Walker Hall

November 28th 2023

Designed by noted Charleston, S.C., architect Edward C. Jones and completed in 1859, Walker Hall has been a work in progress for 165 years.  Originally, Walker Hall consisted of the central pavillion with a portico and the east wing.  The pavilion was surmounted by a dome.

The first significant alteration of Walker Hall was the removal of the dome in 1879-80 and the construction of a mansard roof containing a fourth floor.  The next period of building soon followed with the construction in 1884 of the west wing.  This wing was designed by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan and matched the general appearance of the 1859 east wing.

Between 1900 and 1925, the central pavilion and west wing underwent significant changes.  A one-room, brick structure was added on the north elevation of the west wing.  This small structure was later incorporated into other additions in the area.  Several classrooms in Walker Hall were converted into dormitories in 1901 when a new school building was constructed.  By 1920, the mansard roof has been removed, and the kitchen building on the north side of the hall was removed.  In 1921-22 the north wing was constructed.  This wing contained a cafeteria, kitchen, bakery, auditrorium, and classrooms for music.  Current studies also indicate that the f1884 west porch was replaced with the two-story open porch during this period.  In 1954 the original east wing was removed and replaced with a concrete structure.  The general form of the 1859 wing was used in the design of the replacement structure.

The architectural development of Walker Hall reflects the development and expansion of the school's programs as the number of buildings increased and the use of Walker Hall changed.  The next major renovation of Walker Hall was approved through the appropriation of $11.9 million during the 1999 legislative session. Over the next five years, Walker Hall became a fully-accesible, air-conditioned, rehabilitated building complete with an auditorium, classroom space for cultural and arts programs, a museum area, and improved meeting and office space.

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