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Name Kentucky Building (WKU)
Details Date Built - 1931; interior completed 1939
Cost of Construction - $300,000
Architects - Brinton Davis, James Ingram

The Kentucky Building was originally designed as a 40,000 square feet Georgian-Revival style structure. It included reception areas, classrooms, museum galleries and library reading rooms. Construction of the building began in 1931 but due to the Great Depression, only the exterior was completed. The half finished building provided classroom space. President Cherry died in 1937, two years after launching a second fundraising campaign to have the building finished. President Paul Garrett, Cherry's successor, hired James M. Ingram to complete the interior of the building. The Kentucky Building officially opened in the fall of 1939. The building was dedicated on November 16, 1939, Dr. Cherry's birthday.

The people of Kentucky were asked to donate money to for construction of the building as well as artifacts for the museum. "The invitation is extended to every citizen of Kentucky to make a special effort this spring, during the annual spring cleaning, to gather up old Kentucky newspapers, magazines, letters, diaries, manuscripts, and any book printed in Kentucky, about Kentucky, or written by a Kentuckian." ["KY. Bldg. is to be Made Real Museum," Oct. 24, 1935]

The Kentucky Building houses the Kentucky Museum, Kentucky Library, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives, and WKU Archives. "The museum has displays of early textiles and costumes; china, glassware, and silver, jewelry and fans; early musical instruments; Civil War relics; dolls and doll furniture; and South Union Shaker items. Also on exhibit are the early tools, medical equipment, types of lighting, a relief man of Kentucky shown at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, and a large early still. ["Ky. Building Devoted Entirely To State and Local History," April 5, 1969]

In 1977 the building was renovated and expanded to over 80,000 square feet. The addition houses new gallery space for the museum and a library reading room. An interior courtyard between the original building and the addition was also created. The Kentucky Building was closed for three years during the construction.


1977 - $2.7 million renovation and expansion

1993 - Cherry sundial dedicated

College Heights Herald - - search by year

1977 Jan. 18, p. 11; Sep. 29, p. 1; Oct. 4, p. 1; Nov. 3, p. 1
1978 March 23, p. 5; Aug. 24, p. 1; Oct. 19, p. 12; Nov. 2, p. 7A
1979 Jan. 11, p. 13; Jan. 16, p. 1; Jan. 23, p. 1; Feb. 13, p. 1; May 3, p. 9; Nov. 1, p. 5
1984 Oct. 2, p. 1

Teachers College Heights - search by year
1928 Aug.
1929 June, Dec.
1930 Sep.
1931 July
1934 Dec.
1935 March
1938 Dec.
1940 Jan.

Park City Daily News
1928 - Oct. 2, Oct. 25, Nov. 6
1939 - April 2, 9, 16, 23, May 14
1947 - Feb. 9

Documents & Primary Sources

UA1F Articles on Western Buildings -

UA2 Board of Regents - Meeting Minutes -
1926 April 2
1931 April 16
1938 July 11, Sept. 29, Dec. 23
1939 Jan. 15

UA3/1/2/1 Henry Cherry - Correspondnece - inventory -

UA3/1/2/2 Henry Cherry - Special Correspondence - inventory -

UA3/1/7/1 Henry Cherry Personal Papers - inventory -
Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence with Bess Cherry

