Gerald Wellman. Vice-President for Development at B-W, predicts that new Business Administration Building and the Women's Health and Physical Education facilities will be completed within the next three years. Also in the long-range plans of the College is a new library wing. Wellman, speaking for the Administration, recognizes the need in these departments and believes that "good facilities nourish good scholarship."
The Business Administration building will most likely he located where Oil Memorial now sits. The location of the Women's HPE facilities will depend on the land that can he purchased for practice fields.
The estimated cost of the Business Administration building is $1,000.000. The estimate for the Women's HPE facility is $650,000. However, these are only guesses until definite plans are received from the architect. But Mr. Wellman assures the students and faculty that the buildings and facilities will be adequate for the department's needs.
A committee, consisting of student Bruce Donald, faculty members Dr. Lappert, Dr. Smith, and Dr. Scharf, along with the Development Office met to chart out and make recommendations for the next ten years. Last week they submitted a report to the chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee, Dr. Richard Miller. It included the library wing, the Business Administration Building and the Women's HPE facilities.
The committee put an emphasis in their report on faculty needs and endowment. President Bonds has asked the architect to prepare preliminary sketches for the Business Administration Building and the Library Wing. A decision has already been made "to conduct an intensive fund-raising effort" which will coincide with B-W's 125th Anniversary.
Citation: James D. Harvey, ed., "New Building Named in Honor of Trustee Jacob O Kamm," Pursuit 3, no. 3 (November 1970): 54.
Over 350 students major in business administration, second only in number to education majors. These students and the faculty deserve a modern facility to replace the present antiquated structure. The proposed two-story building could become a focal point for many Cleveland area businessmen and future executives who come to the campus for evening session classes. Plans call for modern classrooms, offices, a computer services center and space for conferences and seminars. The latter will attract business executives from the surrounding area.
The new Baldwin-Wallace building, which will house the Division of Business Administration, the Department of Mathematics and departments in the related social sciences, will be named in honor of Dr. Jacob O. Kamm, nationally respected authority in the fields of economics and investments. Dr. Kamm served the College from 1944 to 1953 as professor of economics and director of the commerce division. Today many of his former students hold important positions in commercial and investment banking, in business and government.
For the past 17 years Dr. Kamm has provided the College with outstanding assistance on the Board of Trustees and on the Board's Investment Committee. He has also served as president of the National Alumni Association. His name on this building will be a reminder of his own high standards of scholarship. ESTIMATED COST. $1,300,000
The newest addition to the B-W campus since the Art and Drama Center will open its doors in less than three months. Named after a B-W alumnus, former B-W professor, and current member of the Board of Trustees, Jacob O. Kamm Hall is expected to open by the last week of May.
Located on East Center Street, next to the Administration Building and Ott Hall, Kamm Hall will house classes in mathematics, business, and economics, as well as the Masters in Business Administration program. This will relieve Wilker Hall and the Life Sciences building, where math is currently being taught, and will take some — of the strain-off Ott Hall, which houses all business and economics classes.
Kamm Hall is a two-story Georgian- colonial building. The first floor has eight classrooms and a library/study room; the second floor has room for ten classrooms. It also houses a two-story auditorium.
The financing for the building began in 1970, the 125th anniversary of the college, with numerous contributions from business and industry, alumni, and friends of the college, including an anonymous gift of $800,000. A 1974 grant of $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare made it possible to begin construction.
In 1975, the Kresge Foundation gave B-W a grant for $75,000 for the building. This grant was matched by gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college from the 1975 Annual Fund. An endowment fund has been established to help cover operational costs.
James Harvey, vice-president for the administration, explained that the costs of the building were "running a bit lower than planned" when construction first began.
It had been originally hoped that the building would be finished before the start of spring quarter. Harvey attributed the delay of the building's construction to "soil-compaction problems and bad weather."
Hopefully, the building that bears his name will give incentive for new B-W students to follow his lead.
Citation: James D. Harvey, ed., "Dedication of Kamm Hall," Pursuit 9, no. 1 (August 1976): 15.
