History

Photo: Matt Petrillo

Photo: Matt Petrillo

Peabody Residential Hall, Temple’s first living quarters for its residents, is a four-story, low-rise building, adjacent to Johnson and Hardwick Residence Halls, which houses 287 students. Started in 1956, this yellow brick building was dedicated on February 3, 1958 but had been in use since the previous year. A government loan of $1,221,000 was obtained to purchase the land and construct the building. On March 26, 1957, there was a fundraiser at the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Temple University choir to help pay for the furnishings.

When built, it had its own dining room which accommodated 600 students and was used by both men and women. To contrast with the warmth of the walls and floor in the tan-orange range, the dining furnishings were green and turquoise with atouch of yellow. It had bentwood armchairs. The curtains on the glass wall looking out on to the court were white glass cloth printed with a special design which acted as a light diffuser. The structure was designed by architects Nolen and Swinburne.

When the building was new, the Main Lounge was described as having “Small sofas, lounge chairs and cushioned benches designed to be easy to move, stack and store when the room is cleared for a dance.” It was decorated in shades ranging from orange and vermillion to red. The walls and carpets were neutral colors and had walnut screen sub-dividers covered with a hand-woven red fabric.

Peabody Residence Hall, sitting on an acre of land, features lounges on each floor and a large television room, recreation room with pool, ping pong and game tables, laundry facilities, and a study room. The floor lounges were divided by walnut screens containing “panels of blue-bronze fabric.” Originally, Peabody was a women’s dorm. In the sixties, it became a men’s dorm. Today, it is co-ed. The building was named in honor of former dean, Gertrude Peabody, who served on the building’s decorating committee.

Paralleling Broad Street is only the end of the long part of the “L.” Peabody Hall runs from broad Street to Park Avenue on Norris Street and then extends up Park for about 137 feet.

The building stands on top of one of the historic sites on campus, Dr. Russell Conwell’s original home which was located at 2004 North Park Avenue. The home was destroyed in 1956 to make way for the new dormitory. Conwell lived there from 1882 until 1892.

Source: http://www.geocities.com/wrti2/TUfile.html

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