 1899 to 1905. During Prather's presidency The Daily Texan, Longhorn Band and Student Association were started. (William Prather) It is also because of President Prather that UT has an Alma mater. Prather went to school at Washington College in Virginia where he heard General Robert E. Lee who was President of that University say "the eyes of the South are upon you." Prather liked the phrase and used it to close his speeches, though he changed it to "the eyes of Texas are upon you." The phrase soon became a joke among the students and must have been rolling around John Sinclair's mind when he went to write a song for the minstrel show. The "President" in the first verse and "Prexy" in the second both directly refer to Prather. The song has gone on to become UT's school song and an unofficial state song of Texas. Though the song was originally intended to be a joke and respectfully poke fun at President Prather when it was played as a tribute at his funeral in late July 1905, the song became reverent and is now sung before and after sporting events and at most official University occasions. (The Eyes of Texas)
William L. Prather
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Andrews Residence Hall was the third dormitory built for women on-campus. It opened in September 1936 to house approximately 118 of the University's women students.
Student Room in Andrews
prior to WWII*
Navy Recruit Room in Andrews
The building is of Spanish Renaissance style architecture with cream bricks and a red tile roof. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 53) The building has four floors for resident rooms and there is a basement which was originally the location of a cafeteria but was remodeled and converted into more student rooms. The Andrews main lobby on the first floor features a nice living room where students socialize and study. There is also an office in the lobby which, along with the Carothers desk at various times, has served as the 24-hour desk for the entire Quad. The building included a computer lab for students, but the lab has been moved to the Carothers basement. Student have access to sun decks on the third and fourth floors. Andrews is connected to Carothers on the West by hallway and to Blanton on the East through the Blanton main lobby. The cost of constructing Andrews Residence Hall was $239,000 which included a $42,000 grant from the federal government probably through the Public Works Administration. Remodeling the cafeteria in 1989 cost $1,324,000.
Andrews Cafeteria as dining hall
prior to WWII*
Andrews Cafeteria as Military Mess Hall
*From Mildred Josephine Wagner's 1944 Master's Thesis entitled A Study of the Changes made in the Housing and Food Service on the Campus of The University of Texas During World War I and World War II
In the Fall of 1993 Andrews became a coed building and a part of the Honors Residence Hall Complex. This, however, was not the first time men were residents of Andrews Hall. In World War II, The Navy quartered trainees in the residence hall and the women moved to other housing, mostly sorority or boarding houses until after the war was over and they moved back on-campus. (Wagner p.130) (See the section on World War I and II housing for more information.)
Andrews Hall was named for Jessie Andrews or "Miss Jessie" as she was called on the campus. Jessie was the first woman to graduate from UT (1886 - German Studies) and when she did the other male graduates gave her a gold medal with the five point star and seal of Texas. Jessie also became UT's first female Texas-Ex and the first female instructor at UT. She published a book of poetry in 1910. During World War I Jessie left UT to live with her sister and on December 25, 1919 Jessie died of pneumonia. (Jessie Andrews)
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Carothers Hall was known as "Unit II" until March 1938 when it was renamed in honor of Asenath Carothers born in New London, Arkansas. Asenath, after being orphaned at five, was raised by her aunt in Starkville, Mississippi. Mrs. Carothers was wife of Neil Carothers who was an attorney until his premature death in 1901. The Carothers had five children, one of which died as an infant. When Neil died, Mrs. Carothers worked as head librarian of The University of Arkansas to support her four children. In 1903 she moved to Austin to be the director of The Woman's Building. She remained the building's director until she retired in 1928. Mrs. Carothers was also very active in several women's clubs including the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She died on February 25, 1933 in Michigan and was then buried in Starkville, Mississippi. (Asenath Carothers)
The residence hall named in her honor was built and ready for its approximately 124 female residents in 1937. The hall was built at a cost of $250,000 of which $72,000 was grants and the rest was paid for with loans. Paul Cret was consulting architect for the building and as a result it was made in Spanish Renaissance style with creamy tan bricks and red tile roof. The University Seal carved in stone is displayed under the eaves of each corner of the roof. Located in the outside lobby area of the building on Whitis Avenue is a bronze plaque with the names of the Boards of Regents at the time Carothers Hall was built. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 55)
The building is three stories and has a basement. When it was originally built, the top three floors were used for resident floors, but in 2001, the building was renovated and much of the basement space was converted into additional student rooms. Like, Andrews and Blanton Residence Halls, Carothers was originally an all female hall, but in 1993 the building became a co-ed Honors Residence Hall. Carothers Hall also features the computer lab and 24-hour desk for the Quad. The University Honors Center is also housed in the Carothers basement, which makes it the hub of activity for honors students on campus.
