A tragic fire destroyed University Hall (a.k.a. "Old Main" in 1927)--the erstwhile classroom and teaching center of Blackburn-- and ground was broken for its current replacement, Hudson Hall the following year. A valuable lesson was learned from the destructive blaze--Hudson was constructed entirely of fireproof materials: brick, steel, concrete and stone. Much of the stone foundation of "Old Main" was salvaged and used in Hudson Hall's construction. At the time, the erection of Hudson was the largest construction project ever undertaken by Blackburn students. Hudson Hall was named in honor of Dr. William Hudson, former President of Blackburn form 1913 to 1945. Commencing with $50,000 of insurance money and the help of a mule named Jim, the workers slowly cleared away the heaps of rubble and began fervently to rebuild. However, because of the eventual substantial size of Hudson, an ongoing drive for funds was necessary to complete the building. Several times work would start and stop until the necessary money appeared to continue. With slow, determined, and fastidious steps, this project took practically four years to finish. The total cost of the edifice reached $85,000; another $10,000 was required to furnish it.
Since its inaugural day, Hudson Hall became a hub of activity for student life on Blackburn campus. Campus mailboxes were located on the first floor, as were the business and administrative offices, and the offices of the President and the Dean of Students. The library used to be located where the computer lab is today. In 1999, Hudson Hall was completely renovated so that classrooms and offices are all air conditioned, newly furnished and equipped with the most current instructional technology, including a 21-station computer classroom. In addition to being the College's main classroom building, Hudson Hall contains faculty offices and the Clegg Memorial Chapel.
William E. Ferguson Computer Center
Located on the ground floor of Hudson Hall, the William E. Ferguson Computer Center houses laboratory areas for general use, computer-based instruction and research, and offices for Computer Science faculty and Technology Services staff. PCs in the General Lab are equipped with Windows 2000 and Microsoft Office. PCs in the Programming and Research labs have a variety of programming environments, including JAVA, Scheme and Logo, plus other powerful tools, such as Berkley Madonna, True Space, Corel Draw and Dream Weaver. Also located in Hudson Hall is a Technology classroom with 20 student PCs that are equipped with Microsoft Office. Other computer facilities on campus include a Graphic Design laboratory in the new Visual Arts Center, with eMac computers running the latest Adobe and Macromedia tools, and a 30-station wireless laptop lab in the Rahme Education laboratory.
Given as a memorial to Sherman K. Clegg by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman D. Clegg, the chapel seats 300 persons in addition to the choir. The pipe organ was given by Mrs. Clegg as a memorial to her sister Mrs. Irene Bryan. An endowment fund of $100,000 for the maintenance of the chapel and the chapel program was established through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Clegg and of their friends. Nearby, is the keyboard to the set of “carillonic bells” donated by the Louis D. Beaumont Foundation and the estate of Anne V. Sterling. These were installed in Hudson Hall in 1956. In 1968-69, the chapel was extensively remodeled with funds provided in a gift form the First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, Illinois. Additional remodelings were done in 1987 and 1992. The Chapel is located on the second floor of Hudson Hall.