Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Alumnae Auditorium

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Institution Name: Judson College (AL)
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumnae Auditorium
Location on Campus: Bibb St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1902original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: pressed brick
Roof: none specified
1902-present (2007)auditorium

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterJudson College Historic District (1992)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Alumnae Auditorium is a large brick structure and a remnant of an earlier complex which partially burned. It has a low mansard roof with porthole dormers, a wide parapet encircling structure, brick pilasters, and triple double-leaf entrances with supports on a low brick balustrade.

In this grand old building today's great-grandmothers were once thrilled by Schumann-Heink, and their granddaughters and great-granddaughters enthralled by Van Cliburn. Sir Thomas Beecham, founder of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, lectured here and Metropolitan Opera concert star Irene Jordan sang in the auditorium as a Judson student.

Construction of the building began in 1902, and its picturesque carriage entrance was first used at commencement, 1904. The Judson catalog of the time announced: "The Alumnae Auditorium and Music Hall is one of the handsomest and best appointed buildings of its kind in the country. It is built of pressed brick, finished with natural wood, brilliantly lighted with electricity, heated and ventilated according to the most modern methods, seated with 1,100 high grade opera chairs, and has every modern convenience."

The huge crystal chandelier created a sensation at the opening. Wire racks for top hats are still beneath the original seats.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Harris, W. Stuart. Perry County Heritage, 2 vols. Marion, AL: Friends of Perry Co. Historical and Preservation Society, 1991.

Judson College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1992.

II. Location of other data:
Government Offices

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Last update: November 2006