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Beginning in 1939, UT athletes found a home in Hill Hall. The 5 story building (including basement) is of Spanish Renaissance style with red roof and tan bricks. The building cost $123,136 to construct and a $55,411 grant from the Public Works Administration helped defray some of the cost. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 63-64) When originally opened the building housed 84 men most of whom were athletes and for many years the UT football team called Hill Hall home. As such, Hill Hall was a vestibule for football history and traditions. (For more on UT Football history and traditions, see Traditions or History) Students are housed on the top 4 floors of Hill Hall and the main entrance is located on the first floor. Hill Hall was renovated in 1951-1952 at a cost of $69,987 and again when Moore Hall was being built in 1955-1956 at a cost of $53,794.
Hill Hall is named for Dr. Homer Barksdale Hill of Austin who volunteered to treat the team from the very first game in 1893 until his death on July 18, 1923. Dr. Hill recieved his MD from Tulane University and moved to Austin in 1889. Dr. Hill was married to Ella Rankin "Granny" and they had a daughter whom married H. J. Lutcher Stark whom became the Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University. Mrs. Stark furnished the lobby of the building when it originally opened. The Hill home located at 2007 Whitis Ave. (now Dobie Mall/Parking Garage) was a popular hang out of the team.
Located just South of Hill Hall on 21st Street, the five story (including basement) Moore Hall connects with Hill Hall on the first, second and third floors. Moore Hall and the adjacent Varsity Cafeteria cost $1,618,115 to construct. Moore Hall also housed male athletes until their new home, Jester Center, was built in 1969.(Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 63-64)
Because the buildings were connected, after Moore Hall was built and Hill Hall was renovated, they became known as Moore-Hill Hall. The buildings housed 415 (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 63-64) male students until it was again renovated in 2004-2005. It now houses 379 students and has for the first time opened its doors female residents starting in the Fall of 2005. The look of Moore-Hill has not only changed recently on the inside, the outside view from the Northwest rooms has also changed as the University has constructed a pool just outside Moore-Hill connected to Gregory Gym.
Moore Hall was named in memory of Dean Victor Ivan Moore who served as the Dean of Student Life from 1927 until his death on August 6, 1943. Dean Moore recieved a BA from Vanderbuilt University in 1903 and MA from UT Austin in 1927. He served as a Professor of Latin at Kentucky Wesleyan College and Maryville (MO) State Teachers College. He was also Co-Principal at Arlinton Texas Trainging School and Superintendent of Schools in Bartlett, TX. At UT he was Asst. Dean of Men 1925-26, Dean of Men 1926-1927, Dean of Student Life and Men 1927-1943, Assoc. Professor of Classical Languages 1937-1943 and Dean and Assoc. Professor Emeritus 1943.
Dean Victor Ivan Moore
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Built at the same time as Moore Hall and just west of it on 21st street, The Varsity Cafeteria gave not only the UT athletes a place to eat, but it served the entire student body as well as members of the staff. In 1988 The Varsity Cafeteria was closed as a cafeteria and became known as The Varsity Center. The Center housed a new student radio station when it was opened (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 85). It has also housed UT's Computer Store and computer help desk. In 2004 the Computer Store was moved to the UGL/FAC and the Varsity Center was once again renovated and connected to Moore-Hill. It is now the main entrance of the building and is the location of the building's 24 help desk for residents. There are also conference rooms and places for residents to gather together or study.
