Texas over Time: Waco Hall Construction

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph collection. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of gifs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Waco Hall construction

  • In 1922, Carroll Chapel and Library had a fire that gutted the building. The library was rebuilt, but without the chapel, so Baylor held its chapel services in other facilities. As the student body grew, it became increasingly difficult to find an adequate space.
  • Due to such building limitations and financial challenges, by 1928 Baylor was considering a move to Dallas—the city had offered $1.5 million in funds and land. In an effort to keep Baylor in Waco, the citizens of Waco pledged $1 million, conditional on the Texas Baptists also pledging $1 million.
  • The first $350,000 was to be raised quickly for the construction of a chapel. Just three weeks later Waco had raised $400,000.
  • Baylor officials broke ground for Waco Hall on June 25, 1929. Work commenced quickly and on May 27, 1930, at commencement, Waco Hall was officially dedicated and named in honor of the city that made the building possible.
  • The building looks a little different now—Roxy Grove Hall (the west wing) was added to the building in 1955, and the east wing was completed in 1965.


Fred Gildersleeve album, Waco Hall construction. Featured photos dated October 23, November 21, December 5, and December 26, 1929.

“Waco Hall Narrative” by David Eckenrode. Buildings–Waco Hall, Baylor University Subject File.


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