The vines have not overtaken the New Dormitory as
it has many other buildings. Mechanical Hall
stands to the left of the building. The detail of
the picture is so fine that the ground floor
windows in the center of the photograph show
items setting on the window sill. One of them is
a candle holder. Unfortunately, this can not be
discerned in the scanned image as presented on
this home page.
The New Dormitory, the second building added to
the original three buildings, was constructed in
1890 at a cost of $14,500. It was remodeled for
classes in 1918 due to a report in June of 1917
that described the New Dormitory and the Old Dormitory as "public
nuisances." In the 1930s, the building housed
the departments of Hygeine, Psychology, and
Dispensary. The doctors at that time "charg[ed]
no fee even for professional visits to
[student's] homes when called upon (Lafferty,
Also in the 1930s, the Board of Trustees
recommended that the building be abandoned. The 1
January 1961 Lexington Leader reports that
building was not structurally sound. The south
wall was out of line. There was a visible bulge
on that side of the building. Braces were placed
on the third floor in an attempt to rectify the
the Board of Trustees' report taken from the 25
April 1955 Lexington Leader, they also
several other problems: "various wood members
were infested with termites, plaster was loose,
wiring [was] in dangerous condition, and the
lighting and plumbing facilities [were]
long list of problems, use of the building was
continued. Similar reports in 1942 and several
years later, also went unheeded.
The 10 January 1961 Lexington Herald
reports that the building was used until a fire
beyond repair on 9 January 1961. The wood of
the building burned away along with the research
of several psychology graduate students. The
metal stairways were the only part of the
building that survived the fire. The 10 January
1961 Courier Journal reports that the
valued at $68,703 and was insured for $61,000. It
first serious fire since the 1956 fire at Frazee
Building). The land was used for a parking
area and lawn.
The building was named after John
Henry "Jack" Neville. He taught Greek and
Latin at the University and was known as a
character around campus. "He was seldom seen
without his umbrella and generally read a book as
he walked along" (Cone, 1989).
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