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

  • Brian Higginson
    signed 2018-11-23 08:05:48 -0700
  • Jane Hinckley
    signed 2018-11-21 15:18:51 -0700
  • Kirk Huffaker
    signed via 2018-11-21 11:02:08 -0700
  • Alison Flanders
    signed 2018-11-21 09:17:45 -0700
  • Ashley Egbert
    signed 2018-11-21 06:21:32 -0700
  • Amy Easton-Flake
    signed 2018-11-20 21:56:46 -0700
  • Marianne Johns
    signed 2018-11-20 20:32:23 -0700
  • Annie Hawker
    signed 2018-11-20 19:24:16 -0700
  • Elizabeth Evans
    signed 2018-11-20 18:09:49 -0700
    Such a beautiful structure. Not to be lost!!!!!
  • Catherine Taylor
    signed 2018-11-20 14:39:24 -0700
  • Janiece Johnson
    signed 2018-11-20 08:50:21 -0700
  • Heidi Barker
    signed 2018-11-20 06:41:49 -0700
    Renovate!
  • Amy Clements
    signed 2018-11-19 22:03:15 -0700
    This is one of my favorite buildings in Provo, please find a way to save it
  • Stephanie Willmore
    signed 2018-11-19 21:45:08 -0700
  • Susan Thomas
    signed 2018-11-19 20:52:34 -0700
    I have always loved this beautiful building, and I believe it is an important part of local history. Please consider renovating the building instead of replicating it.
  • Mary-Kathryn Rodriguez
    signed 2018-11-19 16:21:30 -0700
  • Howard Burt
    signed 2018-11-19 09:38:23 -0700
  • David Monson
    signed 2018-11-19 09:17:08 -0700
    SO MANY OF THE OLD BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS HAVE BEEN TORN DOWN, AND RIGHTLY SO, THEY WERE NOT WELL DESIGNED AND TOOK UP LARGE AMOUNTS OF SPACE ON THE MAIN CAMPUS FOOTPRINT. HOWEVER, SOME OF THE OLDER BUILDINGS NEED TO BE PRESERVED TO MAINTAIN A SENSE OF HISTORY AND A CONNECTION TO THE PAST. THE MAISER BUILDING AND SCIENCE CENTER ARE TWO THAT COME TO MIND. I BELIEVE THIS BUILDING SHOULD BE ONE OF THE FEW CONSIDERED WORTHY OF RESTORATION.
  • Sue Taylor
    signed 2018-11-19 08:13:55 -0700
    Please do not demolish this building. I agree with the general statement presented. My husband and I saved and restored a historic building in our downtown main street that has brought the community together due to our common connection. The Amanda Knight Hall is a beautiful building that also retains that sense of place. For BYU to tear it down shows a disregard for those connections. Therefore those of us that have attended and graduated from BYU become more and more disengaged from the university along with our checkbooks.
  • Sue Neimoyer
    signed 2018-11-18 23:59:10 -0700
    I used to walk past Amanda Knight every day on my way to campus, and was always charmed by the look and feel of the building. It’s part of the BYU I loved and remember. Not everything is about “progress.” History and heritage are important, too. Don’t destroy a lovely structure in the name of progress.
  • Jennifer Lloyd-Amott
    signed 2018-11-18 22:56:09 -0700
    I love this building. BYU’s Academy Building, now Provo Library, is so meaningful to my family and I. I know that Amanda Knight Hall could also be made vibrant again in the service of the university and Provo as a whole.
  • Natalie Christensen
    signed 2018-11-17 23:44:42 -0700
  • Ryan Thornton
    signed 2018-11-17 00:30:17 -0700
    It would be devastating to see this historic building demolished!
  • Chris Carr
    signed 2018-11-16 21:17:33 -0700
    I lived in this neighborhood while attending BYU and for a number of years after graduating. I now work just a few blocks away. Every time I see this beautiful building I’m reminded of my own experiences I had here. It’s such an asset to the University community—it would be a shame to see it go away
  • Stanford Neering
    signed 2018-11-16 18:06:26 -0700
    Stanford K. Neering
  • Babetta Kelly
    signed 2018-11-16 16:46:02 -0700
  • Courtney Carnell
    signed 2018-11-16 16:03:14 -0700
  • Keera McClellan
    signed via 2018-11-16 14:07:34 -0700
  • Jared Cardon
    signed 2018-11-16 13:52:02 -0700
  • Jonathon Owen
    signed 2018-11-16 13:06:55 -0700
    I worked in this building for a few years, and it holds a special place in my heart. There are few buildings on campus with the kind of character that it has. And while I recognize that the building has significant problems that make it difficult or expensive to renovate, I don’t think that knocking it down and building a new one is the right answer. Even if it looks the same, it won’t have the same history or character. The Amanda Knight Hall is part of Provo’s and BYU’s history, and it deserves to be preserved.