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

366 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 289 reactions

  • David Magleby
    signed 2018-12-01 16:40:58 -0700
    David B. Magleby
  • J Matthew Clarke
    signed 2018-12-01 12:26:45 -0700
    John M Clarke, J. Matthew Clarke: Please save the original Amanda Knight Hall. It’s historic and beautiful and represents an important era for BYU.
  • Linda Flanders
    signed 2018-12-01 07:30:38 -0700
  • Steven Goodwin
    signed 2018-12-01 06:32:49 -0700
  • Amber Asay
    signed 2018-12-01 02:50:04 -0700
  • Nelva Garcia
    signed 2018-12-01 02:10:17 -0700
  • DeAnne Whiting
    signed 2018-11-30 17:47:47 -0700
    I love this old building. Brings back wonderful memories of my years at BYU.
  • Kate Jones
    signed 2018-11-30 16:40:07 -0700
    My mom lived here when she was at BYU. She has been gone since 1990, but I can still show my kids this tiny part of their history. During the 7 years I lived in Provo, it was a fixture in my neighborhood, a sweet and beautiful reminder of not just my own personal history but how old the university is and how far it’s come.
  • trace lund
    signed 2018-11-30 16:03:36 -0700
  • Rob Sibley
    signed 2018-11-30 15:56:06 -0700
  • Aino Larsen
    signed 2018-11-30 15:26:47 -0700
    This idea to demolish one of the most historic and beautiful buildings on BYU campus/Provo is an outrage. Whose idea was this? From a European perspective (which is where I am originally from) this is absolutely ridiculous.. especially when we have so few historic buildings to begin with. I remember this same dialogue about the Provo Academy when I was a student at BYU. Fortunately who ever was in charge then made the brave choice to renovate and now Provo library is one the most dynamic and beautiful places in Provo and a place to be proud of. I’ve been excited to see AKH evolve to be such a place..
  • Laura Leavitt
    signed 2018-11-30 15:17:44 -0700
  • Alexander Barton
    signed 2018-11-30 14:50:59 -0700
    This important building needs to be preserved for generations of people to enjoy. Once it’s gone we can never get it back.
  • Carroll Barlow
    signed 2018-11-30 14:47:55 -0700
    Carroll K Barlow
  • J. Kirk Richards
    signed 2018-11-30 13:43:47 -0700
  • Sarah Kay Miller
    signed via 2018-11-30 13:35:17 -0700
  • Fauna Smith
    signed 2018-11-30 13:33:06 -0700
    I have a special place in my heart for the Amanda Knight Hall as I have supervised the custodial activities in it for the past few years. People that have used this building love it! I wouldn’t mind reproducing its likeness for my own use (only much smaller). Thank you for so many of you citizens extending your interest to maintain her beauty and history here!
  • Roger Dean
    signed 2018-11-30 12:05:35 -0700
    Beautiful architecture should be preserved and the are many ways to continue to make use of the building. Best of luck!
  • Anna LeDoux
    signed 2018-11-30 10:39:18 -0700
  • Ellie Parker
    signed 2018-11-30 10:27:19 -0700
  • Tessa Meyer Santiago
    signed 2018-11-30 10:05:50 -0700
  • Kristina Tuohy
    signed 2018-11-30 00:29:54 -0700
  • Dennis Frank
    signed 2018-11-29 23:36:49 -0700
  • Linda Cole
    signed 2018-11-29 23:10:43 -0700
  • Susan Miller
    signed 2018-11-29 22:47:44 -0700
    Susan Miller
  • Laurel Cunningham
    signed 2018-11-29 22:17:51 -0700
  • Joseph Seeley
    signed 2018-11-29 22:15:11 -0700
  • Kari Schrade
    signed 2018-11-29 20:35:27 -0700
  • Brandon Stocksdale
    signed 2018-11-29 19:11:39 -0700
  • Elizabeth Knight
    signed 2018-11-29 19:00:46 -0700