Save BYU's Amanda Knight Hall

Amanda Knight Hall Petition

SAVE AMANDA KNIGHT HALL FROM DEMOLITION

TO: BYU Administration

FROM: Provo Joaquin Neighborhood Chair and Vice-Chairs, Utah Cultural Alliance, Preservation Utah, and the Following Signers

We are members of Utah-focused cultural organizations, Provo residents, BYU friends and alumni, and concerned citizens. 

This summer, Brigham Young University announced the demolition of the Tudor-Revival Amanda Knight Hall (built 1939), located in Provo’s historic Joaquin Neighborhood. The University plans to replace the original Amanda Knight Hall with a “replica” of the building located on the same site. 

We ask that BYU reverse its decision to demolish Amanda Knight Hall, and instead either renovate the building for university use OR sell the building to a preservation-minded investor.

Background*

Jessie and Amanda Knight were patrons of BYU who, in the early twentieth-century, repeatedly saved Brigham Young Academy, and subsequently Brigham Young University, from bankruptcy. Using funds donated to BYU by Jessie and Amanda Knight in their wills, the university built Amanda Knight Hall to serve as a woman’s dormitory and as a memorial to Amanda Knight. After serving for decades as a dormitory, Amanda Knight Hall was repurposed in 1964 to be a training center for foreign-bound LDS missionaries. The programs developed in Amanda Knight Hall gave birth to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints worldwide Missionary Training Center program, and were, in part, responsible for the meteoric growth of the LDS Church during the latter half of the twentieth century. 

Since its construction, Amanda Knight Hall has been an important BYU and Provo City landmark. In 1996, members of the Provo Landmarks Commission notified BYU that they had placed the building on the Provo Landmarks Register, effectively saving the building from demolition. While BYU did not contest Amanda Knight Hall’s listing in 1996, in 2002 BYU petitioned Provo City Council to remove the building from the registry so they could tear it down. Acting contrary to the recommendation of the Landmarks Commission, the City Council voted to delist the building. The uproar this action caused lead BYU to back down from its plans to demolish Amanda Knight Hall. 

In June of 2018, BYU stated that they had renewed their plans to demolish Amanda Knight Hall. By taking this action, BYU not only demolishes a key part of its own history, but also a significant piece of Provo City and larger Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints histories. This historic building will soon disappear unless BYU can be persuaded to renovate the building for its own uses OR sell the building to a preservation-minded investor. 

Please sign this petition directed at BYU Administration in support of preserving Amanda Knight Hall. Your efforts on behalf of this preservation effort are greatly appreciated.  

*Visit the “Save Amanda Knight Hall at BYU” Facebook page for additional information.

Who's signing

Mary Jane Rechter
Gary Erickson
Joseph Ostenson
Michelle Siddoway
Sarah Whisenant
Rachel Miller
Megan Peterson
Spencer Burgess
Cheya Wilson
Sam Gray
Mandy Darrington
Ellen Kershisnik
Russell Barber
Joel Barber
Troy Barber
K West
358 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 282 reactions

  • Mary Jane Rechter
    signed 2018-12-07 17:45:29 -0700
  • Shealeigh Smith
    signed 2018-12-07 14:14:29 -0700
  • Gary Erickson
    signed 2018-12-06 12:46:03 -0700
    Please preserve this irreplaceable piece of Provo’s history.
  • Joseph Ostenson
    signed 2018-12-05 22:51:15 -0700
  • Ray Jensen
    signed 2018-12-05 20:30:56 -0700
  • Michelle Siddoway
    signed 2018-12-05 07:21:51 -0700
    History is important and saving historical buildings allows us to view history, not only from an architectural standpoint but also as a glimpse into every day life of those who have gone before.
  • Janet Peer
    signed 2018-12-04 22:44:22 -0700
    Please save this unique treasure!!
  • Leslie H Smoot
    signed 2018-12-04 22:06:28 -0700
    My mother-in-law lived in Amanda Knight Hall as a student at BYU in the 40’s. We’ve always pointed it out to our kids when driving past. It’s a part of our family history.
  • Sarah Whisenant
    signed 2018-12-04 20:58:31 -0700
    Please preserve this part of Provo’s heritage.
  • Rachel Miller
    signed 2018-12-04 12:12:21 -0700
  • Megan Peterson
    signed 2018-12-04 10:06:32 -0700
  • Jessica-Ryan Smith
    signed 2018-12-04 08:27:09 -0700
  • Tod Robbins
    signed 2018-12-04 07:36:14 -0700
  • Spencer Burgess
    signed 2018-12-04 02:16:31 -0700
    This building is really important to so many people, including myself. Those who came before left a priceless structure in your stewardship, a structure that has given us so many memories, relationships, and life-changing experiences. Please protect Amanda Knight Hall.
  • Cheya Wilson
    signed 2018-12-03 22:51:03 -0700
  • Sharon Gray
    signed 2018-12-03 22:25:16 -0700
  • Sam Gray
    signed 2018-12-03 21:15:38 -0700
    Because we don’t want to totally destroy BYU’s architectural heritage. I spent 2 years here as a BFA Design student.
  • Natalie Johansen
    signed 2018-12-03 20:10:27 -0700
  • Mandy Darrington
    signed 2018-12-03 20:07:55 -0700
  • Edythe Bright Casper
    signed 2018-12-03 19:28:19 -0700
    Amanda Knight Hall was my home for three of my four school years at BYU, 1944-1948. It was a lovely building, and I cherish my memories of living there.
  • Rachel Whipple
    signed 2018-12-03 17:45:08 -0700
  • Sarah Wright
    signed 2018-12-03 17:19:00 -0700
  • Ellen Kershisnik
    signed 2018-12-03 15:45:55 -0700
  • Russell Barber
    signed 2018-12-03 15:19:18 -0700
  • Joel Barber
    signed 2018-12-03 15:02:17 -0700
  • Troy Barber
    signed 2018-12-03 14:27:31 -0700
    Please don’t get rid of such a nice looking campus building. BYU has so few classic looking buildings anymore.
  • K West
    signed 2018-12-03 14:27:08 -0700
  • Scott Morris
    signed 2018-12-03 14:25:23 -0700
    I used to work in Amanda Knight Hall, in the Museum of People’s and Culture. Working there, I came to appreciate the building’s place in the community for its beauty and its cultural contributions. And that is just a small part of it. A replica will not be the same. Please renovate.
  • Helena Tse
    signed 2018-12-03 14:22:56 -0700
  • JoDell Davidson
    signed 2018-12-03 14:17:31 -0700
    Please preserve this beautiful historical building. Buildings like these make Provo the unique city that it is and help connect us to our history.