Tour > Chronological Tour > Welch Hall
Known Uses: Welch Hall served
as a training school for more than 25 years.
The first classes were moved into the building
on March 29, 1897, just three days after the
nearby Starkweather Hall was dedicated. The
English, Home Economics and the Special Education
departments were housed in the building until
1939. Shortly before 1950, business education,
geography, history and social science departments
were moved into the Welch. Military Science
was assigned in 1952. During 1960s, classrooms
were gradually converted into offices.
Hall was originally a small and a simple
west wing (seen above) added in 1909
was demolished in 1974 to provide space
for McKenny Union expansion. This second
oldest building on campus was almost
converted into a shopping mall in the
1980s. Continuing deterioration and
lack of money for renovation forced
the building to be vacated in January
1983. The state deemed Welch a "building
no longer worth repairing" and
refused to provide any money for restoration.
and planners in 1985 that Welch Hall
be refurbished to provide space for
a bookstore, music shop, copy services
and other commercial ventures. Upper
floors would be renovated into apartments
for faculty. But these plans never materialized.
$2.5 million federal appropriation saved
Welch from the wrecking ball. The total
cost for 1939 restoration was $3.5 million.