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Brooks Hall 1923-2006

Erected 1921Brooks History

The building which stood at 600 Dutton Avenue was the second residence hall on the Baylor University campus to bear the name of the seventh president of Baylor University. Construction of the $365,530 building began in February of 1920, but funding problems caused delays in construction. The citizens of Waco contributed $200,000 toward the construction of the residence hall and the building was completed in September of 1921. The building extended campus past Waco Creek and Minglewood Park to Dutton Avenue. For the first two years of operation, the building had no name but was known simply as the Men's Dormitory. In 1923, the Board of Trustees named the building S.P. Brooks Hall in honor of Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks.

A calling card of Baylor, the red brick building was architecturally distinct with its large white urns and prominent archway which framed the spires of Old Main and the bell tower of Pat Neff Hall. The five-story building was built on a "stairwell" plan with eight stairwells and contained no interior hallways, since rooms opened to the stairwells. Most student rooms were two-room suites connected by bathrooms. This design was thought to make the building fire proof, improve ventilation, and reduce noise. The building was designed to hold 250 to 360 students. The building underwent a renovation in the early 1950s in which air conditioning was added to the building. In 1987, Brooks Hall underwent a major renovation in which interior hallways were added to the building to improve fire safety. This renovation resulted in the closing of the fifth floor, the creation of community baths to serve the majority of residents, and the elimination of two-room suites. After it was determined that is was not feasible to restore or renovate the eighty-five year old building, it was razed in 2006 to make way for the Brooks Residential College.