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Keuka College Says Goodbye to Allen Hall

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Allen Hall was badly damaged by a water-line break a year ago. (Video: Giorgio Varlaro)

One year after it was left uninhabitable following a New Year’s Day water-line break, a 70-year-old Keuka College building is being torn down.

Allen Hall, which formerly housed the College’s Art & Design program, American Sign Language (ASL) classroom and language laboratory, and Office of Human Resources, had been boarded up since a third-floor water line burst in zero-degree temperatures on Jan 1, 2018. Repairs and renovations proved cost-prohibitive, so the decision was made to raze the building.

Preparations for the project began this week and, weather permitting, the demolition is expected to take about five days. Additional site work will be completed in the spring.

Originally named North Hall when it was built in 1945, Allen Hall served a variety of functions during its decades of use. Word that it had reached the end of its service was met with nostalgia by several College alumnae.

“Oh, if it could talk, the stories Allen Hall could tell,” said Sue Ellen Bordwell ’67. “I moved into Allen in the fall of 1963 – my first home away from home. My best memory of that year is waking up in the morning to the sounds of ‘Stroke! Stroke!’ as the crew team practiced on the lake.”

Susan Schroeder Waldron ’70 is also a veteran of Allen Hall.

“It was my dorm in 1966 when I was a freshman,” she recalled. “Sounds like it needs replacement but it represents nostalgia/wonderful memories for me!”

Kathryn Littleton ’79 noted that the structure served the community beyond campus boundaries.

“Allen Hall was the home of the first Day Care Center in Yates County,” she recalled. “My son was one of the first enrolled there, I think in 1972.”

The College opened a new Center for Art & Design on the fourth floor of Hegeman Hall in September. Human Resources operations have moved to Ball Hall and the ASL program is currently in Dahlstrom Hall.

The contractor for the demolition project is the LCP Group of Binghamton.

“It’s sad to hear of its demise, but all things in life have a life,” added Sue Ellen. “It will continue to be a fond memory.”

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