Jacob O. Kamm Hall was formally dedicated Sunday, Sept. 26, at 4:30 p.m. Open house preceded the dedication ceremony. The $2 million Georgian-colonial building, located on East Center Street, houses the Departments of Economics and Mathematics and the Division of Business Administration. Dr. Kamm, a B-W trustee since 1953, was formerly professor of economics and head of the Division of Economics in the late 1940's. A leading economist, he is the chairman of the board of the Cleveland Quarries Company.
On September 26, 1976, the Jacob O. Kamm Hall became a vital part of the Baldwin-Wallace academic programming. The dedication ceremonies were held in the Kamm Hall auditorium, commencing with the ribbon - cutting by Jacob Kamm Jr. and Christian Kamm, sons of Dr. Kamm. The dedication plaque was uncovered by trustees Theo Moll and Charles Spahr. Dr. A.B. Bonds presided over the ceremonies which were well attended by faculty, administration, and friends of the college. The two - story colonial style structure was erected at a cost of two million dollars, with the initial investment coming from an investment fund of $100 launched by Dr. Kamm when he was head of B-W's School of Commerce. Other financing was provided through gifts and grants.
As a diligent student, successful business man, and nationally respected consultant, Jacob O. Kamm excelled in the principles of economics. In 1940, he graduated summa cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace and was presented with the Milton T. Baldwin Prize as the top student of his class. His interest and dedication led him to a masters degree and finally to a Ph.D. in economics in 1948. After his formal education, Dr. Kamm returned to Baldwin-Wallace as a professor and became the director of the increasingly popular School of Commerce. Dr. Kamm's membership on the College's Board of Trustees dates back to 1953. He has also served on the Investment Committee since 1957, and has been a member of the Trustees' Executive Committee for the last twenty years.
A knowledgeable author and lecturer, Dr. Kamm has spoken frequently on the state of national affairs, and has written over eighty books and articles concerning business and finance. His weekly column, "Economist View", was a regular publication in the Cleveland Plain Dealer between 1964 and 1968. His book, Making Profits in the Stock Market, was a best seller.
Dr. Kamm has been a leader all his life, and has rightfully earned high ranking status among many privately owned companies and corporations. In 1976, he served as a business and financial advisor to both individual and corporate enterprises.
Kamm Hall provides classroom facilities as well as lecture and conference rooms for the College's Division of Business administration and the Departments of Mathematics and economics. The building also includes a data - processing room along with faculty and administrative offices.
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
Kamm Hall was built on the original site of the Methodist Children's Home, resulting in the removal of the old sandstone structures. The groundbreaking for the new hall occurred as part of the 129th Founder's Day ceremonies on October 17, 1974, at 4:15 p.m. It was dedicated on September 26, 1976. The building was intended to house College's Division of Business and Departments of Economics and Mathematics. It also serves the Master of Business Administration, which was a new program at the time. The Department of Mathematics has since been placed in the Loomis Math and Computer Science Center.
The hall was built to replace the 66 year-old Ott Memorial Hall as the business on campus. The structure is of the Georgian-Colonial style and was built at a cost of $2 million. It is located on Center St. east of Ernsthausen Hall and has an area of 41,000 sq. feet with two stories. Heine, Crider, and Williamson of Berea were the architects and the R. S. Ursprung Co. of Cleveland completed Phase I of the project, and Wilson Bennett, Inc. of North Royalton finished Phase IL The building has classroom space and supporting teaching facilities, lecture and conference rooms, a data-processing room and faculty and administrative offices. The building has an all electric heating and cooling system.
An initial investment of $100 launched by Dr. Kamm during his time as head of B-W's School of commerce provided the initial funds for the building. In addition, a $600,000 grant was received from the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under Title I. The major contribution came from an $800,000 anonymous gift made during the 125th Anniversary Campaign along with numerous gifts from alumni and friends and business and industiy throughout the state. In 1975, the Kresge foundation approved a challenge grant for the project which was matched by additional gifts. Through these efforts, the hall was completely financed through gifts and grants, while an endowment fund was established to assist with operational costs.
The hall was named in honor of Dr. Jacob O. Kamm. Dr. Kamm was a 1940 Summa Cum Laude of B-W where he had a perfect A record for all four years. For his efforts, he earned the Milton T. Baldwin Prize as top senior and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master's degree in economics and his doctorate from Ohio State in international finance and investments while he taught there. He then returned to B-W to head the School of Commerce, which became the college's largest division, comprising a third of the student body. The $100 investment he made while an economics professor at B-W grew into the $200,000 that initially funded the building of Kamm Hall in 197 4.
