Hoch Auditorium was a 3,500-seat multi-purpose arena on the same site. It featured a traditional Gothic architecture and was home to the University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball teams until Allen Fieldhouse opened in 1955.
In 1957, Andrew McKinley was the tenor soloist in the world premiere of Cecil Effinger's oratorio The Invisible Fire at Hoch Auditorium with the Kansas City Philharmonic under conductor Thor Johnson.
In 1967, Hoch Auditorium became the site of a fatal accident when 15 year old Lorraine Kelvin of Clayton, Missouri fell 64-70 feet from a catwalk while attending the Kansas University Midwestern Music and Arts Camp.
On June 15, 1991, Hoch Auditorium was struck by lightning. The auditorium and stage area were completely destroyed. Only the limestone facade and lobby area were spared. When reconstruction of the building was complete, the rear half of the building was named Budig Hall, for then KU Chancellor Gene Budig. The original name on the facade was made plural to reflect the presence of three large auditorium-style lecture halls within the building: Hoch Auditoria.
- "Oratorio Premiere Scheduled Tonight in Hoch Auditorium". Lawrence Daily Journal-World (Dolph Simons). December 31, 1957. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- "Injured Camper Dies Thursday". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. 1967-07-28. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
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