Melrose Hall

Construction began on Melrose Hall in 1946, and the building opened in 1948. It was the first men’s dormitory on the Knoxville campus paid for by the state. It was designed to house 358 men in 162 single and 98 double rooms. Its cost exceeded $1 million. The architect was Barber and McMurry, and the contractor was V. L. Nicholson of Knoxville. The concept of the building was relatively new—several rooms were grouped around central lounges, which were treated as living rooms by the residents. Gun cabinets for storage of ROTC weapons were built into each lounge, and eight residents shared the lounge and a bathroom. Residents did not have to provide their own furniture; each resident was provided a desk and chair, single bed with innerspring mattress, and a chest of drawers. All rooms had closets.

Following the example of Sophronia Strong Hall, in which the sections of the building were named for the institution’s first five coeds, the seven sections of Melrose Hall were named for distinguished faculty members. The sections were named as follows: Section A, Charles Willard Turner, dean of law; Section B, Charles Edmund Wait, professor of chemistry; Section C, James Douglas Bruce, professor of English; Section D, Cooper D. Schmitt, professor of mathematics; Section E, William Waller Carson, professor of civil engineering; Section F, Charles Albert Keffer, director of the Agricultural Experiment Station; and Section G, Thomas Walden Jordan, dean of the university. In 1958 Dr. Bernadotte Schmitt (’04) and his brother, Ralph Schmitt (’14), presented a portrait of Cooper D. Schmitt to the Melrose unit which bore his name.

In the late 1980s, the dormitory became the residence hall of choice for international students and graduate students. In 1990 serious consideration was given to taking Melrose out of service as a dormitory because it ran an annual deficit, had an antiquated steam heating system, and was not air-conditioned. Students rallied to preserve the hall, and it stayed in service. The dormitory was taken out of service in 2009.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Melrose Hall
  • Author
  • Keywords Melrose Hal
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date September 27, 2022
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 9, 2018