Snell Hall


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Creation Date



Date Built - 1924
Dedication - Nov. 19, 1924
Date Razed - October 2005
Cost of construction - $85,000
Architect - Brinton B. Davis

Namesake - The building was named after Commodore Perry Snell (born 1869) of St. Petersburg, Fl. who was a former student of the Ogden College. "Mr. Snell has been a life-long friend of Western and has made many valuable contributions to the institution, which includes art collections and museum pieces now in the Kentucky Museum."(Snell Hall, 2-10-39) He was also a very successful real estate developer.

History - When the building was first opened, it was used by the Ogden College until 1928 when the college was "consolidated with Western." Located at the east of the building was an Italian Garden which was also made possible by a donation from Mr. Snell. The garden was added in 1929 and was designed by Henry Wright. The building was dedicated on Nov. 19, 1924. The building had recitation rooms, lab space and a 500 seat auditorium. The hall was used by the biology and agriculture departments.

In 2002, plans to raze the building began because it was would have been too expensive to remodel it. The building was put on the "Endangered Historic Places" list. The building was on the National Register of Historic Places. President Ransdall agreed that if enough money could be raised by The Ogden Foundation for renovations, then the building would be kept. However, the money was not raised and the building was torn down in order to make way for a new science building.

At one time, it was the only building of the Italian Renaissance style, here in Bowling Green that was open to the public.


1959- the building was completely renovated

Park City Daily News:

"A Little More Time is Needed for Snell Hall," editorial, Sept. 10, 2005
"Acknowledge Western Kentucky University for its commitment to Snell Hall," advertisement, May 12, 1999
Baker, Matthew. "University Should Build Science Building, Keep Snell Hall," editorial, Nov. 16, 2000
Bryant, David. "Snell Hall Solution," editorial, Sept. 14, 2005
Battah, Raed. "Board Offers Snell Support," Aug. 3, 2005
"Snell Hall Slated for Demolition," July 27, 2005
"Famous Old School Concerned in Merger," photograph, Nov. 19, 1927
Gaines, Jim. "Deadline a Day Old," Sept. 16, 2005
"Pieces of Snell Taken Down," Sept. 14, 2005
"Preservationists Try to Save Snell Hall," July 31, 2005
"Snell Might Have Future," Aug. 19, 2005
"Snell's Future Cloudy," Aug. 27, 2005
"WKU Sets Snell Hall Deadline," Aug. 16, 2005
"Having Fun in BG Can Be inexpensive," Sept. 7, 1984
Jeffrey, Jonathan. "Save Building, Have Future With a Past," editorial, Nov. 30, 2000
Minor, Robyn. "Grant to Help in Effort To Save WKU Building," Sept. 9, 2005, p. 1
"No Date Set for Snell Hall Demolition," Sept. 17, 2005
"Ogden Buildings Renovated," April 28, 1960
Riley, Jason. "$46.6 Million Science Project Part of WKU's Wish List," Sept. 14, 1999
"WKU Eyes Renovation Needs," Nov. 18, 1998
"The Landmark Assoc. & the BG Preservation Board in Celebration of Historic Preservation Week
Weaver, LaMar. "Landscape Painting," photograph, May 3, 1989
White, Brian. "Snell Comes Down," Oct. 7, 2005
Wolfe, Charles. "Warren County Sites Named to List of Most Endangered Historic Places," Aug. 1, 2002

Poynter, Chris. "Group Issues List of Historic Places Endangered in State," Louisville Courier-Journal, Aug. 1, 2002


Western Kentucky University


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