Construction of Clay Hall at the former Phillips University began in 1941, stopped during World War II, and concluded in 1946. The dormitory—a restrained example of the Mission Revival Style—was expanded in 1951 and again in 1959. Decreased enrollment led to the building’s closing in 1987. The university itself closed permanently in 1999. The building, vacant since 1987, recently underwent a rehabilitation to serve as housing for persons of low-moderate income. The first floor featured a large lobby in the center section with visiting parlors on the first floor and a double-loaded corridor running the length of the building. On the upper floors, dorm rooms flanked double-loaded corridors in each section.
The $5.8 million rehabilitation retained the historic windows, while adding storm windows for energy efficiency, removed an inserted soffit in the lobby, retained and repaired plaster walls, and uncovered a mantel. Individual dorm rooms were combined to make one- and two-bedroom apartments, but closets and other original features were retained, including full heights in the units (except in kitchens and baths, where ceilings were lowered). The corridors retained their full height and width. The stairs were retained, and common rooms fronting the stairs were kept as common rooms, including those leading onto the balcony above the main entrance.
Last updated: October 10, 2017