|Name||Van Meter Hall (WKU)|
Other Names - Administration Building
Date Built - 1901, 1911
Dedication - May 5, 1911
Cost of Construction - $147,000
Architect - Brinton B. Davis
Contractor - J. Bornstein, Louisville
The original Vanmeter Hall was named for Captain Charles J. Vanmeter. He was one of the oldest native citizens of Bowling Green. At the former Normal School, the old Vanmeter Hall was made possible by his generosity.
Capt. Charles J. Vanmeter, who died recently at his home, in Bowling Green, Ky., was a man widely known for his broad-minded philanthropy. He was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the native citizens of Bowling Green.
After being educated in the schools of his native town, Captain Vanmeter began life as a clerk under his father. Soon becoming tired of a mercantile life, he went to and conducted one of his father's farms. In 1886, together with his brother and Captain Leiter, he built a steamboat. On its maiden trip the boat was frozen up at Carrollton for seven weeks. But the business soon became a very remunerative one, Captain Vanmeter having charge of the office in Bowling Green. The business grew, and subsequently the Bowling Green Navigation Company was formed. This old company is well remembred by the older citizens, and they often speak of that period as the halcyon days of the city.
Captain Vanmeter had been living a retired life for a number of years. He was much interested in educational work, and it was through his generosity that old Vanmeter Hall at the former Normal school was made a possibility, he furnishing the funds for its erection. When the State took charge of the school and bought the Potter College property and erected a handsome, stately building, it was named in his honor. It is one of the most substantial buildings in the State. In all public enterprises Captain Vanmeter had always been a leader, and many projects through his untiring energies have been made possibilities.
Obituary printed in Confederate Veteran, Vol. 21, March 1913
The existing Van Meter Hall was named after Vanmeter Hall which was part of the Southern Normal School & Business College in order to show the continuity of the Southern Normal School in the newly established Western Kentucky State Normal School.
The current Van Meter Hall is the second so named in WKU's history. It was dedicated on Friday, May 5, 1911, The building as first built had an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2,000 wherein WKU students attended chapel daily. Van Meter also contained classrooms and administration offices.
The orginal Vanmeter Hall was constructed to replace the main building of the Southern Normal School & Business College which burned on November 16, 1900. It was a castle-like structure and was completed in 1901 using remains of the burned building. Vanmeter Hall was located between College and Center Street and was over 15,000 square feet. The building contained the President's Office, a library, classrooms, the Business Hall, Chapel Hall, College Reception room and living quarters for the college president, After the creation of WKU in 1906, the building was part of the Bowling Green Business University until 1963.
Van Meter Hall Vertical File - available upon request
Additions - WKU Van Meter Hall
1954 - $25,000 new seats, lights and curtains for auditorium
1957 - addition of room for business office
1967 - auditorium stage made larger, air conditioning in offices
Sources - Vanmeter Hall 1901-1963
Southern Educator, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 1 and 4, 1901
UA96 Southern Normal School Records - inventory
Sources - Van Meter Hall 1911-present
Teachers College Heights
Vol. 6, No. 6, p. 7
Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 1, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 1-3 & 5
Vol. 10, No. 2, p. 4, Vol. 10, No. 4, p. 2
Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 1, Vol. 11, No. 6, p. 3
Vol. 13, No. 1, p. 29
Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 42
Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 4, 24 & 35; No. 6, p. 24
Vol. 17, No. 1, p. 13; No. 4, pp. 3 & 25; No. 6, p. 5
College Heights Herald
Adams, Herman. "Black Marble Staircase in Van Meter," photograph, Jan. 15, 1987.
"Administration Building is Campus Nerve Center," Mar. 6, 1963, p. 2
"Boo! Van Meter Ghost Haunts Western's actors," May 2, 1972, p. 9
"Buildings Get Equipment and Redecoration," Oct. 10, 1947, p. 1
"Conn Electric Organ Installed in Van Meter," May 30, 1958, p. 1
"Renovation and Modernization of Van Meter Hall," photograph, Oct. 24, 1968, p. 12
"Renovation, Remodeling Set for Van Meter, Former Library," Oct. 26, 1967, p. 3
"Trophy Case to be Erected on Hill," Feb. 14, 1941, p. 3
"Trophy Cases Will be Ready for Installation Next Week," April 10, 1942, p. 12
"Trophy Display Site Selected," Feb. 28, 1941, p. 1
"Van Meter Auditorium Has New Look," Mar. 11, 1955, p. 3
"Van Meter Auditorium Soon to be Renovated," April 16, 1954, p. 6
"Van Meter Auditorium," photograph, Nov. 6, 1959, p. 4
"Van Meter Crowns Hill as One of First Buildings Constructed," July 13, 1956, p. 8
"Van Meter Gets Face Lifting," Oct. 8, 1954, p. 3
"Van Meter Hall; More About Ghosts," Nov. 5, 1976, p. 14B
"Van Meter to Get Face Lifting," April 2, 1954, p. 4
Park City Daily News
"$25,000 Allocated by State to Remodel Van Meter Auditorium," Mar. 26, 1954
"$797,702 Low Bid on WKU Remodeling," April 5, 1968
"Building Addition Planned at Western," May 24, 1957
"College Organ Will be Heard Publicly today," June 15, 1968
Dooley, Jason. "Council to Consider WKU Project," Jul 18, 2004
Neumayer, Rick. "Renovation of Van Meter Auditorium Nears Finish," May 11, 1969
"Two WKU Buildings to be Remodeled," Oct. 18, 1967
Wade, Debi. "Tales of Visitors Past Haunt Area Buildings," Oct. 31, 1982
UA1F WKU Archives Multimedia Resources:
Articles on Western Buildings
Vertical File - Brinton Davis
Vertical File - Van Meter - available upon request
UA2 Board of Regents - Meeting Minutes:
Sept. 21, 1968
UA3/1/2/1 Henry Cherry Correspondence - inventory
UA11/1 University Relations Publications:
Echo, Sept. 2005
UA11/3 University Relations Building & Construction File:
UA30/1/1 Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - inventory
UA30/1/2 Building File - inventory
UA51/3/3 Library Special Collections Publications:
Historic Architecture at Western Kentucky University
UA94/6/1 Student / Alumni Personal Papers:
Ray, Maia. Reflections of the Past: The Classical Spirit in American Architecture
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.