Kamm, who was considered one of the nations foremost economic and corporate management executives, later served as a college Trustee and was on the Executive Committee and the Investment Committee. After leaving B-W as a professor in 1953, Kamm was named vice-president of the Cleveland Quarries Co. and president of the company 1955. He was named as chairman of the Board of Directors in 1967. He also served as chairman of the executive committee and president twice of the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain. At the time of the dedication of Kamm Hall, Dr. Kamm was a business and financial consultant for major companies as well as a lecturer, columnist, portfolio manager, and member of various boards and associations. He authored over 80 books and articles on business and finance, including his book Making Profits in the stock market, which was a national bestseller and has appeared in five editions. His biography appears in several publications including Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, International Businessman's Who's Who, and International Yearbook and Statesmen's Who's Who.
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
Klein Hall is one of a pair of twin, Colonial-style dorms built to house men and women that flank the Lambda Chi Alpha House on Beech Street. Klein, to the north of the LCA house, housed women while Saylor Hall, to the south, was built for men. The buildings were built on south campus, with Klein located behind Dietsch and Saylor behind Marting Hall. The halls replaced Adams, Collier, Matthews, and Mattison Houses which were four large frame houses used to house students.
The architects for the buildings was D. M. Allison of the Leonard H. Krill construction Company of Cleveland and the price for construction of Klein Hall was about $200,000 with the total cost for the two buildings being $400,000. Each building has room for 81 students and a hall (house) director. Safety was a factor as all-metal doors were installed in addition to the brick, metal, and steel materials used. The building has three floors with the first floor having one single room, four doubles and four triples. The second and third floors are identical, each having nine doubles and four triples. Since that time, the single has been eliminated to provide more living space for the hall director and the triples are being used as quads. The hall also has a lounge with a sandstone mantle, laundry facilities, as well as a quest bathroom in addition to a bathroom on each floor. All-metal furniture was provided including a bed, matching wardrobe and a combination desk-dresser and vanity with a matching chair. There were no dining hall provisions in the design of either building as students living in Klein and Saylor had their meals in larger dorms.
The make-up of Klein and Saylor Halls changed in 1978-1979, as the two halls became freshman halls housing both women and men in each. The two sororities in the building were moved to Constitution East. The halls were chosen because they are close to many central campus facilities and the floors are small enough to easily build a sense of community. The idea was to provide freshman an opportunity to adjust to college better, and to develop a greater sense of community. The residence hall staff must undergo special training in these areas to adequately provide these and other services.
The hall was dedicated on Founder's Day, October 19, 1950. Mr. George R. Klein of Brecksville, Ohio, for who the hall in named in honor of, was the major donor of the hall. He served on the Board of Trustees and as the delegate to NEOC. He was also very active in the Brecksville Methodist Church, the Masons, and served on the Metropolitan Park Board. He was the owner of the George R. Klein News Co. of Cleveland.
Baldwin-Wallace's new Speech, Art, and Drama building it now moving into its final stages. The final bids for the construction work will be held on February 20, 1970. Construction will begin in March and should be completed by September 1, 1971. The new budding will be about 255 ft. sq., larger than Ritter Library. Its main theater will seat approximately 500 people.
The new building will house three departments; art, speech and theater. The drama and art departments both have an increased number of majors, which was one reason for the construction of the new building.
As the Philura-Gould Baldwin Gallery, which now houses the art department, empties, collections of historical value will move from the Ritter Library to the Gallery for display. These collections include works on the Methodist Church and on Baldwin-Wallace College history. This will allow maximum space in Ritter for reference materials.
The present Theater Arts building will probably remain as a summer theater.
Mr. Gerald S.-Wellman, vice president for Development says that the new building "accents the creative phases of student life both in the arts and theater. The building will be first for the college and then the community."
Citation: James D. Harvey, ed., "Baldwin Wallace Objectives for the 70's," Pursuit 3, no. 3 (November 1970): 2.
