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Name Red Barn (WKU)
Details 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 - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2620

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

College Heights Herald - digitized - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua/

1926 - Feb. 26

1930 - February issue

Books

Harrison, Lowell. Western Kentucky University, University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, KY, 1987, call #LD5941-W5 H37 1987

Ruby, Earl. Red Towel Territory, American National Bank & Trust Co., Bowling Green, KY, 1979, call # GV691.W59 R8

Documents & Primary Sources

UA1B3/3 Athletic Committee - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/128/

UA1C1 Campus Views - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/25/

UA1C11/29 Franklin Studios Photograh Collection - digitized - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2471/

UA1C11/5 Athletic Media Relations Photo Collection - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/75/

UA1C4/11 Dormitory Residents - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/28/

UA2/2 Board of Regents Meeting Minutes

December 30, 1919 - digitized - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/bor/1919/mtgs/1/

UA3/1/7/1 Henry Cherry Personal Papers - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/204/

UA3/1/8 Henry Cherry Scrapbooks - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/286/

UA12/2/2 1949 Talisman - digitized - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/364/

UA68/8/2 Oral History Committee - inventory - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/293/

Ted Hornback Interview - transcript - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/879/
L.Y. Lancaster Interview - transcript - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/877/
Walter Nalbach Interview - transcript - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/882/
Claude Rose Interview - transcript - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/886/
Ed Stansbury Interview - transcript - http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/888/

Note, June 2002

This early gym was also used to house faculty families including my mother, Nelle Goodh Travelstead, my brother Will Gooch Travelstead and me. Suspended sheets hung on wires separated the "rooms" we lived in.

~ Chester C. Travelstead

Article dated June 16, 1931 from Unidentified Source

The old gymnasium building of Western Teachers College has recently given way to the general plan of beautification being carried forward on the campus of this school, having served its purposes which were manifold. It was used not only as a gymnasium and classroom, but during the housing shortage of 1918 prior to the building of the first dormitory, it temporarily sheltered about fifty young women who had arrived for the summer term only to find no rooms available. Conditions following the war coupled with the oil boom at that time in Warren County had made the housing situation very acute, so partitions were placed in the old gymnasium and it was pressed into service as a temporary dormitory. Miss Elizabeth Woods served as hostess at this time.

Letter from Lowell Harrison to Unidentified Person(s), March 2, 2000

I am disturbed by the media people who contiue to refer to the Health and Physical Building (that later became the Helm Library) as the "Old Red Barn." I have examined the documents relating to those buildings, and I attended games at Western regularly from about 1936. I believe that the "Old Red Barn" name should be used only in connection with the hastily built structure that was located back of the Recitation Hall (which was replaced by Cherry Hall). As I recall, President Cherry said that it did not have to be built of the best lumber, and I believe that it was not heated. The basketball team used the gym in the Training School after it became available until the Health and Physical Building was completed in 1931.

Western and the community took great pride in that new building. It was not old; it was not red; and it was not a barn. I suspect that the erroneous name was applied sometime after World War II by some one who did not know much about the history of Western and its basketball program.
Archives Entries 6
Library Entries 0
Object Entries 0
Photograph Entries 16

Associated Records

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 29. Franklin Studios Collection - Franklin Studio

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 29. Franklin Studios Collection - Franklin Studio

Photographs created by Franklin Studios arranged in numerical order. Images are generally numbered and duplicates are found throughout the WKU Archives Photograph Collections, especially for individual buildings. See container list for list of images in other locations.

Image of UA3 President's Office Series 1. Henry Hardin Cherry Subseries 2. Correspondence Sub-subseries 2. Special - WKU President's Office - Cherry

UA3 President's Office Series 1. Henry Hardin Cherry Subseries 2. Correspondence Sub-subseries 2. Special - WKU President's Office - Cherry

Special correspondence regarding Western Kentucky University. This series runs concurrently with the General Correspondence and there is no indication of what makes it special. Of special note is correspondence regarding the Student Army Training Corps, World War I veterans and construction of Cherry Hall. Incoming letters are mainly addressed to Henry Hardin Cherry. Responses are made by Cherry and occasionally by faculty and staff. The president's secretary Mattie McLean is the author of some of the letters signed by Cherry.

