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Fondren Hall was originally built as the Natatorium in the early 1890's. It was severely damaged by a tornado in 1922 but was rebuilt and continued its use as a natatorium until 1970. It was used for storage until its conversion into a student activity center and then the campus bookstore.
A two-story coursed rubble building with segmental arches on the north, east and west facades, Fondren Hall is a load-bearing limestone structure. The floor is a concrete slab and there are various levels and wooden platforms that separate the interior space. The roof is framed with wood and features a series of large wooden trusses as the main structural support. The first floor is approximately 1,450 gross square feet. The west façade is attached to the 1940's auditorium-armory building.
Bell, Klein & Hoffman, Architects and Restoration Consultants. Saint Edward's University: A Presentation Analysis for Five Older Campus Buildings. Austin, TX: Bell, Klein & Hoffman, Architects and Restoration Consultants, 1981.
Dunn, William H. Saint Edward's University: A Centennial History. Austin, TX: Saint Edward's University Press, 1986.
Wright, Jane Candy. "College Boomlet II: Universities Prepare for 2009 - The Largest High School Graduating Class Ever." Architecture 93 (September 2004): 37-40.