Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - performing arts structures; built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Hewitt Isley, Architects (firm); Kirk, Wallace, McKinley AIA and Associates, Architects (firm); David M. Hewitt (architect); William A. Isley (architect); Paul Hayden Kirk (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); Donald Sheridan Wallace (architect)

Dates: constructed 1974

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

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This Meany Hall replaced an earlier building with the same name that was irreparably damaged in the 04/29/1965 Olympia Earthquake and torn down. It was named for Edmond S. Meany (1862-1935), valedictorian of his University of Washington (UW) Class of 1885, revered history faculty member and two-term State Representative (representing the 42nd district) who was instrumental in relocating the University of Washington to its present site.

Building History

Following the 1965 Olympia Earthquake, the damaged Edmond Meany Hall #1 needed to be condemned and removed. It had stood since the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE), and was viewed as a safety hazard by UW officials. The UW took the opportunity to do some large-scale "urban renewal" in the heart of its campus, in front of Suzzallo Library and created a grand master plan for its Red Square centerpiece. Between 1970 and 1974, Kane Hall, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, and Meany Hall were all erected, the first designed by the Spokane architectural firm of Walker McGough and the latter two by the renowned Seattle firm of Kirk, Wallace and McKinley.

All of these buildings faced a paved plaza under which was a gigantic parking garage meant to serve most of the campus. The red brick facing on top of the garage became a pedestrian plaza, reminiscent of Italian piazzas. This connective space was wryly dubbed "Red Square" after its predecessor in Cold War Russia.

Building Notes

Kirk, Wallace and McKinley designed Meany Hall to contain a 1,200-seat auditorium, a smaller studio theatre, dance studio, storage spaces, and offices.


Hewitt Isley Architects supervised the replacement of the brick sheathing of the building's reinforced concrete structure in 1994, as the original skin did not adhere properly. More pattern was introduced into the brickwork at this time. Norman Johnston, in The Campus Guide University of Washington, stated of the renovation: "Meany Hall has a difficult structural history--its original brick veneer proved to be inadequately anchored to the building's reinforced concrete shell. The resulting replacement of the brick facing in 1994 afforded the opportunity to make changes in some of the exterior features: redesigned main entrances, a series of skylights, and a brick patterning recalling that traditional campus practice." (See Norman J. Johnston, The Campus Guide University of Washington, [New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001], p. 47.)

PCAD id: 5851