Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hughes House

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Institution Name: University of St. Thomas
Original/Historic Place Name: Hughes House
Location on Campus: 3921 Yoakum St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1918original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: American colonial, Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone and concrete
Walls: brick and plaster
Roof: composition shingle
ca. 1918private residence (boyhood home of Howard Hughes)
pre- 2004academic department building (modern and classical languages)
pre- 2004-present (2006)academic department building (social sciences)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (theology, Catholic studies)

The house was purchased very early in the life of the university and the back of house overlooks a quiet, reflective garden. It is a significant building on campus because it was Howard Hughes' boyhood home. The University has spent a substantial sum of money over the years maintaining the property as well as on its adaptive re-use from residence to university departments. For many years, students requested to take classes in this building, and it is still used today. The structure is part of the roots of the University and has had the benefit of great stewardship.

The campus has been carved out of a residential neighborhood started in 1912 and continued through the late 1930s and early 1940s. The University has a history of holding on to and re-using as many of the older buildings as possible. The University of St. Thomas campus borders the campus of the Menil Collection, (which includes??) the Rothko Chapel, and the Byzantine Chapel, all established by Dominique de Menil. The two campuses share similar agendas and educational values, together providing an uplifting experience in the heart of the fourth largest city in the nation.

The house is structurally sound. A recent interior renovation resulted in new lighting, electrical systems, central air conditioning, and carpeting.


Sechelski, Teana, ed. First 50 Years: University of St. Thomas, 1947-1997. [s.l.: s.n., n.d.].


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Last update: November 2006