1930 Eastern Progress Reveals Formal Opening of Auditorium

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1930 Eastern Progress Reveals Formal Opening of Auditorium


A friend of ours recently gave us a copy of the February 25, 1930 issue of The Eastern Progress, the student newspaper of Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. The news of 62 years ago was interesting enough that we thought we would share some of it with our readers. The brand-new Hiram Brock Auditorium was formally opened on the evening of February 24, 1930, with a professional traveling opera company presenting Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" to an audience of nearly 1,500. Described by the Progress as "the most spacious and completely equipped auditorium in the State," the auditorium has a 40-foot wide stage and a balcony in which sounds on the stage can be heard clearly in the back row. The auditorium was built into the back of the U-shaped Coates Administration Building, which had been constructed a couple of years earlier. The Coates Building housed administrative offices, 14 classrooms, the college bookstore, and the college post office, according to the Progress. Among other news in this 1930 student newspaper was the photograph of Miss Maurine Bronson who had just joined Eastern's music faculty. The young lady had had vocal training both in America and abroad, and soon after her arrival had sung several solos in one of the weekly chapel programs, to the delight of the student body. Most of Richmond has known her as the wife of the late Dr. Russell I. Todd, the long-time Richmond dentist and civic leader. One especially interesting article contained a list of homes in Richmond which had been approved by the Dean of Women for rooms for female students. The only two women's dormitories, Durham Hall and Sullivan Hall, were crowded with some 600 students, and it was necessary for others arriving for the second term to find living accommodations off-campus. Many of the fine homes in Richmond were opened to the women students in a city-wide expression of support for the college. In a list of about 75 "landladies" were many respected family names easily recognized by older residents of this city. Rooms with electric lights, wardrobe, and bathroom privileges were available in the homes of such ladies as Mrs. L.P. Evans, Mrs. C.H. Buchanan, Mrs. Margaret Burnam, on South Second Street, and Mrs. A.H. Douglas, Mrs. Luman Parrish, and Mrs. G.R. Spurlin, and Mrs. Fred A. Engle on North Second. Among the Lancaster Ave. homes were those of Mrs. R.C. Stockton, Mrs. Lucian McCord, and Mrs. Henry James. Not all homes available to women students were near the campus. Persons such as Mrs. A.L. Lassiter on Sunset, Mrs. E. Selby Wiggins on Burnam Court, and Mrs. J.L. Kanatzar on Fifth Street also answered the college's call for available rooms.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “1930 Eastern Progress Reveals Formal Opening of Auditorium,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed October 1, 2023, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/938.