GT ID Number:

T171 .G42 G49x 1888-1899

The new dormitory and gymnasium


Drawing of Knowles Dormitory following p. [2] of the Annual Catalog of the Georgia School of Technology Announcement for 1896-1897.

In the 1895-96 school year, Dr. Lyman Hall, Professor of Mathematics and West Point graduate, was appointed President and began an ambitious program of building and land acquisition over the nine years of his tenure. In 1896, he succeeded in adding temporary dormitories for a total cost of $4,000 from state funds. The first major building of his administration was the Knowles Dormitory, completed in 1897. It was named for Clarence Knowles, the Fulton County legislator who worked tirelessly to secure funding for the building. The Architects were Bruce and Morgan, designers of the Academic and Shop Buildings. The contractors were Black and Hilliard. The addition of dormitories made it possible for poorer students who could not afford Atlanta boarding houses to attend the school. Hall noted, in his request for funding to build Knowles Dormitory, that each boy saved as much as $50 per year by living in a dormitory as opposed to private boarding houses in Atlanta, and that the funds saved in two years would pay for the total amount of the appropriation. The appropriation was passed with the string attached that the school could no longer sell its products and underbid local businesses. The Building Committee, under the directorship of M.R. Winship, tried a new strategy in selecting designs for Knowles. Winship held a design competition, with the first place receiving the commission, second place receiving $50 and third place $25, the second and third place prizes to be deducted from the first place commission. Bruce and Morgan were awarded first prize. Knowles Dormitory was completed for $20,000, of which $15,000 came from state funds. $13,300 of that amount paid for the construction. Prospects of a new dormitory increased student interest in attendance. In January, 1897, 175 students enrolled, and Hall predicted an enrollment of 200 by the end of term. The Georgia School of Technology Announcement for 1896-97 notes: "The rooms are well lighted and ventilated. Hot and cold shower baths are accessible to all students in a new and well heated bath-room. A professor lives in the dormitories, and it is his duty to see that all students conform to the regulations..The matron, a highly accomplished lady of long experience in such work, has charge of the boarding department..The board, exclusive of washing, fuel and lights, is $10.00 per month. The total cost should not exceed $11.50. All students who board in the dormitories are required to furnish the following articles: one pillow, three pillow-cases, four sheets, blankets or comforts, six towels, and any other small and portable articles needed about their room. The school furnishes with each room: Beds (single 3-4 width), mattresses, springs, wardrobe or closet, wash-stand, bureau, and table..Parents are advised to t e conveniently located for them from the evil influences of a great city; the expense is one-third to one-half less in the dormitories