Two rapidly growing departments of the College will be housed in the new Art and Drama Center. Like the library and the business administration and mathematics units, the Center will be a major attraction for residents of the Cleveland area. Present facilities, the last of "temporary" woodframe structures built during World War II, have been inadequate for several years. The new building, located at the intersection of Beech Street and Bagley Road, will have a theatre that seats 500. As a rich cultural resource, the building will serve both the students majoring in these subjects and the public and students attending dramatic performances and art exhibits. Nearly half the funds for this building have already been secured through the Methodist Crusade for Higher Education and a government grant.
The art area will have the most modern facilities for teaching all the visual arts. There will be several gallery areas for display of works from the College's permanent collection, student art exhibits and visiting art shows.
This building has been designed as a teaching unit where students can work with art, speech and theatre, gaining a comprehensive knowledge of these vital cultural areas.
NEEDED TO COMPLETE FINANCING $1,525,000
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
The groundbreaking for the Art and Drama Center was on Founder's Day, in October, 1968. Construction began in June of 1970 and the Center was complete and ready for dedication on Founder's Day, which was October 19,1972. The Center is located on the northeast comer of Beech St. and Bagley Rd. The Art and Drama Center was built to house the Departments of Art and Speech and Theater Arts. The Old Virginia brick structure was built at a cost of $3,777,000. A Federal grant of $711,000 was given to the college as well as a gift amounting to $850,000 from the 1965 Methodist Crusade for Higher Education. The architects were Heine, Crider, and Williamson of Berea. The buildings unique design was a result of research done by B-W faculty members. Professor Charles Irwin, former head of the Department of Speech and Theater Arts, visited 32 theaters in Europe in 1964, while Professor William Allman, director of Drama, visited 20 regional theaters and colleges, and Professor Helen Leon, head of the Department of Art, also conducted research in that area.
The main theater seats 550 people and an experimental theater can accommodate 350. High-quality stage and light equipment were incorporated in the facility. The experimental theater has movable platforms with folding seats can be folded against the wall when not in use. The theater can be arranged as a proscenium or arena-style theater. The four art galleries showcase the college's permanent art collection, student exhibitions, and traveling shows. The multipurpose classroom areas have movable walls to accommodate various classroom situations and rehearsals. One classroom has mirrors, exercise bars, and a special floor for body movement classes and dance rehearsals. There are also well-equipped costume and construction rooms, dressing rooms, and a green room. The art area occupies more than 1/3 of the building and is equipped with many modem facilities. The teaching facilities for visual arts include a life-drawing classroom, indoor and outdoor studios, as well as painting, ceramics, sculpture, and graphics studios. It also includes facilities such as the Learning Resource Library, faculty offices, a lounge, and storage areas. A special feature of the Center is the roof which rises high above the main theater's loft. It was made using 16,000 square feet of sheet lead and antimony alloy to provide a sound barrier from jet airplane engines passing overhead from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
The Art and Drama Center provides numerous classes in the areas of Speech and Communications, Broadcasting, Visual Arts, Theater and Drama. Countless plays and musicals have been performed in the theater, as well as show choir performances, and many other college events. The Center is also the home of the well-known Berea Summer Theater, which is supported by the college under the direction of Professor Bill Allman. In addition, the Fawick Art Gallery, dedicated in 1978, has served Baldwin-Wallace students and community members in many ways.
The Art and Drama Center was dedicated as the Kleist Center for Art and Drama on Saturday, August 27, 1994. Peter D. and Eleanor A. Kleist have been supporters and cont1ibutors to Baldwin-Wallace for many years. Peter Kleist is a nationally respected builder and developer and has been a B-W Trustee since 1988. He holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Baldwin-Wallace. Eleanor Kleist attended Baldwin-Wallace her freshman and sophomores years and has been volunteered for many charitable causes. In addition, their son, David, graduated from B-W in 1973. Among their many contributions to the college, Mr. and Mrs. Kleist established the Peter and Eleanor Kleist Scholarships in 1989 to help further generations of B-W students.
Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed., “Our Friends Away,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 26, no. 1 (1948): p. 13.
