Denny Hall

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Denny Hall
Former namesAdministration Building
General information
Architectural styleFrench Renaissance Revival
Coordinates47°39′31″N 122°18′31″W / 47.6585°N 122.3086°W / 47.6585; -122.3086Coordinates: 47°39′31″N 122°18′31″W / 47.6585°N 122.3086°W / 47.6585; -122.3086
Named forArthur A. Denny
OwnerUniversity of Washington
Design and construction
ArchitectCharles Saunders

Denny Hall is a building on the main campus of the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington, United States. Built between 1894 and 1895, it is named after Arthur A. Denny.


Denny Hall was designed by Charles Saunders and constructed between 1894 and 1895. The brick and sandstone, French Renaissance Revival building is the oldest on the University of Washington's current campus.[a] A grassy area planted with large, canopy trees - the Denny Yard - sits in front of the building.[2]


Photograph of the Administration Building in 1901

The cornerstone of the building was laid in a July 1894 ceremony attended by a crowd of about 1,000. Originally called the Administration Building, in 1910 it was renamed after Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and an early benefactor of the university. The building was renovated, first in 1957, and a second time beginning in 2008. The $56 million renovation of 2008 was stalled by the recession of 2008 but resumed in 2014 and was completed two years later.[3][1][4][5]

An engraving of Denny Hall is featured on the University of Washington's mace, which is carried and displayed by the Marshal of the University during Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.[6]

Installed in the cupola of Denny Hall is a 400-pound (180 kg), 1859 bell ("the Varsity Bell") which is rung once per year, on Homecoming, to ceremonially summon the university's alumni to campus. From 1961 until his death in 2013, Brewster Denny was responsible for the annual ringing of the Varsity Bell.[7][8]

As of 2016, the building houses the university's departments of Anthropology, Classics, Germanics and Near Eastern Languages & Civilization.[4]


  1. ^ The University of Washington was founded in 1861 at a different location. It moved from its original Downtown Seattle site in the Metropolitan Tract to its current campus in the 1890s.[1]


  1. ^ a b DeMay, Daniel (November 27, 2015). "UW's oldest building getting a makeover". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Denny Hall Renovation - Draft Site Program Document (PDF). Seattle, Washington: University of Washington. 2007. pp. 2–4. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Minnick, Benjamin (June 19, 2014). "Denny Hall rehab is back on after being stalled by recession". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Minnick, Benjamin (May 23, 2016). "$56M Denny Hall renovation finishing in August, six months ahead of schedule". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  5. ^ Dorpat, Paul. "Now & Then — Denny Hall at University of Washington". HistoryLink. HistoryInk. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "The University Mace". Office of Ceremonies. University of Washington. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Kelley, Peter (December 23, 2016). "Brewster Denny: Five decades ringing in UW Homecoming". UW Today. University of Washington. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Long, Katherine (October 28, 2011). "Denny descendant rings UW's historic bell". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 23, 2016.

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