BGSU Historic Campus Tour

Williams Hall

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One of the two original buildings on campus, and the first to be completed, Williams Hall has always been at the heart of the academic community at Bowling Green State University. Originally, the building served as the "North Dormitory" and housed the majority of the female students who attended the normal school. The building served in this capacity for forty-nine years until 1964 when President Jerome converted it for use as faculty offices for the Departments of History, Political Science, and Sociology.  After this period, the building housed several otherWilliams Hall

departments including the Department of Philosophy, Campus Security, the International Students Program, and the Social Work Program.

Listed below are additional highlights in the history of the building:

  • In 1911, the General Assembly of Ohio appropriates $150,000 for the construction of two buildings to house a college (University and Williams Halls) in northwest Ohio.
  • January 20, 1913, Attorney General approves contract for construction of a dormitory (Williams Hall).
  • 1915, "North Dormitory" built for $84,817 and opened during the summer of this year under the "matronship" of Ms. Josephine James.
  • 1915, the grounds around the building graded and seeded, and temporary wooden walks built to provide easy access to the building.
  • March 10, 1917, the university Board of Trustees concedes to popular opinion and officially names the dormitory Williams Hall after the first President of the University, Homer B. Williams.
  • 1931, bird bath and fish pond added to rear of building.
  • 1939-40, a refurbishing of the building takes place and recreational space added to the basement.
  • 1943-5, men from the Navy V-5 and V-12 units temporarily housed in Williams during World War II forcing the women to move to the Women's Physical Education Building.
  • 1945, Williams returns as women's residence following World War II.
  • 1947, recreational space in basement remodeled to allow for greater housing space.
  • 1959, a bakery is added to the hall to serve as the main source of baked bread for all of the dining halls on campus.
  • 1964, entire building converted for use as the faculty offices for the Departments of History, Political Science, and Sociology.
  • 1968-71, Williams Hall also housed the Department of Philosophy and Campus Security.
  • 1971-86, Williams Hall also housed the International Studies Program.
  • 1976-86, Williams Hall also housed the Social Work Program.
  • 1986-8, major renovation of Williams Hall undertaken providing much needed additional resources for the academic departments housed in the building.
  • 1988, the Departments of History, Political Science, and Sociology reoccupy the building following renovation.
  • 2006, carpet replacement
  • 2008, basement renovations; redesign of Graduate Student space.