User:Crockam/Ogden Hall

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Ogden Hall (Miami University)[edit]

Ogden Hall
General information
Type Residential Hall, Dining Hall
Architectural style Colonial
Location Miami University
Address 401 East High Street Oxford, OH 45056
Coordinates 39°30′34.94″N 84°44′8.65″W / 39.5097056°N 84.7357361°W / 39.5097056; -84.7357361
Current tenants Upperclassman Female Residents
Completed 1924
Renovated 1999
Cost $300,000.00
Renovation cost $6,103,444.00
Owner Miami University
Technical details
Floor area 52,700 SQFT
Design and construction
Architecture firm Dittoe, Fahnestock & Ferber
Main contractor Fred Wood
Renovating team
Renovating firm GBBN Architects
Main contractor Wright Seyferth

History: Origins[edit]

In 1923 Laura Ogden Whaling donated $430,000 to Miami University so they could build erect a resident hall in her brother’s honor. Her brother, George C. Ogden, graduated from Miami in 1863 and went on to receive his medical degree from the Ohio Medical College. [1] It was part of her request that the Hall must be located west of the Herron Gym, directly across the street from Lewis Place, the President’s home. But the president did not want a building directly across from Lewis Place, he wanted green space on either side of the slant walk. So in order to keep with Laura Ogden Whaling’s wishes, Herron Gym was moved down the street to what is now the parking lot adjacent to Roudebush Hall. [2] [3]

In order to move the building it required cutting down two dozen giant forest trees. This upset Miss Jenny Brooks, a Miami Alumnus who called Oxford her home. She was not going to remain quite while dozens of trees that were in existence before Miami was, were torn down in order to move the Herron Gym. When the day came to cut down the trees, Jenny wrapped her arms around one of the trees and refused to move. She told a woodsman, “You’re going to have to cut me first”, in which his response was to put down his axe. He and another worker picked her up and moved her to a neutral spot, and then proceeded to cut down the trees. Miss Jenny Brooks, was Oxford’s first environmentalist. Since this incident, the university has tried to located new buildings in areas where trees can be preserved not cut down.[3]

The corner stone of Ogden Hall was laid on October 12, 1923. The stone was laid by the Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Ohio, Mr. Harry S. Johnson, of Cincinnati. He was assisted by President Hughes, members of the Board of Trustees, and other University officials. Ogden Hall was the first men’s dormitory built on campus since the North and South Dorms were built. It also provided for a place for social activities, as it had a men’s auditorium, Y.M.C.A. quarters, game rooms, and a number of conference rooms, in addition to housing 114 men. [4]

Ogden Hall was designed by Dittoe, Fahnestock & Ferber Architects and cost $330,000.00 to build in 1924. The general contractor was Fred Wood (Physical Facilities- Ogden Hall). It was to be a three-story red brick, stone trimmed, red tile roof Colonial building, which fit in with the rest of the architecture on campus (Ogden Hall Corner Stone to be Laid). [4]

Rumors & Ghost Stories[edit]

The Reid Hall Murder: On May 9, 1959 two men began fighting in Reid Hall, one of the men waving a gun around. Roger Sayles, the Resident Advisor for Reid Hall, tried to stop the fight. He was accidently shot and killed in the process. The shooter then fled to a phone booth on the second floor of Ogden Hall, where he took his own life minutes later. According to accounts of that night, Sayles fell bleeding into a doorway, leaving two bloody handprints. It was was said that these handprints could still be seen until Reid Hall was torn down [5]

The Ogden Hall Wall: The rumor is that when Laura Ogden Whaling donated money to Miami University, in order to build a new men’s dormitory in her brother’s name, she made a demand that a wall should be constructed around the new structure to keep it private. After the dormitory was built, it was rumored that Miami did indeed build the wall, but underground. The rumored -wall was actually the foundation of the old Miami gymnasium. The gymnasium had to be torn down during the construction of Ogden Hall because of the location Laura Ogden Whaling wanted the dormitory to be. [6] Currently there is a tradition that the “wall” was built to keep men out of what would become a women’s residence hall. [3]

Present: Recent Renovation[edit]

In 1999, the building undertook renovations to update the building to then current accessibility and building code standards and to update the dinner facility. The new, state-of-the-art facility, Bell Tower Place, contains many traditional campus brands such as: “Home Style Traditions”, “Pizza Pi”, “Sonora Stop”, “Sunrise Bakery”, “The Bell Tower Coffee Company”, “Campus Grill & Steak House”, and “Uncle Phil’s Deli”. A new addition to Bell Tower Place was “Miami Spice”, a noodle-based menu format that utilized a new state-of-the-art concept in food preparation. At “Miami Spice” students are able to partake in the production of their meals, choosing ingredients and pass them directly to the cook. Also with this addition came the expanding of seating and a new outdoor plaza café. [7]

Cincinnati based architects, GBBN, did the renovations. GBBN Architects did 14,000 sq. ft. of renovation and a 7,000 sq. ft. addition to Ogden Hall. They created 9 food stations, 4 themed interior dining areas, a formal dining area, and a outdoor café (Ogden Hall). This new addition cost $6,103,444.00 and the projects contractor was Wright Seyferth. The current use of the building is a dining hall and a residence hall for upper-class female students [1].


  1. ^ a b [<> "Physical Facilities- Ogden Hall"] Check |url= value (help). Miami University. Retrieved 06 Oct. 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ [<> "Miami University Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes (1909-1917)"] Check |url= value (help). Miami University Digital Archives. Retrieved 06 Oct. 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Shriver, Philip (05 Mar. 1996). "History of the Women at Miami".  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help);
  4. ^ a b "Ogden Hall Corner Stone to be Laid". Miami Student. Oxford, OH. 05 Oct. 1923.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help);
  5. ^ [<>. "Reid Hall Murder"] Check |url= value (help). Miami University Alumni Association. Retrieved 06 Oct. 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ [<>. "About the Ogden Hall Wall"] Check |url= value (help). Miami Mysteries and Ghost Stories. Retrieved 06 Oct. 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ [<>. "Bell Tower Place in Ogden Hall 'Spices Up' Campus"] Check |url= value (help), The Miami Report, 21 Oct, retrieved 06 Oct. 2010  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)

External links[edit]

  • Miami University [1]
  • GBBN Architects [2]

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