UA3/1/8 Henry Cherry Scrapbooks - inventory -

UA3/2/1 Paul Garrett - Correspondence / Subject File

UA3/3/1 Kelly Thompson - Correspondence / Subject File - inventory -

UA19/17/5 Athletic Media Relations - Film/Video/Audio - inventory -

UA30/1/1 Builidngs, Drawings & Plans - inventory -

UA30/1/2 Building File - inventory -

UA37/2 Faculty / Staff Small Collections - inventory -

UA37/3 Leland Crabb - inventory -

UA9/4 Institutional Advancement - College Heights Foundation - inventory -

UA51/3/3 Historic Architecture at Western Kentucky University Walk Talk -

UA51/3/4 University Libraries - Special Collections - inventory -

UA77/3 Alumni Relations Administrative File - inventory -

UA77/3 Alumni Relations Publications File


"Western's Time Capsule, Winter 2000

Western Alumnus

"50th Anniversary Celebration Begins," Spring 1990
"Brief History of Completion of the Building," Fall 1975
"Collections Reflecting the Commonwealth Are Housed Here," Spring 1973
"Construction and Renovation of Building Nears Completion," Summer 1979
"Kentucky Building Collections Move to Temporary Quarters," Winter 1967
"This Extraordinary Educational Facility Might Never Have Existed Without the Help of the College Heights Foundation," Special Issue 1978
Watkins, Diane. "The Kentucky Building," Winter 1991

UA94/6/1 Anna Murl Fisher Scrapbook -

UA94/6/1 Georgia McElwain Scrapbook -

Kentucky Senate Journal
1930 March 3 SB432 initial appropriation for building
1930 March 5 SB432
1934 Jan. 15 SB53 County Clerks to donate documents
Archives Entries 91
Library Entries 4
Object Entries 0
Photograph Entries 196

Associated Records

Image of Cookbook Sale - Kentucky Library

Cookbook Sale - Kentucky Library

Flier for a Cookbook Sale sponsored by the Kentucky Library and Museum Associates on August 8, 2006 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. The flier is four-color and on white copy paper. The background is light blue, a darker blue 1 cm. border is around the text (some is missing at the bottom). All text is blue and red. Features photos of several cookbook titles. 28 cm.

Image of Papers -

Papers -

Correspondence between Donald G. Porter and Janice A. Insko, his future wife, during and just after the Korean Conflict, while Don was serving in a medical support division in Germany and she was a student at Western Kentucky State College. Letters concern military life abroad and the everyday life of a student at Western.

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 1. Public Relations - Public Affairs (WKU)

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 1. Public Relations - Public Affairs (WKU)

Photographs, negatives, slides and transparencies created by Public Affairs staff members of WKU faculty, staff, students, alumni and events. See container list for arrangement and description.

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 6. Events Subseries 8. Exhibits - WKU Archives

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 6. Events Subseries 8. Exhibits - WKU Archives

Images of exhibits at Western Kentucky University and its founding institutions.

Image of UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

Blueprints, drawings and plans of WKU buildings and campus created by the Department of Planning, Design & Construction.

Image of Papers - Witten, Tempie Jane (Bell)

Papers - Witten, Tempie Jane (Bell)

The Tempie Jane (Bell) Witten Collection consists of 6 boxes, 57 folders, and 1,518 items. It has two major focuses: the genealogy of Mrs. Witten's family, the Bells of Grayson County, as well as collateral families in that area and Grayson County history, particularly that of the county's Baptist churches and schools. Most of the older items in the collection are actually photocopies, not original documents. Box one contains correspondence chiefly with family members or to those who shared Witten's interest in genealogy. Of particular interest are four letters from Joyce Ann Hutchins describing Japan in 1947-1948. Researchers will also find in this box a lengthy genealogical related an

Image of Papers - Stickles, Arndt Mathis, 1872-1968

Papers - Stickles, Arndt Mathis, 1872-1968

Correspondence, both personal and professional, as well as research material related to books and articles published by Arndt Mathis Stickles, a native of Indiana and a professor of history at Western Kentucky University from 1908 to 1954. His most popular book was "Simon Bolivar Buckner: Borderland Knight."

Image of Papers - Travelstead, Chester

Papers - Travelstead, Chester

Chiefly personal and professional correspondence, speeches, journal articles, reminiscences and news clippings of noted educator Chester Coleman Travelstead. Of particular interest are the materials related to his 1955 dismissal from the University of South Carolina owing to his stance on racial integration. Also includes correspondence and diaries of his mother Nelle (Gooch) Travelstead, long-time Western Kentucky University faculty member.

