Murray State’s Alumni Association is selling 1,000 bricks that were saved from the now-destroyed Ordway Hall.
After the destruction, the 1,000 bricks were saved to commemorate Ordway and to be purchased as a memoriam to the hall and its meaning to Murray State and alumni.
The hall was demolished due to its unsound structure and being in such disrepair that necessary renovations would not have been cost effective.
The hall, which was on campus for 82 years, now remains as a facade and serves as a monument to the building.The Board of Regents decided to save the facade to commemorate the architectural presence it had on campus.
While there were original discussions of saving the building due to its historical significance, renovation plans would have cost upward of $9 million.
The building stood along with many of Murray State’s oldest buildings including Pogue Library, Wells Hall and Lovett Auditorium.
The facade, which stands facing Olive Boulevard, originally welcomed students to Murray State as a men’s dormitory. Over the years it served many other purposes including a women’s dormitory and held various offices that included Student Affairs, Career Services, Counseling and Testing, the Women’s Center, First Year Experience Program and the Center for Academic Advising.
The bricks that are on sale are $40 each and can be purchased through www.raceralumni.com.
The Alumni Association is selling the bricks to give alumni and community members an opportunity to own a part of Murray State history.
The funds generated through selling the bricks will go to the Alumni Association. In turn, the association will use the funds to develop and enhance opportunities for continued involvement of current and future alumni.
Sophomore Allison Borthwick said she believes the selling of the bricks is good for those who have history with Ordway Hall, but as a current student she said she’d like to see the buildings here now continue to be maintained.
“I think it’s a nice thought,” Borthwick said. “But I’d like to see them use the profits from this to keep up other historical buildings. Murray has a lot of good architecture on its campus and it’d be a shame to see those destroyed, too.”
While the building’s destruction was voted on by the Board of Regents in a 9-1 decision, Regent Marilyn Buchanon was the one who voted no. While the building did not continue to stand, the bricks help immortalize the sentiment held by some.
“I would like to say that this building does not belong to this board,” Buchanon said when asked of her vote by the Murray Ledger and Times. “It belongs to the citizens of Kentucky. It belongs to the alumni of this University who have studied here for the past several years, and it belongs to the students of the future who will share in a rich tradition we have enjoyed. It is a part of all of us, and when we destroy it, we destroy a part of ourselves.”
Story by Mary Bradley, Staff Writer