Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #115

In 1880,  President James K. Patterson proposed the construction of three buildings: a classroom building, dormitory, and a President's house to cost no more than $4,000. It was reported that some "fifty hands" were on campus making the two million bricks, from campus soil, needed for the three buildings that were to become the Main Building, White Hall, and the Patterson House. The Patterson House was a 5,400 square feet structure made of red brick. The President's house was described as a "beautiful little building, complete in every particular, containing eight rooms, a pantry, store-room, and bathroom.

Patterson on his porch
President Patterson lived there with his wife and their son, William Andrew Patterson. President Patterson continued to live in the house after the deaths of both his wife and child, continuing to live there after his retirement in 1910, until his death in 1922.  However, his brother Walter continued to live in the house until his death 10 years later. During Walter's occupation, he fenced an area in the backyard where he kept hogs and other animals.

From 1932-1939, the house became the Woman's Building, and during that period it housed the offices of the campus YWCA and other women's organizations. In January of 1930, the house became the University Faculty Club, which had been crowded into a corner of the top floor of McVey Hall. When the University Club moved to quarters in the Student Center, the house was remodeled and became the new home of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and his staff in 1964.

Arts and Sciences office in the Patterson house in 1963
In 1967, Patterson House was vacated for demolition to make room for a new classroom building. It was razed along with White Hall and the Carnegie Library.

The house bore a plaque dedicated to President Patterson "to commemorate his life and services to the University."

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