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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

University Guest House
A Gift of Benefactor Elizabeth Watkins

The charming cottage located down the hill from the Chancellor's Residence was built of stones left over from the retaining wall constructed behind Watkins and Miller scholarship halls. Mrs. Elizabeth Watkins, who had already decided to will her home to the university, conceived of the cottage as a way to use up the stones and to provide a place for servants or guests to stay. Sometimes called "Rock Cottage," the house was first rented to KU faculty. After World War II when student enrollment jumped and campus housing was scarce, the lower level of the cottage was converted into a student apartment.

Since 1952 the upper level of the building has been an official university guest house booked through the chancellor's office. The bottom level provides accommodation for students who are selected to care for the guest apartment and help host upstairs visitors.

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University Guest House
Location: Northeast of the Chancellor's Residence

Occupied: 1936

Architects: Professor Verner F. Smith, KU School of Architecture

Contractor: Unknown

Levels: Two

Structure: Oread limestone and wood frame

Roof: Red composition shingles; gable; hip over porch; exterior chimney

Exterior walls: Oread limestone, squared

Foundation: Oread limestone and steel

Porch: Wood posts and railing on raised limestone base

Window and door surrounds: Flat arch of vertical limestone; lugsills