Bowen Hall was opened in 1902 at a time when there were only three other campus buildings -- the men's dormitory, the ladies' residence hall, and Kalamazoo Hall. It was located on the southeast corner of campus between where Hoben Hall and Hicks Center presently stand. Bowen Hall was named after the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Charles Clark Bowen. The first floor contained lecture and recitation rooms, offices for the President and his secretary, a laboratory room, and wardrobe rooms for men and women. On the second floor, classrooms, the library, and faculty offices were located. The upper floor contained a chapel/assembly room, a kitchen, and rooms for the YMCA and YWCA. The basement housed separate bicycle rooms for men and women as well as laboratories and a boiler room. In 1926, the Praeger Greenhouse was built alongside Bowen Hall. It was named in honor of William E. Praeger, Professor of Biology. Renovations were done in 1956-57 to modernize the building. However, in 1968 Bowen Hall was demolished when Mandelle Hall was converted into the new administrative building.
This view of Bowen Hall also shows a small outbuilding. A campus map in the 1931 yearbook shows this outbuilding lying between Bowen Hall and the Music Hall. The purpose of this building is unknown although it may have been the shop building that burned in 1939.
Charles Clark Bowen, longtime chairman of the Board of Trustees and the College's largest benefactor around 1900, is the namesake of Kalamazoo College's Bowen Hall. It was dedicated at Commencement in June 1902, and served as the College's main classroom building for over half a century.
This photograph shows the Computer Center in the basement of Bowen Hall. Bill Jensen, Director of the Computer Center (1964-69), stands at the left. The computer's hard drive can be seen to the right of the student standing in front of the typewriter, while another student (far right, foreground) types on a punch card machine.
This is a photograph of the lower quad during the 1927 autumn season taken by Elbert E. Seger, Class of 1928. Bowen Hall is located in the center of the photograph, Williams is located in the background of the viewer's left and in the foreground is the Music Hall. This building may originally have been the mess hall that was built in 1918 for use by the Student Army Training Corps. According to a November 24, 1933 article in The Index, the college's Drama Club took possession of the Music Hall for use with their theater productions. The road around the Quad that can be seen in this photograph was dubbed the "Faculty Speedway" in the 1931 yearbook.