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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

Watkins and Miller Scholarship Halls
Original Watkins Hall Success Duplicated with Miller Hall

Planning and financing Watkins Scholarship Hall was one of Elizabeth Miller Watkins first projects in a long list of her philanthropy to the University of Kansas. In the neoclassical Watkins residence, she envisioned 49 women (plus a hall director and a nurse) of "high moral and scholastic standing" cooking for themselves in one of the seven kitchens, doing their own housework, and living comfortably as they would in their own homes. The project was so successful that she had an identical hall built next door, which she named in memory of her brother.

Mrs. Watkins left an endowment in her will for the maintenance of the two buildings. Both were renovated in 1986.

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watkins home
Location: Lilac Lane, east side

Watkins Occupied: 1926

Architect: Thomas Williamson, Topeka KS

Contractor: Olmstead Brothers, Lawrence

Miller Occupied: 1937

Contractor: J.J. Simmonds

Levels: Four

Exterior walls: Yello-buff brick, stretcher bond

Foundation: Concrete

Structure: Supporting steel and brick

Roof: Red-gray composition shingles; gable

Portico: Two-story with four full and two engaged Ionic columns holding plain pediment

Sun room: One-story enclosed with wooden railing on roof

Door surrounds: Two sidedlights; glass transom undcer elliptical arch of header bricks with terra cotta keystone

Window surrounds: Flat arch of vertical bricks; slipsills of header brick; decorative black louvered shutters