Maricopa Hall

Maricopa Hall Today
Maricopa Hall
Maricopa Hall. The young ladies
wanted provacy.

Before Arizona Gov. George W. P. Hunt left office in 1919 (he was first elected in 1912, was to return to office 1923-29 and served again in 1931-33), VA President Dr. Rufus B. von KleinSmid spoke with the governor and counseled him that the university needed a new women's dormitory. Hunt was convinced by the "Great Persuader" of the need and spoke to Legislative leaders, who probably asked the opinion of lobbyists for the mines. At any rate, Legislators appropriated funds for a building for women's living. It became Maricopa Hall.

Prior to the funding for the new dormitory, women students had lived in "cottages" and, according to historian Douglas D. Martin, the co-eds had been shifted from one cottage to another, sort of waifs in a collegiate storm.

Original architects, hired in April, 1918, were Lescher and Kibbey of Phoenix. The firm had won a contest among architects and it is believed that this was the last competition held at the UA for architectural drawings.

For some unexplained reason (Board of Regents minutes are silent on the subject and Lew Place does not know), the Regents met on June 18, 1919, and announced that Lyman and Place would be supervising architects for construction and for any further renditions of the plans. Lescher and Kibbey were out of it. They were excellent architects and it is surmised that they were replaced because they did not want to set up a Tucson office and Lyman and Place were at hand.

World War I was blamed for a slow-down in construction and the first phase of the building was not completed until October, 1920, when the first two floors were ready for occupancy. Contractor was Alexander Campbell, of Phoenix.

The three-story, red brick hall is in a classical revival mode, according to the College of Architecture. It has an octastyle portico of stylized Corinthian columns.

The first two stories came in at a cost of $174,184. A third floor was added in 1921 with Lyman and Place the architects. The third floor cost $45,000. With the completion of the third floor, accommodations were provided for 113 women.

The construction of Maricopa Hall was under the direction of the Commission of State Institutions and builder Alexander Campbell reported to the commission as did architects Lyman and Place.

At the October 23, 1920, Board of Regents meeting on the UA campus, a letter of complaint was read from Lyman and Place. In it the architects said that Campbell had allowed the concrete flooring "to run down the outside face of the brick work in many places in thick masses on the face of the brick."

The architects wrote that Campbell said that there was nothing in the specifications that required him to clean the face of the brick. Lyman and Place said that they had tried brushes and acid on the concrete smears but it had done no good. In light of that, they asked the Board to accept the building, which the Board did.

There were some minor alterations in 1936 and in 1968, Place and Place were architects for alterations and air conditioning at a total cost of $335,758.44.

According to Warren Moon, an architect employed by Place and Place, some of the 1968 alterations were to cut down the size of some of the rooms which held from 10 to 12 girls. The young ladies wanted the privacy of smaller rooms.

Maricopa Hall, still in use, is located on North Campus Drive near the west boundary of the UA campus and lying between Gila and Yuma Halls. North Campus Drive is an in-line extension of Tucson's Second Street where it terminates at Park Avenue.

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