Patterson Office Tower

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Patterson Office Tower
POT UK.jpg
Patterson Office Tower in 2006
Patterson Office Tower is located in Kentucky
Patterson Office Tower
Location within Kentucky
General information
TypeOffice building
Location120 Patterson Dr, Lexington, KY 40506
Town or cityLexington, Kentucky
CountryUnited States
Coordinates38°02′19″N 84°30′23″W / 38.0386°N 84.5064°W / 38.0386; -84.5064Coordinates: 38°02′19″N 84°30′23″W / 38.0386°N 84.5064°W / 38.0386; -84.5064
Height249 feet (76 m)
Technical details
Floor count18

The Patterson Office Tower is a 249-foot (76 m) high-rise building on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky.

It was completed in 1969 and is named after James Kennedy Patterson, who served as the school's first president from 1869 to 1910. It primarily houses faculty offices and conference rooms, including many of the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Social Work, Honors at UK, the Dean of Students and Division of Student Affairs. The tower also features the Intermezzo Cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch. It is located near the White Hall Classroom Building and Main Building. A statue of Patterson sits near the tower.


Construction of the Patterson Office Tower began in 1968 and was completed in 1969.[1] It was named after James Kennedy Patterson, who served as the first president of the University of Kentucky from 1869 to 1910.[1] It replaced the White Hall Dormitory, which stood from 1882 to 1967.[2] Based on a photo printed in the Lexington Herald-Leader, December 1969 was the first time the university's Board Of Trustees met in the building.[3] In July 2003, a bronze statue of Patterson was relocated to the front of the tower.[4] A fountain also existed at the tower, but it was removed in 1999.[5][6]

On February 12, 2016, Australian philosopher David Chalmers visited the campus to give a talk entitled "Perception and Illusion in Virtual Reality" on the 18th floor of the tower.[7] At the end of 2016, about 1,000 ping-pong balls were poured from the roof of the tower to celebrate the end of the semester.[8] More than 100 students stood below, collecting as many balls as they could with plastic bags, open book bags, and umbrellas.[8] In an article published on December 11, 2018, by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the tower's 18th floor was mentioned under the heading "recommended capital project".[9]


A green statue of a balding man with a monocle, seated and wearing long, flowing robes and holding a staff in his left hand
Statue of Patterson that sits in front of the tower

Patterson Office Tower is a 20-story building with 18 floors.[1] The building houses faculty offices and conference rooms, including many of the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Social Work, Honors at UK, the Dean of Students and Division of Student Affairs.[1][10] It includes the Intermezzo Cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch.[11] The tower features a basement that connects the Big Blue Pantry and White Hall Classroom Building.[12]

The 14th floor of the tower, which provides a space for students to study and make connections with other students with similar interests, was recently renovated in 2018.[13] The renovations of the floor helped create a new space for students interested in the International Studies Program.[13] The area features a student lounge, a conference room, and office space.[13]


In 2011, an overflowing urinal caused damage to three floors in the building[14] after a faulty automatic flusher became stuck in the open position, causing flooding on the fourth floor.[14] The water damaged the second, third and fourth floors, saturating ceiling tiles and carpets, and some computers and documents.[14]

On May 31, 2013, a flasher was reported on the sixth floor of the building.[15][16]


In 1970, Patterson Office Tower was the site of a protest in response to the Kent State shootings in Kent, Ohio.[17] On April 1, 2011, students held a protest against racism near the tower.[18] On March 27, 2013, the tower was one of the Fayette County locations for Take Back the Night protests.[19][20] On April 1, 2014, students protested against privatization of dining services.[21] On December 9, 2014, about 40 students held a die-in on the lobby floor to raise student awareness about the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.[22] On November 9, 2016, students held a protest against Donald Trump after he was elected president on November 8.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Patterson Office Tower in Lexington Ky". Lexington Ky Homes & Horse Farms. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  2. ^ Brackney, Peter. "White Hall Dormitory was an Iconic Building at the University of Kentucky #TBT". Kaintuckeean. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  3. ^ "The first University of Kentucky Board of Trustees meeting the Patterson Office Tower, December 1969; Lexington Herald-Leader photo, 1969". Kentucky Digital Library. 1969.
  4. ^ Lewis, George (July 22, 2003). "UK Relocates Campus Landmark". Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  5. ^ "University of Kentucky fountain, 1989". Kentucky Photo Archive. 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  6. ^ "Fountain in front of Patterson Office Tower which was destroyed circa 1999". Kentucky Digital Library. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  7. ^ Brennan, Patrick (February 12, 2016). "Famous philosopher shows up early". The Kentucky Kernel.
  8. ^ a b Abrams, Cheyenne (April 21, 2016). "Students unwind ahead of finals week with ping pong drop off POT". The Kentucky Kernel.
  9. ^ Blackford, Linda (December 11, 2018). "UK's $500 million wish list fixes old buildings, constructs new ones". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  10. ^ "Fun Facts About UK". Gatton College of Business and Economics. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  11. ^ "Underground UK: More ways to use meal swipes". The Kentucky Kernel. October 4, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Big Blue Pantry". UK Center-Community Outreach.
  13. ^ a b c Wood, Sarah (April 25, 2018). "International Studies Creates New Space for Students". University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences.
  14. ^ a b c Truman, Cheryl (July 20, 2011). "Faulty Urinal Damages 3 Floors of University of Kentucky Office Tower". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  15. ^ "University of Kentucky Issues Safety Alert About Flasher in Patterson Office Tower". Lexington Herald-Leader. May 31, 2013. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  16. ^ "Alert issued after flashing on UK campus". WKYT. May 30, 2013.
  17. ^ "Protest in front of the Patterson Office Tower in reaction to the Kent State shootings, 1970". Kentucky Digital Library. 1970.
  18. ^ Wilson, Amy (April 1, 2011). "Racial Incidents Prompt University of Kentucky Students to Organize Demonstrations". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  19. ^ "Fayette County: Rally tonight protests violence against women". Lexington Herald-Leader. March 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Hairston, Gail (March 27, 2013). "Take Back the Night to End Violence". University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences.
  21. ^ James, Josh (April 1, 2014). "UK Continues Dining Privatization Talks, Students Protest". WUKY. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  22. ^ Blackford, Linda (December 9, 2014). "University of Kentucky Students Hold 'Die-in' to Protest Police Brutality". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  23. ^ "Thousands Join Anti-Trump Protests Around Country". WKYT. November 9, 2016. Retrieved 2018-12-08.

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