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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Troy in Rensselaer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

West Hall

 
 
West Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 6, 2012
1. West Hall Marker
Inscription.
West Hall

Constructed 1868-1871
Marcus F. Cummings, Architect

Troy Hospital
1871 - 1922
Catholic Central High School
1923-1952
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1953 -

Exterior Restoration
2004-2008

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President
Samuel F. Heffner, Jr. '56, Chairman, Board of Trustees
John G. Waite Associates, Architects
Sweet Constructors, Construction Managers

 
Erected 2008 by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
 
Location. 42° 43.905′ N, 73° 41.014′ W. Marker is in Troy, New York, in Rensselaer County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street and Fulton Street, on the right when traveling north on 8th Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Troy NY 12180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Church of the Holy Cross (within shouting distance of this marker); W & L E Gurley Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Great Fire of 1862 (approx. 0.2 miles away); History of 1819 Fifth Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ebenezer Emmons
West Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 15, 2009
2. West Hall Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Uncle Sam Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Welcome to the Collar City! (approx. 0.4 miles away); Locking Through (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Troy.
 
Regarding West Hall. West Hall is a building on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus in Troy, New York. It is currently home to the Arts Department at RPI. It was previously a hospital, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Old Troy Hospital, added on October 25, 1973.

By spring 1918, when Rensselaer signed a contract with the War Department to participate in its Student Army Training Corps program, the now old Troy Hospital had turned into a wreck. Thieves had ripped out its plumbing and vandals had stolen other valuable building materials and sold them for scrap. Rain poured through huge holes in the roof. The hardwood floors buckled. But even in its diminished state, it remained a large, empty building, and that was exactly what the War Department needed. The government spearheaded an intensive restoration effort and transformed the neglected structure into a barracks and training facility for 450 student-officers-in-training in just
West Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 6, 2012
3. West Hall Marker
five weeks, and it quickly became a model training camp. Within weeks, however, the armistice to end the war with Germany was signed and the building was abandoned again.

Two surges in population rescued it. In 1923 the Albany Roman Catholic diocese purchased and then renovated the building to house a growing population of local high school-age students. The chapel was torn down and replaced with a four-story addition that contained a gymnasium, a cafeteria, and an auditorium, as well as separate, enclosed “boys” and “girls” staircases on the western façade. Catholic Central High School, when it was completed in 1925, contained 50,000 square feet of floor space and served 536 students. Within 25 years attendance swelled to more than 1,500 students and, in 1952, the diocese elected to move the school north to a larger space in Lansingburgh.

Rensselaer was experiencing its own population surge in the late 1940s, aided by the GI Bill and the increasing industry demand for engineers. Enrollment rose from 932 students in 1940 to 4,485 students by 1948, so Rensselaer seized the opportunity to buy the building to relieve the overcrowding that existed in several departments. Officially renamed West Hall in 1953, the building expanded Rensselaer’s academic facilities by 12 percent and became one of the major projects in the campuswide renovation program
West Hall image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 15, 2009
4. West Hall
that began that year. When it was finished, it provided 34 offices, 20 classrooms, 10 laboratories, and nine additional rooms.

West Hall has had numerous inhabitants during its 136-year history. In its half century as a Rensselaer property, the building has been home to the Geology Department, Earth and Environmental Sciences, the staff of the Rensselaer Union (while their building was being renovated), Property Administration, Purchasing, and more.

Today, West Hall houses the Arts Department, along with the offices of Contracts and Grants, and Research Administration and Finance.
 
Also see . . .
1. A Brief History of West Hall. (Submitted on August 9, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
2. West Hall - Getty Campus Heritage Study, RPI, Troy, NY. (Submitted on August 9, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
3. RPI West Hall. (Submitted on August 9, 2012, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicScience & Medicine
 
West Hall - 2004 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 20, 2004
5. West Hall - 2004
Ivy and unpainted brick prior to 2004-8 exterior renovation
West Hall - 2004 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 1, 2004
6. West Hall - 2004
Exterior restoration scaffolding surrounds the building
West Hall- 2009 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, January 9, 2009
7. West Hall- 2009
West Hall "Corner Stone" image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 2, 2012
8. West Hall "Corner Stone"
West Hall was initially built as the Troy Hospital,
“The Corner Stone of the
Troy Hospital
Was Laid on the 28th of June 1868
by the
Right Rev. Bishop Conroy”.
West Hall Overlooking Troy image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 2, 2012
9. West Hall Overlooking Troy
The West Hall "Corner Stone" is at the lower left of the building in this view.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 372 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   9. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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