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In 1952 The University built six cooperative (co-op) houses on Whitis Avenue South of The old Driskill mansion (the location of UT's soon to be newest residence hall, Duren Hall) at a cost of $322,773 for female students. The six co-ops were housed in three two-story buildings but were not connected to each other except by the porches. Each co-op housed 16 women in nine bedrooms (three downstairs and six upstairs), had a large bathroom on each floor, and also had a large kitchen, living and dining rooms and laundry facilities. The buildings are made of "concrete, strand steel and brick with red tile roofs. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 72)" The co-ops were named Halstead, Wakonda, Shangri-La, Theadorne, Vahalla and Pearce (in honor of the donation by the Jack and Katherine Pearce Education Foundation which paid for the co-op).
In October 1969 six new co-ops in three buildings were built in the same location forming a rectangle around a central green. These newer co-ops housed 116 women (two with 18 each and four with twenty) bringing the total number of women housed in the University co-ops to 212. These co-ops were named Almetris (In honor of Almetris Marsh Duren), Gebauer, Peck, Smith, Felecia and Century. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 72) Cooperatives offer low cost housing to students in exchange for the students cleaning and cooking for themselves. Though the University's co-ops began as a place to house only female students in the Fall of 1998, the co-ops opened to male students. For more on the co-ops becoming coed read this Austin Chronicle article.
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In 1999 Housing and Food bought back two co-ops from the private company managing them to begin The Living Learning Halls and the UT residential FIG program. FIG stands for First-year Interest Group and they are a set of three classes that a group of freshmen will take together. Though FIGs did not originate at UT and several other Universities offer them, they are perfectly suited for UT. Because many of UT's first-year classes are very large, students new to UT can have a hard time meeting other students in their classes or may be intimidated or overwhelmed by the size of their classes. FIGs create an automatic social and study group since all of the students who are in a particular FIG take the same classes at the same time. Though there are many FIGs that any UT freshmen can participate in, residential FIGs have an extra amenity - the students not only take the same classes; they also live in the same location.
By May 2003 UT bought all of the co-op houses and transformed them to the Living Learning Hall program with each building called LLA, B, C, etc. This community is currently known as Whitis Court.
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Simkins Hall, now known as Creekside Hall, located at 2500 San Jacinto is a tan brick with red tile roof build that opened June 1955. Simkins was considered very modern building when it was build as it was the first men's hall to have air conditioning. "When Simkins Hall...opened in June, 1955, every feature of the rambling two story structure came as a result of intensive tests and surveys the University had run to find out what the University men wanted. (Hoehne, Charles. "First Men's Air-Conditioned Dormitory Bears Name of Outstanding Professor." The Daily Texan.26 February 1961.)" Though residents often complain that the building is far away from the main campus, The Drag and many activities, it was built at the location to be near the law school and University Tea House. It is also very near engineering and science buildings. The two-story building currently houses 190 male residents (206 when first opened). (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 83) Because Moore-Hill Hall ,as of August 2005, houses both male and female residents Simkins is the last all male residence hall at The University of Texas.
The building was named for Colonel William S. Simkins who was a professor of law from 1899-1929. He was popular with the students and well known for his white hair, his confrontation with Carry Nation, for creating the law school mascot the Peregrinus, and the lecture he gave on the KKK. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 83) Col. Simkins fought for the South in the Civil War and after the war he and his brother helped establish the KKK near Tallahassee, Florida.
