Texas over Time: Brooks Hall construction, Baylor University

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.

Brooks Hall ConstructionBrooks Hall, Baylor University

  • The fifth floor of Brooks Hall was rumored to be haunted by “violin music, a phantom in a top hat and cloak, and inexplicable candlelight moving around.”
  • The original cost to build Brooks Hall was $365,530 (or roughly $4,690,000) in today’s dollars.
  • Up until 1987, Brooks Hall had no interior hallways. Each suite opened into a stairwell. This was intended to make the building more fireproof, more efficient with ventilation, and reduce noise. It was redesigned in 1987 for fire safety and practicality.
  • When it became implausible to renovate and restore Brooks Hall, Baylor decided to construct Brooks Village. Architects took trips to Oxford and Cambridge in search of the new residential community’s architectural inspiration. The architects also used elements from buildings at Harvard and Yale.


Baylor-Buildings-Brooks Hall. General photo files, The Texas Collection.

Buildings: Brooks Hall. Baylor University Subject File. The Texas Collection.

Gif and factoids prepared by Timothy Brestowski, student library assistant

Here’s a Flickr set that includes the images used to compiled this animation (plus a few more of Baylor students and the campus over time), should you want to examine each photo individually.


  • David Scott

    April 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm Reply

    Who were the architect(s)? When was it built?

    • Amanda Norman

      April 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm Reply

      Good questions! The architect was Birch D. Easterwood, whose firm (Easterwood & Easterwood) did a number of Baylor buildings. You can see the plans for Brooks Hall in our Architecture digital collection. The project was begun in early 1920 and was completed in 1921.

Post a Comment