Pawling Hall Historical Marker
Written by: Steven Faulkner ('15)
The first portion of Pawling Hall, now the central portion of the building, was completed in 1844 as a men's dormitory for those studying to undertake Baptist ministry. The structure was fashioned in the unembellished Greek revival style with the north entrance shadowed by a Gothic portico. The building is named after Reverend Issachar Pawling, a native of Mercer County, died in 1828 and, subsequently, left $20,000 to the College-the first such bequest to the institution. Pawling's bequest helped fund the majority of the building's construction in the 1840s. The male students who were assigned to live in Pawling Hall provided most of the labor in constructing the building through work as masons and craftsmen.
Thirty years later, President Basil Manly proposed the southern addition with the projected cost of $6,000 in 1878. Even though the student body was all men, women in the community played a key role in raising funds for the addition. Nearly $5,000 of the $6,000 goal was acquired by Mrs. Basil Manly, the president's wife, and Mrs. Danford Thomas, wife of the professor of Languages and Letters, and Mrs. James F. Robinson, the wife of the former governor. These women traveled throughout Central Kentucky taking donations for the addition. Pawling Hall has great significance to Georgetown College, because this was the first dorm for students enrolled in the only Baptist ministry program west of the Appalachians. It was this housing that allowed for the men who didn't live close to the college to live on campus and attend school. Pawling Hall has had a few incidents with catching fire in 1882, 1891, and again in 1916, which the fire destroyed much of the inside. The building also served as a hospital in 1918 during an influenza outbreak.
In recent years, the northern entrance was changed to give the front a more contemporary design by insetting the walkway into the ground and allow for a lobby by the entrance and a small informal area on the second floor with a few chairs and tables for students. The southern side of the building was finished in 1878, which was quite bigger than the northern side that was built before it. Windows fill the outside southern wall and small colonettes surround the southern entrance, supported by brick piers that protrude from the building. Today, the building is still in use and serves as classrooms and professor offices for the English, History, Philosophy, Classics, and Religion departments.