In the passing of Mrs. Josephine M. Kohler, widow of the late Fred C. Kohler of Cleveland, on January 17, Baldwin-Wallace College lost a friend whose interest in this educational institution and whose beneficence to it was materially represented by gifts totaling nearly $100,000.00. Kohler Hall on the South Campus, the men's dormitory which by her help was reconstructed to the cost of about $80,000.00, stands not only as a memorial to her, but also in its attractive renewal as a building which remains in the affectionate memory of many generations of college students who have lived there.
Mrs. Kohler, the former Josephine Modrock, was brought to Cleveland while in infancy, from Bohemia. She was married to Mr. Kohler in 1888, in the "gay ninety" days when buggy rides and walks were favorite pastimes in their courtship and early wedded life. Later, when her husband entered politics, an exciting and adventurous field of interest in those days, Mrs. Kohler is said to have remained a "home woman" endeavoring to make their home a pleasant retreat for him, and where she was a gracious hostess. She continued to occupy the house on East 81st Street, Cleveland, built forty-three years ago, until her death which occurred there following a heart attack.
Mrs. Kohler has been a continuing friend of Baldwin-Wallace College through these later years and was always an honored guest here.
Citation: Kaitlynne Hetrick, ed., “Kohler Hall, with its Colorful Past and Structural Issues, Slated for Demolition,” The Exponent (Berea, OH), October 27, 2018, https://bwexponent.com/news/2018/10/27/kohler-hall-with-its-colorful-past-and-structural-issues-slated-for-demolition/.
From tales of the ghost of a little girl and haunted underground tunnels that lead to the chapel, Kohler Hall has long been a colorful part of Baldwin Wallace’s history.
And, up until this year, the building was also home to approximately 80 students during each school year. Now, with the addition of the new Front Street Residence Hall, many having been wondering what the plan is for Kohler.
Currently, the residence hall is sitting empty as the university made the decision to “mothball” the building for the 2018/2019 school year.
“We had been thinking about doing this for some time,” said Richard Fletcher, senior vice president. “The building is old, very old, expensive to maintain, and there are some structural issues that have been a problem over the past few years.”
While the exterior of Kohler resembles that of the campus’s other historic sandstone buildings, such as Dietsch and Marting, the structure is made of brick that around 1910 was covered with cement. This was done in an effort to achieve the same look as sandstone.
It has been discovered that moisture has been collecting behind the cement and is causing the brick to disintegrate, Fletcher said. Heather Rudge, a historic preservation architect, was brought in to look at Kohler and see if the building could be saved, Fletcher said. Despite her role’s focus on preservation, she determined the building was not salvageable.
“She comes in with a bias to try and preserve and protect, and we wanted her candid assessment of the building,” said Fletcher. “She gave us that and said that it’s just not worthy of sinking money into because of the structural problems.”
Rudge is considered a highly regarded preservation specialist, he said, and has worked with the university in the past. With her assessment, the university came to the conclusion that Kohler would be torn down “possibly next summer,” said Fletcher.
“I think we have done a very good job over the years of preserving our old buildings,” said Fletcher. “Due to the major structural issues, Kohler is just not one that it makes sense to preserve.”
Fletcher said he knows that there will be some backlash from the community regarding this decision, but he hopes
that people will take the expert’s opinion into account.
Over the years Kohler has had a number of uses, from being an orphanage in the early 1860s to its most recent use as
a dorm for BW students, particularly students of the BW Conservatory. The history behind the building, as well as the frightening tales that students tell each other, are reasons that some may be mournful over the fate of Kohler.
“It’s sad that it has to go. My daughter lived here when she attended Baldwin Wallace over 10 years ago, and I totally get that people are going to be upset, but being on the other side and seeing the issues Kohler has, I understand it,” said Cindy Gornik, facilities maintenance coordinator.
Mold in the building and cracks in the walls that let bugs in were just a few of the issues that Gornik said were problems when her daughter was a resident.
“There was a crack in the floor that we would stuff paper down into because of the centipedes that would crawl up her wall,” she said.
Even with the vast amount of issues that Kohler has, some in the campus community, like university Archivist Kieth Peppers, wish that Kohler could remain standing.
“I know it’s in bad shape and you have to outweigh the value of preserving it over the cost,” he said, “but it’s an interesting building with an interesting past that I hope they preserve something of it.”
