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Bryan Hall History

From Our Story

Bryan Hall in 1961
Bryan Hall, built in 1909, is the dominant structure of the historic campus core. Originally built as the principal library and assembly hall, it commemorates Dr. E. A. Bryan, who served as University president from 1893 to 1916 and was responsible for the development of WSU into a major education institution.

It was designed by leading Spokane architect, J. K. Dow, who followed traditions already established at WSU, yet gave the building an individual character. This highly eclectic building is not dominated by a single style. The broad bracketed eaves, the round arched windows link it with the Italianate Style. The tall clock tower is clearly related to the Italian Campanile. Particularly fine is the elaborate bracketing under the eaves which may even have resulted from an oriental inspiration.

Some claim that the ghost of Dr. E. A. Bryan still lurks around Bryan Hall today. Stories of encounters with Bryan date back to the late 1950s when Richard Uthmann claims to have had an encounter with Bryan in his beloved rocking chair. Another encounter comes from Janis Clarke Waley and her experiences in Bryan Hall.

Bryan Hall has a history of Presidential visits as well. In 1920, former President William H. Taft spoke to the students and faculty in Bryan Hall’s auditorium. Much of his speech can be found in the May (misprinted as June) 24, 1920 edition of the Daily Evergreen. Bryan Hall also hosted Senator and future President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy visited Bryan Hall on February 11, 1960 during his presidential campaign.

Today, Bryan Hall houses classrooms, the Office of International Programs, and part of the School of Music. [Read the ghost stories: Bryan Rocks or Ghostly Meetings with E.A.

<gallery> Image:Enoch_Bryan1_small.jpg|Enoch Bryan. Photo courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections Image:Bryan Hall 1 KenWise.jpg|Bryan Hall. Photo courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections Image: Ajaxhelper4.jpg|Bryan Hall. Photo courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections Image: Bryantower.jpg|Bryan Tower.

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