Building Booms Historical Marker
Written by: Abigail McPeek ('15)
Georgetown College's campus is situated on 104 acres in the Bluegrass and features an arboretum with 23 native species (behind you, along Memorial Drive). Beyond the scenic beauty, the campus has three antebellum buildings visible from this vantage point: Pawling Hall (built 1844, to the far left); Giddings Hall (built 1841, on the left); and Highbaugh Hall (built 1861, to the right). A dozen other buildings comprise the campus proper. Many of these were constructed from the 1950s through the 1970s. These two decades saw the majority of the campus buildings being built or dedicated and opened for use.
These buildings changed student life into what it is now, with particular structures dedicated to specific academic and administrative purposes. The Science Center, seen directly in front of the marker, was dedicated and opened at Homecoming in 1968. In 1977, it became the George Matt Asher Science Center. Looking to the right of Asher, you see Knight Hall, the women's dorm dedicated in 1959. To the left of Asher, you can make out the Anna Ashcraft Ensor Learning Resource Center, which broke ground in 1997, and houses the library. Continue looking left and you see Nunnelley Music Building, completed in 1952, Highbaugh Hall (one of the original three buildings on campus, erected in 1861), and Cooke Memorial Building. Cooke was completed in 1954 and was originally the campus library. The brick-columned building is Giddings Hall, named after an early College President. That structure has been renovated several times over the past 150 years, most recently in 1975 to suit administrative offices. The John L. Hill Chapel, built on the same ground as the original Chapel Building that burned in 1930, was dedicated in 1949. In front of the chapel sits a large building called the Cralle Student Center, was dedicated at Homecoming in 1965. Across the street from the Student Center is Anderson Hall, the male dorm erected in 1959.
Beyond all of these structures, to the south, there used to sit a large female dorm that looked like a castle. Rucker Hall served as the female dorm—a parallel to Pawling and the numerous male residence halls of yesteryear. Rucker had majestic turn-of-the-century architecture and an imposing purpose: to build a community among the female residents. The structure housed all female students and even held a cafeteria and a bowling alley. Sadly, Rucker became dilapidated and was torn down in 1971. The Phi Kappa Tau, President's House, and Phi Mu houses now sit where Rucker used to be. Taking the place of the men's and women's dorms (i.e., Rucker, Pawling, and the other men's halls) eight smaller residence halls, including Flowers Hall dedicated in 1973 and Peirce Hall dedicated in 1976, were built around the rectangular piece of land on South campus known as the Quad. Today, the Quad is used for a variety of campus wide activities.