William S. Simkins
Information on the Renaming of Simkins
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Blanton is a five story building located at 2500 University Ave. Like the other residence halls on campus at UT it is a tan brick building with red tile roofing. Blanton is a five story building with a basement that when built was an all female residence hall. Blanton was the fourth building, the others being Littlefield, Andrews and Carothers, to surround a common courtyard and referred to as "The Quad". From the time it was built, Blanton has had coin operated washers and dryers on every floor, two elevators, a sundeck on the second floor in the area connecting Blanton to Andrews and a vending machine area which when first opened served cold milk among other beverages. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p. 84) Blanton also has a spacious living area on the first floor and just outside the living room is another common room that leads to Andrews Residence Hall. The basement area of Blanton housed a computer lab and large room used for supplemental housing and as a study room by students. The large living space has been converted into more student rooms expanding the resident population to 274. In the Fall of 2000, Blanton became a part of Honors Housing and welcomed male students for the first time as residents.
The building is named for Dr. Annie Webb Blanton whom graduated from UT in 1899. Afterwards, she served as a member of the faculty at North Texas State Normal College (currently University of North Texas) in Denton, TX. While serving in Denton, she became an active member of the Texas State Teachers Association and eventually was elected President of the organization. She was the first woman to hold that position. She was also the first woman elected to a statewide office in Texas when she defeated incumbent Walter F. Doughty for State sperintendent of public instruction.
Annie returned to UT where she got her masters in 1923. She was a professor in the English Department from that time until her death, except for a short leave of absence in which she earned her PhD from Cornell University in 1927. She died October 2, 1945 in Austin, TX and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery. (Annie Webb Blanton)
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Kinsolving Dormitory, when built in 1958, was considered a very modern building and "was the second most expensive structure ever built by the University, next to the Experimental Sciences Building (Brick By Golden Brick, p.88)". Its modernity was due in part to the buildings many features including four elevators, twenty lounges, a TV parlor, five air conditioned floors, two open air patios, a two-level sundeck, a large central lounge and cafeteria. The building also featured laundry facilities on each of the twenty wings (five floors each with two wings per floor (East and West) and two towers (North and South)). The South side of the building consists of community bathrooms, whereas the North rooms are arranged in suites with two rooms (four women) sharing one bathroom. In the early sixties, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson's daughter Lynda Bird was a UT student and resident of Kinsolving. She stayed in room 166 which was installed with extra security measures while she was in residence. Kinsolving saw an increase of political demonstrations including picketing and sit-ins during this time because the movements recieved national attention by saying the Vice President's daughter lived in the building they were sitting in or marching around.
Over the years Kinsolving has see its fair share of construction including modifying twenty rooms to be disability accessible in 1978, installation of an emergency lighting system in 1985 and in 1987 computer lab was installed within the main lobby area. In 1991 4.1 million dollars was spent to update the cafeteria and main lounge area. The lounge was split into three smaller sections for studying or group activities and the cafeteria "project brought modern improvements in food preparation, service and sanitation practices and storage facilities. (Brick By Golden Brick, p.88 )" The next round of construction occurred in the Summers of 2004 and 2005.
In 2004(Robinson, Latonya "LT." "RE: Kinsolving Construction. Email to Martha J. Berry. 15 September 2005.)
- the 24 hour front desk was renovated including new counter tops, cabinets and new shelving in mail area,
- south mailboxes were moved to combined location with north mailboxes,
- south mail area was converted into two new office spaces,
- converted computer lab into Kin's Market,
- moved computer lab area to north Lounge,
- added a self serve copy machine and TV monitor in main lobby,
- switched locations of men's and women's restrooms,
- renovated all offices near the main lobby door with new windows and bulletin boards,
- created a second egress to Kin South Lounge,
- created one extra main lobby hallway egress for both Kin North and South Lobbies (near tower entrances), and
- installed additional cameras with monitor at desk
Kinsolving Dormitory was named for Episcopal Bishop of Texas George H. Kinsolving because the building stands on what used to be his land. Kinsolving was born in Bedford County, Virginia on April 28, 1849. He attented the University of Virginia from 1868-1870, and graduated from the Episcopal Theological Schoolin Alexandria in 1874. He became a priest in 1875 and after serving the the North and North East, he was selected as Assistant Bishop of Texas in 1892. When Bishop Alexander gregg died the following year, Kinsolving became Bishop of Texas. "Kinsolving was a man of wide vision. On his first visit to Austin he foresaw the growth of the University of Texas and the church opportunity there to reach the best minds of the state." He opened Grace Hall(1898), a home for University women in addition to three other such dormitories; a chapel for both men and women, All Saints Chapel(1900); and Gregg House(1900). Bishop Kinsolving died on October 23, 1928 and was originally buried in Oakwood Cemetery, but in 1940 his body was moved and place in the alter of All Saints Chapel which is still next to Kinsolving Residence Hall, toward the north. (George Herbert Kinsolving)
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The red tiled roof and tan bricked Jester Center including Jester East and West Residence Halls and Jester Academic was built in 1969 to house almost 3000 students. When Jester opened, Jester East housed 1715 male students including about 200 student athletes and Jester West housed 1116 female students (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p.116-7). Jester East is 10 stories, Jester West is 14 stories and Jester Academic which includes classroom spaces, offices and various dining facilities including a cafeteria is four stories.
