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Title UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Subseries 67. Red Barn
Creator WKU Archives
Description Images of the Red Barn.
Collection WKU Archives
Object Name Print, Photographic
Year Range From 1920
Admin / Biog History Other Names - Big Red Barn
Built - 1920
Razed - ca. 1930
Cost of Construction - unknown

On December 30, 1919, the Board of Regents authorized "the erection of a temporary gymnasium building form the student fund, and also the purchase of physical education equipment."

Letter re: building specifications for temporary gymnasium - D2279 -

In his November 18, 1920 report to the Board of Regents, H.H. Cherry stated:

"The temporary Gymnasium was constructed largely with student help. Some of this help when regularly employed in summer vacations and at other times, is paid for out of funds derived from the student fund. The same thing is true with the carpenters employed. This building has a splendid Gymnasium floor and will be a success except in very cold weather. We believe, however, it will be necessary to put wall board on the inside in order to make it usable during the winter. We have decided to install two large stoves in the Gymnasium and not attempt putting in a heating plant with baths and hot water as was originally planned . . . "

In Earl Ruby's Red Towel Territory, he describes the "Little Red Barn" as having "rafters running across, hardly 18 feet above the floor" and seating 250 spectators. In the fall of 1920, the structure was first used for six weeks to house 40 male and female students until housing could be arranged. Several descriptions of men's and women's (college & Training School) basketball games state they were played in the "Teachers College gymnasium" [particulary in College Heights Herald, Feb. 26, 1925].

Harrison's Western Kentucky University and several descriptions of games after the completion of the Training School building in 1925 refer to Western games being played in the "Training School gym" or the "College High gym."

The February 1930 College Heights Herald, in describing the need for the new gymnasium stated: "Since the building of the Training School, the gymnasium did not have seating capacity for more than one-fourth of the people who attend the basketball games." Yet, I did find reference to a February 1926 women's game in the Teachers College gymnasium.

Several photographs and references indicate the title "No Man's Inn" [my theory is the sign posted late 1920s – but I'm still working on my evidence]. Thus, simply stated, a December 7, 1963, news clipping's statement that "Western played nine seasons in the original 'Barn' and the next 33 in the Physical Education Building . . ." is inaccurate.

. . . the "Pedagogues"/"Teachers"/"Hilltoppers" season from 1921-1922 through 1930-31 were usually played January through March (the coldest months of our year – thus moving to the Training School gym whenever possible makes sense).

Dedication ceremonies for the Health and Physical Education Building's new basketball facility occurred February 9, 1931.

--Red Barn notes compiled by Sue Lynn Stone, March 24, 1999
System of Arrangement Images are arranged alphabetically and numerically.
Subjects Western Kentucky University
Search Terms Red Barn (WKU)
Finding Aids TopScholar -
Related Materials Images with UA1C2.67 prefix
Catalog Number UA1C2.67
Copyrights Check individual images for copyright restrictions.
Dates of Creation 1920-
Caption WKU Archives Logo
Credit line WKU Archives
Extent 1 folder
Number of Images 1
Access Conditions no restrictions
Parent ID UA1C2
Level of Description Subseries
Disciplines Photography
Sports Studies
Containers Red Barn