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

Lucy Schouten
Raymond Bell
Guy Berryessa
Rachel Brisson
Ana Shaw
Scott Hales
Christina Spear
Marta Silver
Nicole Pavez
Bria Corry
Shelley Chaves
Chad McKell
Julie Gritton
Cuyler Hansen
366 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 289 reactions

  • Ashlee Whitaker
    signed 2018-11-12 09:51:59 -0700
    ASHLEE WHITAKER
  • Lucy Schouten
    signed 2018-11-12 06:12:00 -0700
    I am a BYU alumna who has ‘gone forth to serve’ in Scotland, studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. I loved BYU history while I was there and hope it will still be there for children someday.
  • Carolee Adams
    signed 2018-11-12 05:36:22 -0700
    Progress is only such when we look at the past and remember the pillars of influence that brought us to this moment in time! Using it as a place for musicians to create, study hall for lower campus, counseling or crisis center, hope for the future, writing labs, communications lab, coffee house without the coffee…jamming sessions., a place for conversations without screens! Or Offsite animation lab…creating and bringing old ideas into the next generation. Provo needs to renovate and give incentives to restore old buildings and create an environment that cherished the past.
  • Katie Olson
    signed 2018-11-11 22:00:45 -0700
    I love that this building honors a woman important to BYU’s heritage.
  • Brent Rogers
    signed 2018-11-11 20:02:33 -0700
  • Paul DeGrey
    signed 2018-11-11 18:57:03 -0700
    Please you cannot destroy this building. So much has gone. Thee used to be several homes inn that area of the same style. Most are now gone. Please save this building.
  • Raymond Bell
    signed 2018-11-11 11:34:26 -0700
  • Guy Berryessa
    signed 2018-11-10 23:23:25 -0700
  • Ivan Ottaviano
    signed 2018-11-10 23:22:42 -0700
  • Rachel Brisson
    signed 2018-11-10 20:15:49 -0700
    For history!
  • Michael Sandberg
    signed 2018-11-10 20:00:14 -0700
  • Claire Butler
    signed 2018-11-10 18:32:31 -0700
  • Ana Shaw
    signed 2018-11-10 18:06:32 -0700
    I am a BYU alumna (BA English 1996). Amanda Knight Hall was where my grandma, Shirley Allred, lived before she married my grandpa, Tom Nelson. They used to visit me in Provo and point out where Grandma’s window was and where they walked among the blooming lilacs in “Lovers’ Lane.” They’ve both died in the last five years. Their memories and my memories with them are just a sliver of the important history of Amanda Knight Hall. Please keep it safe so I can point it out to my grandchildren someday!
  • Cynthia Williams
    signed 2018-11-10 12:47:23 -0700
  • Douglas Cunningham
    signed 2018-11-10 12:47:19 -0700
  • Scott Hales
    signed 2018-11-10 12:28:27 -0700
  • Jill Thatcher
    signed 2018-11-10 11:44:39 -0700
  • Christina Spear
    signed 2018-11-10 08:31:46 -0700
  • Marta Silver
    signed 2018-11-09 21:32:31 -0700
  • Nicole Pavez
    signed 2018-11-09 18:22:23 -0700
  • E Diane Gordon
    signed via 2018-11-09 11:50:17 -0700
  • Bria Corry
    signed 2018-11-09 09:19:32 -0700
  • Shelley Chaves
    signed 2018-11-08 21:24:22 -0700
    I remember when this building served as the MTC! Please don’t demolish it! Let’s respect and restore history, not replace it.
  • Chad McKell
    signed 2018-11-08 20:41:02 -0700
    I graduated from BYU in 2009. I cherish this building. The architecture is remarkable. Please do not tear it down. You would be doing a great disservice to the BYU students and the local community. A cheap replica will never do it justice. Please make the right decision.
  • Tyson McClellan
    signed via 2018-11-08 20:27:58 -0700
  • Anne Healey
    signed 2018-11-08 20:03:15 -0700
  • Katherine McKell
    signed 2018-11-08 19:42:56 -0700
    This is a vital piece of heritage for the Church and BYU. We don’t tear down temples, tabernacles, or other important historic buildings—we renovate them to preserve and honor their legacy and beauty. I’m a BYU alum who just donated to the annual fund. I’d be happy to donate again to a restoration fund for this building. Please, please don’t tear it down. It’s my family’s favorite building on campus. An updated replica wouldn’t look the same or have the same charm. Please.
  • Julie Gritton
    signed 2018-11-08 15:49:45 -0700
  • Cuyler Hansen
    signed via 2018-11-08 15:12:54 -0700
    Don’t tear it down!
  • Rebecca Clarke
    signed 2018-11-08 13:21:29 -0700