Kissam Hall Is Dedicated

Kissam Hall
From the New York Tribune newspaper, 14 Oct 1900

A Vanderbilt Memorial — Handsome Building Given to the University at Nashville.   Kissam Hall, the gift of William K. Vanderbilt as a memorial to his mother, Maria Louisa Kissam Vanderbilt, will be formerly presented to Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., on October 23.

The building stands on a prominent site within the campus, not far from University Hall.  In material and architectural style it is like the other building, but it is superior to them all in beauty.  It is built in the form of a hollow square, after plans by Richard H. Hunt.  The basement is of cut stone.  Above it rise three full stories of repressed brick, white pencilled, with Bedford stone trimmings.  The fourth floor is built with a dormer window effect.  In the middle front wall is a memorial tablet of Tennessee marble, bearing the name of the donor’s mother in gilt letters.

The first floor contains a reception room to the right of the left hand entrance.  This room is 14 by 28 feet.   A small hospital is located on this floor.   Five walls divide the building into four compartment.  There are a few single rooms, 14 by 14 feet in size, but most of the building is arranged in suites.  A space 14 by 28 feet, with four windows, is cut up into a central study and two single bedrooms with three closets.  Handsome fireplaces perfect ventillation, electric ligt, steam heat, double floors with a “deadening” substance between and finished in hard pine, plate glass windows and a commanding view of the hills that surround Nashville are among the features of the memorial building, which was erected at a cost of over $130,000.

Source: Library of Congress Chronicling America website


One thought on “Kissam Hall Is Dedicated

  1. I recently stayed at Vanderbilt Hall in Newport, a newly restored mansion which had been built by Alfred Vanderbilt for his mistress, Agnes O’Brien Ruiz, wife of the Cuban attache. I did not know about this until I got there. Throughout my stay, i picked up a vibe that was hard to shake off. For one thing, we had a fire alarm the first night due to a small fire in the chimney. When i got home, i did some research and found out that both marriages were destroyed due to the indiscretion. Mrs. Ruiz took her own life in London in 1914. i asked the staff at Vanderbilt Hall whether they have noticed anything strange. One of them said that there had been a few unexplained incidents. So, trust your instinct!


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