Oberlin Then and Now: Warner Hall

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Historic photo of Warner Hall  Present day view of King Building

Then: 10 N. Professor Street, 1884, Now: King Building, 1966, Minoru Yamasaki & Associates


In June, 1883, the announcement was made that Dr. and Mrs. Lucien C. Warner, of New York, proposed to erect a building for the Conservatory. Ground was broken in November, 1883, and the corner stone was laid in January, 1884. The building was dedicated December 20, 1884. The architect was Mr. A.B. Jennings, of New York, and the building was erected by Messers, Doerzbach and Decker, of Sandusky, Ohio. Warner Hall contains offices, a musical library, lecture rooms, a small studio theatre, and one hundred and fifty studio and practice rooms. In 1887, the north wing of the building was constructed, including the concert hall. In the summer of 1890 a balcony was added, and the concert hall was dedicated. In 1902 an organ was secured from Mr. Harold Kimball, of Rochester, N.Y., partly by gift and partly by purchase, representing a value of $14,000. In the years 1903 and 1904 the concert hall was remodeled, two hundred additional seats were added to the audience room, and other repairs were made. The Kimball organ was replaced in 1928 by a new Skinner organ, at a cost of $29,500. New seats were installed in 1926, the gift of Mrs. Warner. The concert hall seats eight hundred persons. Warner Hall has a frontage of 120 feet on College Street and 150 feet on professor Street. At August 31, 1936, the value of Warner Hall was estimated at $175,000, musical instruments and apparatus $80,000, and the music library $3,000. [Warner Hall was further refurbished in 1940, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1955. It was demolished in October 1964 to make way for H.C. King Memorial Hall.]



Source: From the 1936 Alumni Catalogue and a set of building cards created by the College Secretary's office, both located at the Oberlin College Archives 

Photo courtesy of Oberlin Heritage Center