At a cost of $18.7, the 866,700 gross square feet Jester "was the largest building in Austin (in square footage) and the largest building project in UT history. (Berry Brick By Golden Brick, p.116)"Though many have claimed that Jester is the largest dormitory in the United States, this is at the surface false. The Naval Academy's Bancroft Hall after some renovations now houses 4000 midshipmen and at that capacity it houses over 1000 more people than Jester at 2945 residents, but as far as the author can determine, Jester is the largest university residence hall.
Since Jester was originally built, it has gone from an all male tower and all female tower to both towers being coed, sometimes by floor and sometimes by rooms within a single floor. There have also been a number of repairs and improvements to the building and food service facilities. In 1999 the first floor dining hall was renovated to be a food court type dining facility named Jester City Limits.
Jester is named in honor of Governor of Texas Beauford H. Jester who served Texas as governor from January 21, 1947 to July 11, 1949. He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law degree from UT in 1916 and 1920 respectfully. Gov. Jester also served on the Board of Regents from 1929 to 1935 and as Chairman from 1933 to 1935.(Beauford H. Jester)
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San Jacinto Hall, located on the Southwest corner of 21st and San Jacinto Streets, opened the North Tower in the Fall of 2000 and the South Tower the following January. The building features a large multipurpose media and meeting room and several smaller conference style meeting rooms. It also features a formal longhorn themed lounge and an elevator that plays the UT fight song. Each student room is double occupancy with a private bath.
Included in the original design of the building was a vault located outside of the formal longhorn lounge for a time capsule.
The Capsule was part of the original construction of San Jacinto Hall, with a concrete vault set into the ground under the patio, and a steel box to seal the stuff into. The Residence Hall Council gathered materials that would represent 2005, including magazines, newspapers, some hall t-shirts, class notes, a package of ramen noodles, pictures, and some letters that they wrote. We sealed it up [May 9, 2005] and buried it in the vault. We'll install an engraved brick indicating that it should be opened in 2055. Lore Guilmartin, Hall Coordinator, San Jacinto South.
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The newest University Residence Hall is located on 27th Street between Guadalupe Street and Whitis Avenue. The lot used to be the location of the Old Driskill house which was an Austin landmark and was "used as the Faculty Women's Club.
Duren Hall will house 588 students and staff and each room will be double occupancy with a connected private bath. The building will feature game and exercise rooms next to a large laundry facility. There will also be a formal lounge with Texas heritage furniture, a multipurpose room and study rooms and lounges on each floor. The building's courtyard will surround a century old Live Oak tree. Construction on Duren Hall began Summer 2005 and the building opened Spring 2007. Total cost was $50 million.
Duren Hall is named in honor of Almetris Marsh Duren a.k.a. Mama Duren. She is the same woman for whom the Almetris womens co-op and original Almetris co-op were named. Mrs. Duren was a maternal figure to some and she always had an ear ready to listen to the problems and concerns of the African American students of UT during the time of UT's racial integration of the 60s. She gave the students advice and helped guide them as they made their way through the University during a very difficult time. The original co-op, due in part to the fact that there were not many gathering places for African American students and due mostly to the fact that Mrs. Duren was there, became the social hub of the African American community during integration.
