Temple University, Photos & History

Temple University

Some History

written and researched by Gerry Wilkinson

Time to take a walk down memory lane with some photos and history of Temple University.

Thomas Hall

1940 North Park Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19122
(Located on Park Mall at Norris Street)

Go to the Thomas Hall Section

Mitten Hall

1913 North Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19122-6092
(Located on N. Broad Street and Berks Mall)

Go to the Mitten Hall Section

Peabody Hall

Peabody Hall
Philadelphia PA 19122
(Located on the corner of N. Broad and Norris Streets)


Peabody Hall is a four-story, low-rise building, adjacent to Johnson and Hardwick Residence Halls, which houses 287 students. Started in 1956, this yellow brick building was dedicated on February 3, 1958 but had been in use since the previous year. A government loan of $1,221,000 was obtained to purchase the land and construct the building. On March 26, 1957, there was a fundraiser at the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Temple University choir to help pay for the furnishings.

When built, it had its own dining room which accommodated 600 students and was used by both men and women. To contrast with the warmth of the walls and floor in the tan-orange range, the dining furnishings were green and turquoise with atouch of yellow. It had bentwood armchairs. The curtains on the glass wall looking out on to the court were white glass cloth printed with a special design which acted as a light diffuser. The structure was designed by architects Nolen and Swinburne.

When the building was new, the Main Lounge was described as having "Small sofas, lounge chairs and cushioned benches designed to be easy to move, stack and store when the room is cleared for a dance." It was decorated in shades ranging from orange and vermillion to red. The walls and carpets were neutral colors and had walnut screen sub-dividers covered with a hand-woven red fabric.

Peabody Residence Hall, sitting on an acre of land, features lounges on each floor and a large television room, recreation room with pool, ping pong and game tables, laundry facilities, and a study room. The floor lounges were divided by walnut screens containing "panels of blue-bronze fabric." Originally, Peabody was a women's dorm. In the sixties, it became a men's dorm. Today, it is co-ed. The building was named in honor of former dean, Gertrude Peabody, who served on the building's decorating committee.

Paralleling Broad Street is only the end of the long part of the "L." Peabody Hall runs from broad Street to Park Avenue on Norris Street and then extends up Park for about 137 feet.

The building stands on top of one of the historic sites on campus, Dr. Russell Conwell's original home which was located at 2004 North Park Avenue. The home was destroyed in 1956 to make way for the new dormitory. Conwell lived there from 1882 until 1892.

Houses being torn down to build Peabody Hall

The above picture, circa 1956, shows some of the row houses in different stages of demolishment including Dr. Conwell's first home.

Photo of ground where Peabody Hall would be built.

The above picture, circa 1956, was was taken from the corner of Norris and Park looking towards Broad Street.

Peabody Hall under Construction

This picture, taken late in 1956, shows Temple President Robert L. Johnson examining the process of the construction.

This picture is from the Temple University server.

From Mike Biel....Jerry Klein and I were roommates in Peabody Hall the year it switched from a women's to a men's dorm, 1967-68. We were on the ground floor with our room facing towards Thomas Hall. We could just roll out of bed and go to classes--no longer did we need to fight the Johnson Hall elevators. When it was a girls dorm it had a 9 PM weekday curfew and we guys had NO curfew. Police Chief Rizzo once sent the helmeted riot squad to break up a panty raid on Peabody in 66-67. And now it is co-ed. Sigh. (Do I sound bitter?)

The pics of Peabody are not too good. The first is dark and the second is of an odd corner. (Those 2 pictures come from the Temple University web site.) You need a shot that shows the main entrance--then we could mention the make-out nook off to the side of the main steps, and point out our room. (Which sure as hell wasn't the scene of any making-out back in our days. In my four years there I can think of exactly two afternoons where we had about two hours of visitation--doors open, of course. (Do I sound bitter?)

Photo #3 of Peabody Hall

This picture, from February of 1998, was taken by Gerry Wilkinson.

Johnson Hall & Hardwick Hall

2029 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19122
(Located on N Broad between Norris and Diamond Sts.)


Side by side high rise buildings, each sitting on an acre of land, houses about 900 students in mostly double occupancy rooms. Approximately 40 students live on each single-sex or coed floor. Renovated during the 1992-93 academic year, the main campus dining facility is located on the first floor of Johnson and Hardwick Halls. Together, these two facilities offer study lounges, laundry facilities, a large-screen television room, weight room, and snack bar/convenience store. The two buildings now have one common entrance which is entered in front of Johnson Hall. Only persons with student ID's are allowed inside the actual building. Johnson Hall was named after Dr. Robert Livingston Johnson, the University's third president, who served from 1941 until 1959. Demolition of the 14 buildings on the eastern side of 2000 block of North Broad above Peabody Hall was started on February 9, 1960. It was dedicated on November 27, 1961, but was opened for the Spring 1961 semester. This 11 story dormitory was fiananced by a loan of $2,787,000.00 from the Community Facilities Administration of the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency. Land on which it was built was acquired through the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authoirty at a cost of $477,500. The design for the structure by Architects Nolen and Swinburne was awarded one of the top prizes of 1959 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Insititute of Architects. The building houses 460 students and conprises a total area of 110,000 square feet and is of structural steel frame constructionwith concrete floors and masonry curtain walls. It was the first use of this type of construction in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Johnson died on January 18, 1966 at his home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He was 71.

