Van Meter Hall
Van Meter Hall is a building on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Constructed in 1911, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 18, 1979.

Van Meter Hall was the first building constructed on the campus of Western Kentucky University. It was also the first building on the campus designed by Louisville architect Brinton B. Davis, nicknamed the "hill builder" due to his vast work designing the majority of the university layout from 1909 until 1939. . The building, completed in 1911, is designed to look like the Acropolis's Erechtheion Temple. The most notable feature of the structure was a 1,600 seat auditorium for hosting concerts and public events, but Van Meter also contained office space. It was named for Captain Charles J. Van Meter,a local riverboat captain and developer.

Modern Usage
Today Van Meter Hall houses the Department of Women's Studies and the center of Correspondence Studies. The auditorium is still used to host a variety of academic speakers that visit campus. Speakers of note in recent years have included Al Sharpton, Drew Pinsky and Mick Foley.

The building has undergone minor renovations numerous times, most notably in 1968, 1969, and 1971. Van Meter Hall is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion, started in the spring of 2008. More area is being added to the rear of the building, which will allow the music and theatre departments added space. The overhaul of the building will also allow for improvements in lighting structures and seating, which will allow student musicians and actors to stage better performances in the auditorium. As of March 2009, construction is five months ahead of schedule and the building is projected to reopen for use in the Spring of 2010.

Legends and Folklore
Western Kentucky University has many ghost stories . In one such story Van Meter Hall is haunted by the ghost of a construction worker who was killed in a fall from above the auditorium stage during a renovation. Popular legend states that construction worker died in 1909 after seeing an airplane for the first time . Other versions of this tale refer to the death of an actress, a hermit living beneath the hall or the one-time president of the university Henry Hardin Cherry. The date of the supposed death is anytime between 1909 and the 1940s. The ghost is credited with moving furniture overnight, turning off lights and causes computer problems.

Building Activity

  • Teodora Todorova
    Teodora Todorova activity.buildings_person.create
    about 6 years ago via