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

Photographs, negatives, postcards, drawings, slides and digital images of Western Kentucky University buildings. Includes buildings of founding institutions. Subseries 1. Academic Athletic Performance Center / Diddle Arena Subseries 2. Academic Complex Subseries 3. Agricultural Exposition Center Subseries 4. Proposed Buildings Subseries 5. Barnes-Campbell Subseries 6. Barracks Subseries 7. Bates-Runner Subseries 8. Bemis Lawrence Subseries 9. Cabell Hall Subseries 10. Cedar House aka Faculty House Subseries 11. West Hall Subseries 12. Unidentified Subseries 13. Cherry Hall, 1937+ Subseries 14. Glasgow Normal School Subseries

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 47, No. 6 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4727">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4727</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. This issue contains articles: Hilltop Highlight - Campus Commemoration Barnes-Campbell Twin to Bemis Lawrence Dorm Honors Sheridan Barnes, Don Campbell Functional Design Keynotes Wetherby Administration Building Homecoming Theme Chosen Thompson Science Complex Expands for Student Needs Planetarium Honors Hardin Thompson; Former Staffer Today's Issue Many Ways Special Greeting from Chairmen of Dedication Celebration Pre-ca

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 51, No. 14 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4827">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4827</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. This issue contains articles: Tennessee Tech Shifts Personnel, Comes to Town Undefeated Pence, Carter. Homecoming Games Offer Defeats Victories and a 40-Foot Cliff Catlett, Regina & Marie Crawford. Homecoming a Memory Witt, Travis. Remember When . . . Catlett, Regina. WKU History Since 1960, Western Has Been a Place of Growing Education, Tradition Jennings, Ed. Old Red Barn was Once House of Basketball Memories Kept in Corn

Image of Women's Basketball Team - Unknown

Women's Basketball Team - Unknown

1923 women's basketball team with E.A. Diddle in front of Red Barn. L to r: Matilda Davis, Gladys Knott, Louise Monin, Irene Caldwell, Elizabeth Wyatt, Julia Warner, Bernadine Conelly, Alma Davis, Frances Samuels, Bulah Snider and E.A. Diddle.

Image of Red Barn Residents - Unknown

Red Barn Residents - Unknown

Girls in front of "No Man's Inn," when the Red Barn was used as a dormitory. If you recognize this photo and can help identify the people in it, please send feedback - above.

Image of Pershing Rifles - Unknown

Pershing Rifles - Unknown

Assistant pledge master Ed Karr and pledge master Pat Dillard addressing members of Pershing Rifles pledge class in the basement of the Red Barn.

Image of Aerial View - Unknown

Aerial View - Unknown

Aerial photograph of WKU campus.

Image of Aerial View - Unknown

Aerial View - Unknown

Aerial photograph of WKU campus.

Image of Campus View - Franklin Studio

Campus View - Franklin Studio

Campus view showing Recitation Hall, Red Barn, Cedar House, Training School and flower gardens.

Image of WKU Campus View - Franklin Studio

WKU Campus View - Franklin Studio

Campus view showing left to right the Red Barn, Cedar House, College High and the Home Economics Building.

Image of WKU Campus View - Franklin Studio

WKU Campus View - Franklin Studio

Campus view with Red Barn, Cedar House, College High, Music Building and Home Economics Building.

Image of WKU Campus - Franklin Studio

WKU Campus - Franklin Studio

Trees behind the Red Barn and Recitation Hall

Image of WKU Campus - Franklin Studio

WKU Campus - Franklin Studio

WKU campus view showing Recitation Hall, Ft. Albert Sidney Johnston and the Red Barn.