Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hughes Memorial Auditorium

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Institution Name: Asbury College
Original/Historic Place Name: Hughes Auditorium
Location on Campus: Macklem Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1928drawings signed August 1928 Churchill & Gillig Churchill, H.A. Gillig, John
Designer: Churchill & Gillig; H. A. Churchill; John Gillig (Lexington, KY)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: reinforced concrete, steel frame, brick veneer
Roof: sloped metal; flat area is modified bitumen
1930-present (2006)chapel ( to accommodate entire student body, staff, and faculty for chapel and special religious services)
1930-present (2006)auditorium (to accommodate entire student body, staff, and faculty for special events and meetings)

Hughes Auditorium is one of four buildings facing a semi-circular drive that make up the so-called "face" of campus. Hughes Auditorium, as it is still called (the "Memorial" only appears on printed programs) has been the center of campus life since it was completed in 1930. (Work was largely finished when the building was dedicated in 1929, the date which appears on the façade.) There are 26,884 square feet in the structure, which cost $104,891 to complete. It was built with exceptional care, with costly finishing touches such as interior moldings, carved pillars, and steel framework so substantial that the building was judged entirely sound when it was extensively renovated in 1990-1991. The renovation provided adequate climate control and extensive protective coverings over the stained glass windows in the side walls and in the large skylights. The windows were the gift of the Class of 1929.

An indication of the college leadership's confidence at the time the auditorium was built is the building's seating capacity of 1,500--twice the size of the then-current student body in 1928. This number has in fact never been reached, and some seating was removed from the ground floor in the 1990-1991 renovation.

Hughes Auditorium has been the site of several spontaneous revivals at Asbury: in 1950, 1958 and most notably, the "Great Revival" which started in a regular chapel service on February 3, 1970 and lasted for several months. The 1970 Asbury Revival resulted in "witness teams" visiting 130 other campuses, where revivals often came as well. The Asbury Revival, coming at a time of widespread unrest on America's campuses, received extensive national coverage in press and media.

The building was originally meant not as a memorial to Hughes, who was still living in the community when it was planned and built, but as a tribute to him. It was officially renamed "Hughes Memorial" when he died in 1932.


Hughes, John Wesley. The Autobiography of John Wesley Hughes. Louisville, KY: Pentecostal Publishing Company, 1923.

McKee, Earle Stanley. "The Early History of Asbury College, 1890-1910." M. A. thesis, University of Kentucky, 1926.

McKinley, E. H. "A Brief History of Asbury College, 1890-2001." Unpublished manuscript. 2001.

Morrison, Henry Clay. Some Chapters of My Life Story. Louisville, KY: Pentecostal Publishing Company, 1941.

Thacker, Joseph A. Asbury College: Vision and Miracle. Napanee, IN: Evangelical Press, 1990.

Wesche, Percival A. Henry Clay Morrison: Crusader Saint. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, 1963.


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Last update: November 2006