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Unseen Stephens

Places on campus you might have missed

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, April 25, 2011

Updated: Friday, May 13, 2011 16:05

Tower Hall


The fifth floor of Tower Hall sustained extensive smoke damage following a dormitory room fire in the ’80s. The floor has since been closed to students. A thick layer of dust coats dressers, desks, bed frames and other furniture that remains in the rooms. The only signs that the hall has seen any activity since its closure are a discarded Subway bag and a bottle of Dr. Pepper.

Dorsey Street building


Although the building houses an abandoned auditorium and stage, certain areas of the Dorsey Street building are still put to good use. In addition to housing the costume shop , two pristine dance floors remain. The adjacent studios look immaculate in comparison to the filth and clutter of the larger parts of the building.

Assembly Hall


Decorations and Stephens memorabilia still adorn the old auditorium, formerly known as Assembly Hall. It is hard to imagine that any part of the space — now used as storage — was used just five years ago Despite once housing performances from artists such as Bob Dylan, it was thought that renovating the old auditorium would not be worth the cost after the completion of the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts just around the corner.

KWWC airbooth


One of the most vibrant rooms on campus, the airbooth for KWWC Sweet 90.5 FM is a room that is looked over by most — save the few students who work on the station’s shows. Clashing but colorful carpet squares cover the walls, looking just as aged as the outdated technology. A vent in the floor reveals not an air shaft, but a view of the basement beneath. The odd little room might be cramped, yet it was one of the more inviting rooms on the historic campus.



The water might be gone, but the smell of chlorine still fills the empty pool and natatorium. All that remains of what once served as a home to the Stephens swim team are automated pool covers and a few sun-bleached posters. The team disbanded only one year ago because of a lack of funding for necessary repairs to the pool. Although the area looks dated, recent records and results still hang with the names of current students.

President's House


Many feel uneasy about entering the basement of the president's house, where rotting memorabilia from past presidents fills every room. The cradle, pictured here, is rumored to have belonged to the son of President James Madison Wood and wife, Lela Raney Wood.

Bell tower


A narrow stairway with skinny, steep steps leads to the bell tower in Senior Hall. The already cramped room had additional support beams added to uphold the aging bell after it crashed into the floor years ago.

Interior Design studio


Carpet squares, fabric samples, handles and knobs that would match any cabinet I've ever seen... The interior design classrooms on the fourth floor of Walter Hall were exactly what would be expected for someone entering such a field. It is hard to imagine a student wouldn't be able to find what they needed in the packed rooms and shelves.

Costume gallery


Just a few years ago, Stephens' faclities was charged with the task of moving the theater department's expansive costume collection to a new location in the Dorsey Street building. Rows upon rows of clothes hang in a few large rooms that look as though they could burst at the seams. A collection of shoes in every color imaginable completely lines one of the hallways. Needless to say, this closet of sorts is the envy of nearly every Stephens woman.



The abandoned rooms in the basement of Pillsbury Hall are some of the most well-kept of all the spaces not currently in use. Two sorority suites sit at the north end of the building, neither in use by any active group. The old psychology rooms and their two-way mirrors are what most students, myself included, associate with this portion of Pillsbury. The bright colors of the suites were a stark contrast to what I expected.

Whether you're a freshman just wrapping up your first year or a senior preparing to jump into "the real world," you probably think you're fairly adept at navigating your way around Stephens. With 596 dormitory rooms, 323 bathrooms and more than 90 classrooms, you might not be quite the expert you think.

The majority of your college career, your major dictates the parts of campus to which you get the chance to venture. If you're an equestrian major, you spend your time at the barn. Education majors spend their time at Audrey Webb Child Study Center, and theater majors can be found around Macklanburg Playhouse. What many students don't realize is how much more Stephens has to offer.

Here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at five commonly overlooked locations. 

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