Smith-Kirkley Hall

Kirkley - 1721 Avenue J
Smith - 1733 Avenue J
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Timeline

1961 Smith Hall constructed
Unit P Tex-41-CH-120 [1]
1962 Kirkley Hall constructed
Unit Tex-41-CH-152 [1]
Unknown Smith Cafeteria closes
Summer 1996 Exterior renovation
Late 1990s Kirkley Cafeteria closes
2006 Kirkley Hall converted to offices
Jul. 3, 2012 Demolition begins (with Kirkley side)

Namesake

Bertha Kirkley
Harriet Smith

Architect

Wirtz, Calhoun, Tungate & Jackson

Contractor(s)

H.A. Lott, Inc.

This early aerial photo recalls the row of houses that were once on the hill across from the original quadrangle.


Another aerial, this one from the 1962 Alcalde, shows the redeveloped land and Smith Hall before Kirkley was built.


For 40 years, students have lived in this dorm, located conveniently in the heart of campus.


Smith-Kirkley Hall

Smith Hall stands without the Kirkley wing in July 2012.


Sources

[1] SHSC Revenue Bond Buildings (c.1965)
[2] President's Update (Sep. 14, 2004)
[3] President's Update (Mar. 6, 2004)
[4] Item (Jul. 8, 2009)
[5] Houstonian (Apr. 26, 2012)

Smith-Kirkley Hall was a dormitory located in the central part of campus. The southern half, Smith Hall, was built first, with Kirkley completed the following year.

Upon their opening in the early 1960s, both dorms were regulated to women-only, though each became coed in subsequent years. Each dorm also was home to its own cafeteria, or dining hall. During the 1960s, students enjoyed the art of soapbox car racing by piloting homemade cars down the steep incline outside the building's western entrances.

In 2006, Kirkley underwent internal renovations to house various administrative offices including the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the University Advancement Phonathon, and other programs formerly located in the vacated Frels and Wilson buildings. Smith Hall, while maintained as living quarters, was not scheduled for use unless it was needed for an overflow of students. It was accommodating an extra 200 students at the start of the Fall 2006 semester; it has remained unused in subsequent years.

A Campus Master Plan update in September 2004 speculated the building would be demolished before the end of the decade [2]. A further update in 2006 said the Board of Regents had given approval for its impending demolition [3]. In 2009, it was announced that the building was on the demolition schedule as part of the 2008 Campus Master Plan [4].

An April 2012 Houstonian article revealed the dorm was scheduled for demolition later that summer, with the land potentially used to expand the Lowman Student Center dependant on the outcome of the student referendum [5]. Students voted in favor of expansion in October 2012.


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