Cobeen Hall (Formerly the LaSalle Hotel)
Backstory and Context
In 1928, construction for the building that eventually became Cobeen Hall was completed. The eight story building situated on Eleventh Street was known as the LaSalle Hotel. Throughout its existence the hotel’s lounge (Known as the “Circle Room”) hosted a number of famous performers. Most notably Nat King Cole, who performed at the lounge with his Trio in 1946. The performance was recorded but the tapes were lost for over fifty years when they were released on the 1999 CD entitled The Nat King Cole Trio – Live at the Circle Room. In 1964 Marquette University purchased the LaSalle Hotel as part of an initiative to increase student housing on campus. The building then underwent significant renovation at a cost of $2.2 million. Upon completion of the renovation the all-girls dorm was renamed Cobeen Hall in honor of longtime Marquette Administrator Charles Cobeen.
Cobeen graduated from Marquette University’s College of Business Administration in 1920. His first administrative role within the university came while he was still an undergrad when his friend (and future Marquette President) the Very Reverend Peter Brooks, SJ asked him to serve as the secretary and manager of the planned student union, a position that Cobeen held for twenty-six years. In 1947 Cobeen succeeded Henry Banzhaf as the university’s business manager. In 1948 Cobeen and Brooks worked hard to secure funding for a new student union. The union was completed in 1953 with Cobeen named “Father of the Marquette Union.” Upon his retirement in 1963, Marquette President Father O’Donnell honored Cobeen’s forty-two years of service to the university with the Pere Marquette Award.
Marquette University Special Collections and University Archives
Marquette Wire. "Building A Legacy." https://marquettewire.org/6689/uncategorized/building-a-legacy/