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
A portion of Kohler Hall was built before German Wallace College was founded. It was one of two buildings already in existence when the area of the original south campus was purchased by German Wallace College. An 1858 map of Berea from the Western Reserve historical Society Library shows a building on lot number 80. The first German Methodist Orphanage Asylum was housed in this building before moving a larger facility on Center St. The building along with an additional 3.99 acres was sold to the German Methodist Orphanage Asylum by Jacob Rothweiler in February,1865 for $1,400. In 1866, the building was sold to German Wallace College. There is a discrepancy over the date that the property was sold to German Wallace College. It was transferred on either August 2, 1867 or June 5, 1868, and without the additional 3.00 acres of land sold by Jacob Rothweiler in 1865.
The building was purchased with the intent for it to be the residence of the vice president of the college. He resided in the northeast wing and also acted as an overseer of the students who lived in the other section of the building. Later, one of the professors occupied the apartment and also served as the Dean of Men. This was the procedure until the 1920's. A few years after the college bought it, the building was rebuilt into a three story structure. At the tum of the century, the building was enlarged, covered with stone, and modernized with a heating plant, electric lighting, plumbing, and other facilities. Due to this expansion, Kohler Hall occupies lots 79 and 80. After the rebuilding in 1870, it was used as a ladies dormitory. It was remodeled again in 1884 and transformed into a men's dorm. In 1905, the building was reconditioned and a west wing was added and in 1916, a north addition was added to include lavatories. During World War I the building was used as the barracks for the Student Army Training Corps and was subjected to much wear and tear.
The old Men's Dormitory was remodeled in 1940 through a gift of$25,000 by Mrs. Kohler, which was a portion of her prominent husband's estate. Josephine B. Kohler was the widow of Fred Kohler, who served as Cleveland Police Chief under Mayor Tom Johnson, Cuyahoga County Commissioner, Sheriff of Cuyahoga County, and Mayor of Cleveland. She gave the gift anonymously, but her identity was later revealed. She also contributed generously to the Pre-Centennial Funding program.
The architects for the remodeling were Mellenbrock, Foley, and Scott. The services and dedication for the remodeled hall took place on Founder's Day, October 31, 1940. The old Men's Dormitory was dedicated as Kohler Hall. The hall has since changed to houses both men and women, primarily conservatory students.
Kohler Hall - As one of the only two buildings at B-W which were originally part of the old campus on the shores of Baldwin Lake, Kohler Hall brings quite a bit of history. Prior to becoming a residence hall, Kohler was used as an asylum for orphans, a stop on the Underground Railroad and an infirmary and morgue for soldiers during the Civil War. Because of this long and complex history, Kohler is reportedly the most haunted building at B-W and perhaps one of die most haunted buildings in Ohio.
As a building that has seen so much suffering and even death, it is not surprising that people have reported so much supernatural activity in Kohler. The basement of the building houses an Infamous tunnel containing a number of drawers. The deceased were stored in these drawers after their deaths, and they would be carted through the tunnel to the Lindsay Crossman Chapel for their funerals.
The spiritual presence in this tunnel is rumored to be so strong that residents requested the school seal it off. According to legend, the school hired a contractor to close off the tunnel; while working, however, the men became so disturbed by the spirits in the tunnel that they fled the building and left the wall unfinished.
In addition to the tunnel, residents have reported seeing a number of ghosts throughout Kohler. Some have seen a ghostly man in a military uniform that can be only seen from the knee up, because he walks on the original floors, which wore several feet lower. Others have described a friendly female ghost named "Mabel," who has laid out clothing on residents' beds and run her finger through necklaces that a previous resident had placed on the wall.
But perhaps the most notorious and ominous spirit.in Kohler is the blue mist, which has pressed on sleeping residents' chests, making it hard for them to breathe. It has also ripped the covers off of the sleeping residents. One female resident was so tortured by the mist that she would scream uncontrollably. The College was eventually forced to move her to another room elsewhere on campus.
Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed., “Conservatory Fire,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 26, no. 1 (1948): p. 8.
Baldwin-Wallace's worst fire since 1899, when the college church on the old south campus was destroyed, caused $45,000 damage to the Conservatory early Friday morning, February 27. Breaking out at five a. m. the fire ravaged through the new wing which was completed only last summer with the financial help of Dr. E. J. Kulas.