Hardwick Hall was dedicated on May 22, 1968 but had been in use the previous year. The building was named for Mrs. Ida Hardwick, active in charity circles locally. Her husband donated funds in her memory to provide furnishings for the dormitory. Originally Johnson Hall was a men's dorm with Hardwick being for women. Now, both buildings are co-ed.

From Mike Biel....I started out on the second floor of Johnson in 64 then moved up to the 11th (top) floor. The year after I moved up to the 11th floor they accidentally had too many girls registered for dorm rooms so they turned the second floor into a girls floor. The 3rd floor lounge (on a boy's floor) was a balcony which overlooked the 2nd floor lounge. But we had already moved to the 11th floor. And now it is mostly co-ed. Sigh. (Do I sound bitter?)

And I see that they have a large screen television room. Back in the 60s they didn't allow TVs in our rooms because they would take too much electrical power, they said. Even though I had a small transistor portable TV which used 30 watts of power--half of what my university supplied desk lamp would use--I couldn't have a TV to do my R-TV assignments with. Down in the basement there was an ancient 21-inch black and white TV with broken audio (you had to turn the volume all the way up to be able to hear it at all). That one set for 450 guys in a room with no ventilation. (One of the construction workers had accidentally poured concrete down the ventillation shafts. There was no air in the basement till Hardwicke Hall was built with a connecting basement.) (Do I sound bitter?)

Barton Hall

Temple University
Barton Hall
1900 N. 13th St.
Park Avenue Philadelphia PA 19122-6082
(Located at N. 13th and Norris Streets)


Barton Hall, the physical sciences building with classrooms and laboratories, is designed to handle 2,200 students. It has 154,128 square feet of floor space. In addition to classrooms and laboratories, it contains a planetarium, a Foucalt Pendulum, swinging with the rotation of the earth, and a weather station, as well as research facilities including a radiation-protected nuclear laboratory. It was the second classroom structure to be totally air-conditioned.

The building, dedicated on April 17, 1961, sits on 2.3 acress of land and was named for Dr. Samuel Goodwin Barton, a Temple alumnus of 1903, who became an astronomer of note. At the January 22, 1960 University Board meeting, it was voted to name the new Physics building "Barton Hall." Barton lived from 1882 until 1958. He was a Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics plus Director of the Flower Observatory at the University of Pennsylvania, and a "generous benefactor of his Alma Mater." Barton taught at Penn for 35 years. A specialist in the observation of double stars, he wrote many article for scientific journals and was author of a column entitled "Starry Skies," which appeared monthly in the Philadelphia Bulletin for 40 years, from 1915 until 1955. In 1928, a book entitled, "A Guide to the Constellations" was published by McGraw-Hill. It was co-authored by Samuel Barton. The 80 page hardback book went through at least three printings with the third edition dating from 1943. The book contained photos and charts of the stars.

According to the September 24, 1948 University board meeting minutes, a gift and annuity arrangement with made between Temple and Dr. Barton, whereby Barton turned over to the school $53,128.67 in securities, under an agreement whereby the income and as much of the principal as necessary is to be used to pay Dr. Barton $200 per month so long as he lives, and that was ten years.

Dr. Gladfelter said of Barton during the dedication of the building

I knew Samuel Barton well, as did each of the three other presidents of Temple University. He was a modest man, characterized by scholarly achievement, simplicity, frugality and a deep sense of appreciation to those who befriended him.

His consideration for Temple University and regard for its founder, Russell Conwell, continued throughout his life. The strength of this bond was exemplified when in his later years he set aside the larger portion of his life's savings as an unrestricted bequest to the University. In recognition thereof, the planetarium in this building is dedicated to his professional interest as an astronomer, the laboratories and research areas to his search for truth as a scientist and this building to which each day come hundreds of students, to his devotion and loyalty as an alumnus.

The building is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's General State Authority. It was the first structure built on campus by the GSA at a cost of over four million dollars, and was designed by architects, Nolen and Swinburne of Philadelphia.

The Temple Campus in 1966

Above is a photo of the Temple University campus is it existed early in 1966.

In the foreground is the construction site of Annenberg Hall and Tomlinson Theater. Also pictured are Barton Hall, Beury Hall and the Paley Library.

Barton Hall Photo #1

Above is from the Temple University server.

Barton Hall Photo #2

Above is from the Temple University server.

Barton Hall Photo #3

Above is from the Temple University server.

Continue on to Baptist Temple and other buildings

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