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.
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.