CONSTRUCTION DATES: The initial Todd Hall structure was built in 1912 and contained 10,800 square feet. In 1917, another 26,000 square feet were added to Todd Hall. In 1921, additional sleeping quarters and a second dining room were added to Todd Hall.
REMODEL: In 1921 renovations added the West Wing, Music Room and Arcade. There are no cost estimates for this addition, but the costs were paid out of the dormitory’s profits. In 1960, the kitchen and dining room were moved to the new student center and the space converted into sleeping quarters, a living room, and two study rooms.
CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: The initial construction was undertaken by Tranchel and Parelius of Portland, the plumbing by Sturgis and Sturgis, the heating by Rushlight and Hastorf, and the wiring by Vanderlip and Lord.
COSTS: The initial Todd Hall construction cost $50,000 with the state adding $8,500 more to the building in 1913 for furnishing and finishing work. The 1960 remodel and renovation cost over $31,000.
ARCHITECTS AND BUILDING STYLE: Todd Hall is a three story structure designed in the Tudor architecture style by John V. Bennes, of Portland and A.E. Doyle. Warren Carkin, of Salem, was the architect and Robert Forester, of Salem, the contractor for the 1960 additions and renovations. Todd Hall has 36,799 square feet of space.
HISTORY: Todd Hall was the first student dormitory built on the university’s campus, and was in use by the summer of 1913. In the 1970s, Todd Hall housed the headquarters of the Teaching Research Division of the State System of Higher Education.
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: Todd Hall is named after Jessica Todd, the first Dean of Women at the school. Todd was also Supervisor of Dormitory Living at the university. Todd Hall was once called the “best dormitory I have ever seen in schools of this type” by an inspector of normal schools for the American Association of Teachers Colleges. The site of Todd Hall was the original home of the Christian Church, which was moved (at great expense) to its current location on South Monmouth Avenue in 1893 to make way for the dormitory. The Senior and Junior Cottage were added as honor annexes to Todd Hall in 1913. The pergola with its decorative wall and fountain behind Todd Hall was built to hide the root cellar and heating and laundry plant in 1922. Todd Hall suffered a fire in 1960 caused by an overloaded circuit. No one was injured in the blaze that did $1,000 in damage. The basement of Todd Hall was colorfully known as Painted Alley. Painted Alley contained the laundry facilities, some rooms, and a convenient way to smuggle boys into the dorm or residents out of the hall. The ghost of Jessica Todd is rumored to still roam Todd Hall and The Cottage.
VIDEO: To celebrate the centennial of Todd Hall's building as a women's dormitory, Digital Production Services collaborated with University Archives and Teaching Resarch Institute to create a short video to commemorate its history. The video is available for viewing at: Todd Hall Centennial Video.
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