No Image Available

Papers - Hodges, Patricia Ann (Morgan), b. 1931

Paper by Patricia Hodges to fulfill a requirement for a library science course at Western Kentucky University: "Preliminary Procedures Involved in the Compilation of a Guide ot the Manuscript Collections in the Kentucky Library."

No Image Available

Papers - Kentucky Building

Guest book kept for the Kentucky Building at its opening in 1939 and for special events. The book was donated by the Western Kentucky State Teachers College class of 1935. It is housed in a tooled leather slipcover featuring the seal of Kentucky and inscribed "Distinguished Guests, The Kentucky Building."

No Image Available

Papers - Watkins, Dianne (Winkler), b. 1941

Typed biography titled "Julia Neal," which discusses the professional career of Neal (7 p.); two oral interviews with Neal conducted by Dianne Watkins which discuss Neal's career and particularly her work related to the Shakers at South Union, Kentucky; photocopy of Neal's first article on the South Union Shakers in 1926 is also included.

Image of Inner Light, A KLM exhibit -

Inner Light, A KLM exhibit -

Poster for Inner Light, A KLM exhibit of The Shaker Legacy. Photographs by Linda Butler.

Image of America on Stage 200 Years of Performing Arts -

America on Stage 200 Years of Performing Arts -

A handout (post card) advertising exhibit which included a playbill from Kentucky Library MSS collection (not mentioned in this handout) MSS 701, C1-D1, 17. Also includes a letter from Spencer Welch of IBM who sponsored the exhibit at the Kennedy Center.

Image of In God We Trust? -

In God We Trust? -

Black, red and white poster for a series, Reflections: a Seventy-Six Series produced by Western Kentucky University and held at the Kentucky building in 1976. The program, In God We Trust? Literary Transformation of America's Religious Heritage was a lecture by Robert K. Johnston. 24 x 50 cm.

Image of Papers - Moore, Mary (Taylor) Leiper Moore, 1885-1973

Papers - Moore, Mary (Taylor) Leiper Moore, 1885-1973

Radio scripts, correspondence, research notes, and newspaper clippings of Kentucky Building director, Mary (Taylor) Leiper Moore. Moore served as director of the Kentucky Building at Western Kentucky University from 1931 to 1956. Also includes articles and speeches written by Moore.

No Image Available

Kentucky Folklife Program - Grant Files - Bob Gates

This collection contains documentation on projects and grants sponsored by the Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Arts Council from 1992-2012. Grants and projects included in the collection are the Folk Arts Project and Tour of Kentucky Folk Music Grants, Folk Arts Projects Grants, Folk and Traditional Art Apprenticeship Grants, Performing Arts on Tour Grants, and Community Scholar Survey Grants. It is important to note that grant and project grant names have changed over the years and may vary from the original titles. Some items in this collection contain sensitive materials such as personal identifying information like names, addresses, phone numbers, possibly social security nu

Image of Papers - Moore, Mary (Taylor) Leiper

Papers - Moore, Mary (Taylor) Leiper

Correspondence chiefly of Mrs. Mary (Taylor) Leiper Moore, Librarian of the Kentucky Library, Bowling Green, Kentucky, with politicians, principally of Kentucky.

Image of Papers - Spurlock, Christy Leigh, b. 1963

Papers - Spurlock, Christy Leigh, b. 1963

Paper titled "White Stone Quarry of Bowling Green, KY" written by Christy Leigh Spurlock for a Western Kentucky University history department independent study project. Includes research materials such as maps, deeds, photos, and transcriptions of interviews with former quarry employees and their family members.

Image of Papers - Hodges, Ida Leighton, 1885-1949

Papers - Hodges, Ida Leighton, 1885-1949

Letters commending Ida Leighton Hodges for a variety of civic activities, including her work as coordinator of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Civil Works Administration in Bowling Green, Kentucky during the 1930s.