Blueprints, drawings and plans of WKU buildings and campus created by the Department of Planning, Design & Construction.
General correspondence regarding Western Kentucky University. 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 writer for some of the letters signed by Cherry. Some of Cherry's personal papers are also found in this series most notably those pertaining to his political aspirations and two candidacies for the Kentucky governorship. Copies of outgoing correspondence begin to appear in Box 1, Folder 50.
Small poster promoting the appearance of Just So Stories at the Capitol Arts Center. 35 x 22 cm.
Collection of slides photographs and negatives taken by W.H. Lowe of WKU campus, family and friends.
Paper: "Famous Ghost Legends at Western Kentucky University" written by Rhonda Coburn for a Western Kentucky University folk studies class. (MSS)
Construction file regarding construction of new buildings, renovation of existing buildings and bond issues during Kelly Thompson's tenure as WKU President.
Scrapbook pages with photographs.
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.
This custom-made poster was used to advertise a benefit for the War Memorial Boys’ Club in Bowling Green on May 15-16, 1951. Russell H. Miller, who directed this musical extravaganza, was a professor at Western Kentucky University (WKU). He spent a great deal of time cultivating an appreciation for drama in Bowling Green by starting or helping strengthen several theatrical groups in the area. The event was held at WKU’s Van Meter Hall. Other listed on the poster are Otto Mattei, Pearl Rutledge and David Livingston. 35.6 x 27.8 cm.
Handbill advertising the Bowling Green Music Club presentation of "King Nutcracker," with Mrs. Nelle Gooch Travelstead, Musical Director, Mrs. J. B. Helm, Accompanist and Mrs. Earl Rabold, Narrator. Dances were under the direction of Miss Gladys Perkerson and toys, courtesy of Pushins Department store. Children in the play included: Ann McKeel, Nadeen Ford, Jane Robison, Nancy Lee Holman, Margaret Ferrell, Jean Grant, Bobby Rigsby, Bobby Haynes, Madison Grimes, Patricia Vincent, Mary Ann Hays, Lucy Ann Jackson, Tommy Baird and Jim Bill Loving. Additional actors and actresses names are also listed as well as performance times. The ballet was held at Van Meter Hall on Western Kentucky State Tea
Small poster promoting the performance of An Evening With Groucho at Van Meter Auditorium in Bowling Green, KY. 20 x 25 cm.
Small poster promoting the performance of African Tales at Van Meter Auditorium in Bowling Green, KY. 20 x 25 cm.
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.
The Symphony at WKU 2011-2012 concert dates program for concerts held in Van Meter Hall. Includes parking information with map. 21.6 x 8.8 cm.
Interview conducted by Paul Trafton with Owen Lawson former WKU Physical Plant director.
College Heights Herald, Vol. 30, No. 11-Z247 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2893/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2893/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Faculty Notes Musical Notes Weddings & Engagements Articles in this issue: Sands, Margie. Western Medical Students Soon to Enter Med Schools Lectures, Music Featured in Past Chapels High School Students to Attend Music Festival Here Lawrence Duncan Killed in Accident Seven Stude
College Heights Herald, Vol. 31, No. 1-Z247 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2897/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2897/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Birds I View Looking Backward Hilltopics Mind Your Manners Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Faculty Notes Musical Notes Weddings & Engagements Articles in this issue: Judy Koch, Byron Watkins Head '54-'55 College Heights Herald Staff Western Players Will Present Comedy Wednesday 27th Annual Third District Education Association Meets on Campus Next Week Watercolor Exhibit
College Heights Herald, Vol. 31, No. 7-Z247 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2915/">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/2915/</a>. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Looking Backward Hilltopics Kentucky Building News Alumni News Book Marks Faculty Notes Musical Notes Weddings & Engagements Articles in this issue: Debaters Place Second in Tournament Anderson, Jimmie. Frosh Top Tennessee Tech to Take Twelfth Win of Season Former Faculty Member Dies - Fred Mutchler Western Players Will Present R.U.R. Thompson, Pattye. Kay Greer Has New Job but Worrie