Schwitzer Hall to be closed and torn down


Several meeting dates discussing the future of Schwitzer Hall were announced in an email from Chief of Staff Benjamin Hunter Tuesday morning.

The current residence hall for first-year women will be closed and decommissioned after this academic year. The Board of Trustees has approved a preliminary plan for a new residence hall. No further details were shared.

Plans for the dorm will be announced in more detail and those attending the meetings can give input at a series of four meetings:

Faculty Senate Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at 8 a.m. in the Pharmacy Building, room 156

Staff Assembly Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 at 2 p.m. in Jordan Hall, room 141

Town Hall Meeting: Monday, March 7, 2016 at 1 p.m. in Jordan Hall 141

Town Hall Meeting: Tuesday, March 10, 2016 at 10 a.m. in Atherton Union, room 326

According to the email, Schwitzer lacks Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations. Cost, capacity, accessibility and location were reasons given to decommission the dorm dedicated in 1956 to the first winner of a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Louis Schwitzer.

Though demolition is planned for Schwitzer, plans are in place to preserve some historical features and elements.

For more information, visit

To read more about the new residence hall, click here.



  1. Alessandra said:

    Guh, this really saddens me due to the historic nature and design of the building. I do wonder, however, if they’ll leave the tunnel that connects Schwitzer and Atheron intact (yep – there’s a tunnel!).

  2. Terry said:

    This is really terrible. Such a beautiful, historic building…..what the hell, Butler! You can’t take some of that money that keeps streaming in to restore this beautiful building? Too big for your britches? Disgusting.

  3. Nancy P. said:

    I want to return for a visit to my old rooms too. Frankly, that building is built like a fortress and has architectural character. Other places figure out how to add ramps and elevators. They could convert a room or two on each wing and floor to build elevator shafts. It’s hard to imagine that would be more expensive than the costs of demolition and starting from scratch.

  4. Linda said:

    Like so many universities, Bulter must not get there historic structures on the National Historic Register. It would limit their ability to destroy such a wonderful building. So short sited on so many levels.

  5. J Tilton said:

    I also spent 4 very good years at Schwitzer Hall and will be very sorry to see it come down. The rooms are designed to comfortably house 2 students. A bathroom down the hall was never a problem as no one had to wait to shower, wash, primp or whatever. The bathrooms themselves are architectural gems. They had the added advantage that the residents didn’t have to clean them. I have never been a fan of the suite-style design. It’s enough of a challenge to find one roommate with compatible habits or a flexible nature; trying to put 4-8 women in a suite seems to be an invitation to incompatibility. The costs of the extra plumbing, the redundant kitchen facilities, the copious public space and the need to keep it all clean and functioning seem to me to be unnecessary. The only advantage I can see to a new building is that it will probably be air conditioned; phone systems and electrical capacities will be more compatible with modern demands and improved physical access will be built in rather than retrofitted. I also believe the location of the present dorm is about as good as it gets. It’s close to Atherton, the C-Club and dining room; it’s a short walk to Jordan Hall, the science building and the library. This may label me as a Luddite or an old fogey, but thank you for the opportunity to express an opinion and do a bit of venting. I also hope there will be a chance for us oldies to tour Schwitzer before it dies and that the stone and marble can be used in the new facility.