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Helen R. Emmons Hall


Opened: 1965
Cost: $1.4 million
Occupancy: 344

Emmons Hall was the second residence hall built in what would become the southeast quadrangle. Emmons, along with Woldt, Saxe, and Herrig Halls, were all constructed during a period of campus expansion that included four new quads in fifteen years. Emmons Hall was designed by architects from Roger Allen and Associates in Grand Rapids. The $1.4 million building, designed to house 344 students in 86 suites, utilized the floor plan from Tate Hall (this floor plan was used in all residence hall buildings until the construction of the towers complex in the late 1960s).

Emmons Hall opened for occupancy in the spring of 1965. It was dedicated on May 9, 1965 in a joint ceremony that also featured the dedication of Emmons' sister hall, Woldt. When it opened, the building included several innovative features, some of which are still extant. The basement of the Woldt-Emmons complex, beneath the dining room where Computer Services is now housed, was a new student union, complete with a cafeteria, a bookstore, and recreation rooms. Woldt and Emmons were also unique in that they shared a common lobby.

picemmons.jpgThe hall was named for Helen R. Emmons, the Head of the Department of Early Education from 1926 to 1934. Emmons received her Life Certificate from the Chicago College of Education and taught in the kindergartens of the Presbyterian Social Services Board in Chicago. In 1915, she taught kindergarten in Fargo, North Dakota, before coming to Central in 1916. She became the Head of the Department of Early Education in 1926 and, in 1929, received her Bachelors of Education from the Evanston National College of Education. She was a member of the Association for Childhood Education and helped establish kindergartens throughout Michigan.