University Historic District Walking Tour, Eastern Washington UniversityThe Benjamin P Cheney Academy was the seed that grew into Washington's first Normal School for training teachers, Eastern Washington College of Education, EWSC, to EWU. The central campus is a national historic district with it's fine brick buildings. We have included several iconic buildings that have now vanished from the campus. As you tour the campus, you can imagine student life of those eras.
Entries on this tour
1882 Benjamin P Cheney Academy
Here stood the ghost of the beginning of our education legacy. Northern Pacific Railway director and our town's namesake, Benjamin P Cheney provided money and land for the building of a school at Cheney, the new Spokane County seat. The Benjamin P. Cheney Academy opened in 1882.
1896 Normal School
It took four years of lobbying and community activism before a new Normal School could rise from the ashes of the first building. It opened in the Fall of 1896, and served the community for just 16 years. This ghost building was beloved by its students and teachers.
1915 Normal School - Showalter Hall
The third Normal School building officially opened May 27, 1915, two years after the destruction of the 1896 school building. The 3-story building held both the administrative offices and classrooms, as well as the school library. The building was renamed for former president, Noah D. Showalter in 1940.
1915 Herculean Pillars
This granite structure was the grand entrance to the Normal School in the days when students and visitors arrived on foot from the railroad depot at the other end of College Avenue or from their residences.
1929 Philena Apartments
This faded gem was built by businessman and mayor, Clarence D. Martin in 1929, named in honor of his mother, Philena. It was erected as housing for single faculty members of the Cheney Normal SchoolIt is now home to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
1908 Normal Training School
The Normal School Training School served as a regular elementary school for Cheney residents, as well as a hands-on training facility for the student-teachers of the Normal School. This ghost once stood on the west side of Showalter Hall where the parking lot is today.
1923 Sutton Hall
An influx of new male students after World War I, meant the Normal School needed additional housing for men. A group of Cheney businessmen used private bond funding to erect a new men's dormitory. In honor of the service William J. Sutton had given to the school and the community, they dedicated the new hall in his name on September 21, 1923.
1915 Manual Arts Building
This, very plain, functional styled building was erected in six months at a cost of $12, 295. It opened in the fall of 1915 housing the Manual Training department and Physical Training. From manual arts to maintenance, to Information Technology, the building has housed many unglamorous, but essential functions of the college.
1937 Martin Hall/Laboratory School
The new Laboratory School in Martin Hall was a cutting edge facility with the most modern equipment when it opened in 1937.
1888 Red Barn
The barn was built in 1887 or 1888 by William Bigham for David Hutchinson, the father of Nellie G. Hutchinson. She was a teacher at the Normal School who married William J. Sutton March 3, 1897. A month before their marriage, he had resigned as President of the Normal School and she resigned as head of the Training Department.
1948 Memorial Field House
Another ghost on the campus. This one loomed large in folks memories, not only for the many sporting events they attended there, but also its spectacular end. In 1947, Eastern Washington College of Education acquired a government surplus drill hall from Farragut Naval Training Base in Idaho and had it moved to the campus.
1948 Rowles Music Hall
The one-story music building opened in 1948.
1947 Hudson Hall
Acquired through State and Federal funding, Hudson Hall was moved from the Kaiser ship building operation at Vancouver, Washington. It opened in 1947 to house veterans of World War II attending school on the G.I. Bill. This campus ghost stood where the mall is today.
1958 Garry Hall
Garry Hall was created out of the eastern half of Hudson Hall to house married students and a few single women students.
We pause here to remember the ghost of the Trailerville community. Following World War II, colleges across the country prepared for the large influx of single and married veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill. With federal and state assistance, Cheney met the need with war surplus trailers and buildings. The post-war expansion began with Trailerville.
Normal School Gardens
Another Ghost on our campus. From the very early days of Cheney's academy and Normal school, there was a garden tended by the students. The garden provided vegetables for the school kitchen, as well as hands-on learning and civic participation lessons for the students.
1916 Monroe Hall
Monroe Hall was the first dormitory built at the Normal school. It was dedicated February 4, 1916, and housed about 90 women. At this time, the majority of students were women, as teaching was one of the few professions open to single women.
1929 President's House
This Georgian Colonial style house was completed in 1929 for President, Richard T. Hargreaves and his wife, Edna "Rose" Morrow Hargreaves. The home was occupied by succeeding school presidents until 1987. It was then used as a faculty club, as well as a special events venue for the college and community. Weddings, receptions, and other special occasions were held in the renamed University House until 1998. That summer, President Stephen Jordan and his wife, Ruth, moved into the President's House, returning it to its original use.
1940 Hargreaves Hall
From the time he became President of the Normal School in 1926, Richard T. Hargreaves wanted to build a modern library for the school. On June 4, 1940, the school held a double dedication ceremony for Hargreaves Hall and Showalter Hall, fitting memorials to two men who brought the school through uncertain times and into the modern age.
1920 Senior Hall
Senior Hall was dedicated as the second Normal School women's dormitory on July 9, 1920. While today there is a walkway, in the early days, D Street and automobile traffic passed in front of the building. The hall was used as a dormitory until 1971.