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Matthews Hall is the oldest intact dormitory on the Arizona State University campus. Built in 1918, it was designed by L. G. Knipe and dedicated in 1920 as a men's dormitory. It was named for the president of the Tempe Normal School, Dr. Arthur John Matthews. The building currently houses a photography gallery and offices for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.


  • Tempe Normal School/ASU President Arthur John Matthews (1900-1904,1904-1930). Courtesy of ASU
  • Matthews Hall in 1924. Courtesy of ASU
  • Matthews Hall today. Courtesy of ASU

By 1930, the building served as a women's dormitory. When the new library on campus was named the Matthews Library in honor of Dr. Matthews's 30 years as president, the dormitory was renamed Carrie Matthews Hall for the president's wife. (The library became known as Matthews Center upon its conversion in the 1960s.)

Matthews Hall is a symmetrical, elongated two-story building with telescoping side wings and sleeping porch bays. The building has a concrete foundation with buff brick facing; the interiors feature wood detailing. The building has extensive Prairie School architectural styling, seen in the building's massing and details, such as broad wooden cornices, Union Jack vent covers, and grouped double-hung windows. The original stairway and living room fireplace remain in the interior. 

The building also demonstrates the architect's attempt to create a building that would best respond to the Arizona climate. Sleeping spaces project out from the main building to capture nighttime breezes. Some modifications have been made; the sleeping porches have been converted to offices, while modern exit stairs have been added and windows were filled in.

1. "ASU Historic Property Inventory for Matthews Hall," prepared December, 1982; accessed August 19, 2016. http://npgallery.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/85000053.pdf 2. "ASU Tempe Campus Virtual Tour-Matthews Hall," accessed August 19, 2016. http://www.asu.edu/tour/tempe/mhall.html 3. "Thumbnail historic preservation information-Matthews Hall," accessed August 19, 2016. https://cfo.asu.edu/fdm-historic-preservation-matthews-hall?destination=node%2F1396