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Title UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings Subseries 1. Academic Athletic Performance Center
Creator WKU Archives
Description Images of the Academic Athletic Performance Center also called Diddle Arena.
Collection WKU Archives
Object Name Print, Photographic
Year Range From 1961
Admin / Biog History Other Names - Academic-Athletic Building No. 1
Date Built - Nov. 15, 1961-1963
Cost of Construction - $2.5 million
Gross Square Feet - 188,251 (1969)
Building No. 30
Architect(s) - Frank Cain & Ben Johnson

Namesake - E.A. Diddle:
Edgar Allen Diddle was born at Gradyville, Kentucky March 12, 1895 to John A. and Mary Elizabeth Hughes Diddle. After his early education at Columbia, Kentucky, Diddle entered Centre College at Danville in 1915 where he excelled in football and basketball. He served in the Naval Aviation program during WWI, returning to Centre in 1918. He left again in 1920 to begin his coaching career at Monticello High School. In 1921 he coached at Greenville High School. On September 7, 1922, he joined the staff at Western as athletic director and coach of all sports. He relinquished his duties as head football coach in 1929 and of baseball in 1956.

Diddle married Margaret Louise Monin December 27, 1923. The couple had two children, Edgar Allen Diddle Jr. and Mary Jo Diddle Phillips. E.A. Diddle, Sr. died January 2, 1970.

Col. Edgar B. Stansbury (1906-2009). The Diddle Arena lobby was named for Col. Stansbury in 1998 after he pledged $1 million for scholarships. Stansbury came to Western in 1926 and played football, basketball and baseball under Coach Diddle. He later returned as an assistant coach for football and baseball and served three seasons as tennis coach going on to serve as director of athletics and head of the Health & Physical Education Department. He was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Building History:
Discussion and planning for Diddle Arena began as early as 1956. By December 1960 plans had been drawn. Between 65 to 70 percent of the construction was funded through the sale of bonds with the remaining capital coming from the state. When the building was first designed, it included the basketball arena, a swimming pool approximately 72 x 42 ft., an auxiliary gym, 30 classrooms, offices, shower, locker and equipment rooms. The building was 3 stories high and was equipped with 3,344 theater-type seats and 3796 permanent bleachers. However, the seating capacity was 13,000. At the time, Diddle was the 3rd largest building on campus behind Cherry and the Science Building.

A bulldozer was used for the groundbreaking on November 15, 1961 and the arena was dedicated on December 7, 1963. The Hilltoppers lost to Vanderbilt 82-60 in the opening game. In 1991 an electrical fire broke out. Several students attempted to douse the blaze. Seventeen students, firemen and WKU employees were checked for possible asbestos contamination.

When it was first constructed the arena housed the departments of Foreign Languages, Military Science and Physical Education.

As of 7/6/68
182,000 gross sq. ft. cost $3,325,000, replacement value $3,325,743, 109 total rooms
12 classrooms
1 classroom service
4 special class labs
1 class lab service
5 Armory Facilities Service
10 Athletic-Physical Education Fac. Ser.
4 Athletic-Physical Education Facilities
5 assembly facilities service
1 assembly facility
2 conference rooms
1 lounge facility
4 food facilities
1 food facility service
30 offices
7 office services
8 custodial areas
13 mechanical areas

1980 - new scoreboard donated by American National Bank & Pepsi Cola
1987 - reroofed for $250,000
1992 - new seating, painted, weight room renovations, women's locker room updated, $90,000 from Hilltopper Athletic Foundation
1993 - digital scoreboard installed, $200,000 in corporate sponsorships; computerized ticket office, $57,000
1995 - new sound system
2000 - "Topper Town Basketball" added for $8000 and removal of bleachers
2001-2003 - new parking area, elevator added, new floor and air-conditioning, 8,000 new seats, 30,000 square foot addition includes offices and practice gym, swimming pool converted to convention center, new suites added, approximately $32.5 million from Hilltopper Athletic Foundation, sales of luxury suites, bond issue and donations
System of Arrangement Images are arranged alphabetically and numerically.
Subjects Western Kentucky University
Search Terms Diddle Arena (WKU)
Finding Aids TopScholar -
Related Materials UA1C6.6.2 - image of groundbreaking
UA19 - Athletic Department records
UA30.1.2 - Planning, Design & Construction Building File
Catalog Number UA1C2.1
Copyrights Check individual images for copyright restrictions.
Dates of Creation 1961-present
Caption WKU Archives Logo
Credit line WKU Archives
Extent 10 folders, 2 oversize, 4 negatives, 7 slides
Number of Images 1
Access Conditions no restrictions
Parent ID UA1C2
Level of Description Subseries
Disciplines Photography
Sports Studies
Construction Engineering
Containers Diddle Arena - Interior
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena - Interior
Diddle Arena - Construction
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena
Diddle Arena - Interior
Diddle Arena - Postcards
Diddle Arena - Slides
Diddle Arena - Negatives
Diddle Arena - Negative