Words by Jacob Runnels
Myth: The top floor of Taylor Hall is known as the “Lighthouse.”
This whisper: True
Taylor Hall is formally known as the architecture building, but to late-night architecture students and passers-by, it’s also known as the “Lighthouse.”
Taylor Hall is called the Lighthouse by students because of its many windows wrapping around the fourth floor, illuminated by lights that guide both people walking by the building and the architecture and interior design students working late into the night on their projects.
But the origin of Taylor Hall’s nickname goes all the way back to 1967.
Taylor Hall is part of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design but—according to the book “Taylor Hall Dedication”—back in the ’60s, it was a part of the College of Fine and Professional Arts. It was the home to not only architecture students, but journalism students as well.
As it is today, the fourth floor served as a drafting room for architecture students. According to “Taylor Hall Dedication,” architecture was relegated to the “upper floors” of the building, with journalism in its “first-floor quarters.”
The confirmation, however, lies in the last paragraph of the penultimate page: “Windows around the entire fourth floor permit the drafting student to view the countryside for miles, and when the lights are on at night, enable the building to serve as a beacon in the center of the campus.”
There’s even a published, modern-day reference to Taylor Hall being considered as the Lighthouse. In her thank-you letter to Kent State, published on the Her Campus website on Nov. 23, 2015, senior fashion merchandising major Anhelica Rodriguez advised hypothetical students would, “realize the architecture students never leave their lighthouse (Taylor Hall).”
Rodriguez says she originally heard of the Lighthouse during her freshman year, “either through a tour or maybe my RAs.”
“I referred to Taylor Hall as the Lighthouse because if you’ve ever walked through campus at night, you can always see the top of Taylor Hall brightly lit,” she says. “Architecture students are constantly working on projects all night long, and since their studio wraps all the way around the top of the building, the term ‘lighthouse’ just came about.
Taylor Hall is the Lighthouse of Kent State, though still only confirmed in old Kent State texts as a “beacon” more than a lighthouse. Close enough.