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Home Management House


Open: 1949
Closed: 1974
Cost: $12,500


In June 1928, Central State Teachers College announced the expansion of its Home Economics program, which would include a home management course that would feature a residency at a local home. The course, which required female students to live in the practice house for six to eight weeks, utilized a variety of homes near campus for its purposes. For example, President Warriner lent his home to two home economic students while he was away on vacation, and Dean C. C. Barnes' home was also used at least once.  An apartment at 509 S. Fancher and a home at 406 E. Gaylord also provided accommodations for the course. While staying in these homes, the students would practice meal planning and preparation, home care, and budgeting. They would also use the house to practice social etiquette by hosting tea and dinner parties for various groups around campus.

The success of the home management course and the various houses used by faculty and students convinced administrators to invest in a practice house that would be owned by the College. The first such house was located behind the new Arts and Crafts building on Hopkins Avenue. The College appropriated $5,000 for remodeling before the building opened in the fall of 1949 and another $7,500 for additional work in late 1949. Although the house served the department well, a better option became available in under a year. The practice house on Hopkins was sold to Lawrence Durfee and relocated in April 1950.

In the spring of 1950, the College purchased several faculty homes located along the east side of S. Franklin Street in preparation for the construction of the new gymnasium and field house. One of these homes, an innovative split-level home situated in a small copse of woods and originally built in 1940, belonged to Harold J. Powers, chairman of the music department. The house was relocated to the corner of Washington and Preston to be used as the new home economics practice house. Renamed the Home Management House (sometimes called the Home Management Laboratory), it opened for student and faculty use in the spring of 1951. As before, six to eight-week residencies were required for students taking a home management class, and the house remained a central part of the home economics program for almost two decades. 

By the late 1960s, home economics departments and courses were changing dramatically and the long-standing tradition of live-in residencies for female students in a home management class was increasingly unpopular and irrelevant to the student body. The University stopped holding live-in courses by the early 1970s. The Home Management House served as classroom space for small discussion groups and office space for six HEFLCE instructors after the home management classes came to an end. In summer 1974, the University announced the future construction of a new art building adjacent to the south end of Wightman Hall and on the site of the Home Management House. Instructors with offices in the house were moved to Sloan and classes were moved to Ronan in preparation for the removal of the building. In October 1974, the garage was moved off campus, and the house itself was removed shortly afterward.