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Original Almetris Co-op previously called "Whitis Dormitory" was located on the corner of 25th and Whitis Ave. It was housed in a large white house that had previously housed the international office and before that was the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house. The house was built in 1939. As the original Almetris Co-op, it housed African American women. When the new co-ops were built, it was torn down to make way for the Jesse Jones communication center.
From a Housing and Food general information bulletin circa 1950s:
"Whitis Dormitory, a unit of the University Residence Halls for Women, located on the northwest corner of the campus at 2500 Whitis Avenue, accomodates 21 women mostly in modern double rooms, with 2 of the rooms accommodating 3 women. The first floor public areas (lounge, living room, and dining room) are air-conditioned, as are two double student rooms on that floor. The remainder of the student room all on the second floor are non-air-conditioned. Study lamps, wastebaskets, pillows and bed linens are furnished wuth the linens laundered by the University. Students firnush and launder their towels, blankets and bedspreads. Maid service is provided one day each week; the students are expected to care for their rooms on other days. Coin-operated clothes washers and sryers are conveniently located in the dormitory. Irons, ironing boards, a sewing machine and hair dryer are available. Telephones operating from a central switchboard are located in each student room. A trained resident counselor lives in the dormitory and is available to aid the students in making their adjustments to University life and group living. She is assisted by a graduate student counselor in directing the actvities of the group to produce a happy and homelike environment."
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Roberts Hall along with Brackenridge, Prather, Moore-Hill and Simkins (located near the stadium end of 21st Street and near the Law School )were all part of the Men's Residence Halls and Kinsolving, The Women's Coops (now Whitis Court), Andrews, Blanton Carothers and Littlefield (all located near Whitis Ave. and 26th Street) made up the Women's Residence Halls. Now, if you're thinking that the Women's and Men's Residence Halls were far apart, you are correct and this was done deliberately to keep the young women and men of the University separate. This is also the reason the Woman's Building was built across the campus from B Hall. The Jester Towers also originally divided the sexes. The "W" for West used to stand for Women and the "M" of the Jester East rooms meant Men.
By 1996, both the Men's and Women's Residence Halls had been co-ed for several years, so the University Residence Hall Association (URHA) proposed to have the names changed to better reflect the location of the building since Women's and Men's were no longer accurate. Waller Creek Residence Halls (WCR) was proposed for the formerly Men's Halls and Whitis Residence Halls (WRH) was proposed for the formerly all women buildings. The names were adopted by the Fall 1997 and are currently still in use.
Waller Creek was so named in honor of Edwin Waller who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, fought in the Battle of Velasco for Texas Independence, was Austin's first Mayor, was postmaster general, and served as Chief Justice of Austin County (now Waller County named in his honor) from 1844-1856. Among his many other accomplishments the one that probably got Waller Creek name for his was that in 1839 President Lamar selected Waller to survey some 7,735 acres of land and plan the new Capitol. Waller selected 640 acres to be the heart of the city located North of the Colorado River, and between Shoal Creek on the West and Waller Creek to the East. He set up the city grid and decided on the location of many government buildings including the Capitol building. (Edwin Waller).
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Whitis Avenue was named for Charles Wesley Whitis who was a businessman, civic leader of Austin and also helped to get the railroad to Austin in 1871- The Houston and Texas Central. In fact the Whitis Residence Halls along with a lot of other campus land once belonged to the Whitis family. "The present area of Grace Hall, All Saints Chapel, and Gregg House was once the Whitis Orchard. The brow of North Hill, where Whitis built the new home for his family, is now the location of the Austin Scottish Rite Dormitory." When Whitis died in 1877 the Austin City Council renamed Berlin and Matilde Street Whitis Avenue.
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