Architects and contractors are already planning the rehabilitation of the building with definite improvements in mind.
Included in the total damage were four pianos, two organs and six rooms destroyed, with smoke damage throughout the building. The greatest loss was confined to the new wing which cost $25,000.
Citation: Louise M. Kuhns, ed., "Kulas Musical Arts Building Renovation," Pursuit 12, no. 1 (October 1979): 29.
The second phase of the Conservatory of Music's capital renovation project calls for remodeling of the Kulas Musical Arts Building. The last major renovation of Kulas Hall, which was built in 1913 took place in 1957. Since that time, constant use and years of wear have made it necessary to begin seeking funds for another renovation.
Conservatory faculty members and administrators have worked with the College architect to develop a renovation plan to meet program needs and projected future enrollment. Preliminary plans have been completed which include the Kulas renovation, the completion of the second and third floors of Merner-Pfeiffer Hall, and equipment needs. Total project cost is estimated to be in the range of $750,000.
Citation: Updated B-W History, n.d.
Construction of the Auditorium and Music Building on Front St. began in 1912 on a site donated by the citizens of Berea. It was dedicated June 2, 1913, two months before Baldwin-Wallace College would be established, as German Wallace College and Baldwin University were combined. The new music building provided greater facilities for music students as classes and practice rooms were moved from Marting Hall. From its beginning in 1898, the music department was under the direction of Dr. Albert Riemenschnieder. (Music classes had existed since 1848 at Baldwin Institute, for one dollar extra per term.)
The Music Building contained the Fanny Nast Gamble Auditorium, which was installed with a $25,000 pile organ, and was said to be the best in the state (the organ was rebuilt and dedicated to the late Dr. Riemenschnieder in 1955). The auditorium was named in honor of Fanny Nast Gamble, the daughter of Dr. William Nast, founder of German Wallace College. She was the first women graduate of German Wallace College. Mrs. Gamble was the wife of an Proctor and Gamble of Cincinnati, and contributed a large amount to the cost of the building. The auditorium served as the site for music performances as well as graduation and other college activities.
The building was renovated in 1939 with a new wing and third story added. The new wing was constructed running from Front St. to the alley in the rear along the Hathaway Garage. The structure made the building in the shape of a "U". The addition was made possible by a $50,000 gift from Mrs. and Mrs. E. J. Kulas, of Cleveland. The reconstructed building was then dedicated the Kulas Musical Arts Building, and was one of the best music education buildings in the country. The improvement afforded the rapidly growing conservatory about fifty additional classrooms, studios, practice rooms, and a chamber music auditorium, as well as other facilities.
Mr. Kulas was the president of the Midland Steel Products Co. and of the Otis Steel Co. Mr. and Mr. Kulas were well known in music circles and had taken an active part in sponsoring the Bach festivals at B-W.
The building was renovated again in 1946 and 1958. The interior was remodeled in 1958 with financial help of the Kulas Foundation, established by the late Mr. and Mrs. Elroy J. Kulas. The grant received from the foundation totaled $152,000. At the time of the his death in 1952, Mr. Kulas had been a member of the B-W Trustees, dating back to 1938. Mrs. Kulas died on September 25, 1957 and along with her husband, had been a long time benefactor of B-W and the music education program.
The renovation was to make it one of the finest music halls in the country. The Fanny Nast Gamble Auditorium received the most improvements with the installation of a new acoustical plan. Thirty large Plexiglas panels were hung from the ceiling and arranged to provide a sound shell over the performance area. In addition, the auditorium received new plaster walls, a new wood stage, and new seating and lighting. Along with the new stage, an orchestra pit was built. The stage had controls for light and sound in that area as well as in the balcony control room. A new acoustical design was also implemented in the chamber room, as plaster spheres were added and the ceiling over the stage was made into an irregular design to diffuse the sound. The hallways in the practice areas were also sound-proofed. The coal furnace was replaced with a gas furnace along with an air exhaust system and new electrical improvements. The architects were Heine, Crider, and Williamson of Berea, and the construction was done by the Emerson Company of Cleveland.