In 1937 President Franklin S. Harris proposed plans to build a residence hall for students attending Brigham Young University. The goal of the residence hall was to provide young men with a place to live near campus. The young men would be expected to participate in the cost of room and board and the university would be able to better control costs for the students. In July 1937 Commissioner Franklin L. West reminded the General Church Board of Education that the Jesse Knight Endowment Fund was available and that it could be used to finance the construction of the new residence hall. The General Board unanimously approved the use of the Knight Endowment for this purpose.
Allen was built on the corner of 100 East and 700 North. The cost of the building was $75,000, in addition to labor supplied by students. The architect for the building was Joseph Nelson and the landscaping was done by LaVal S. Morris. The newly completed building was named in honor of R. E. and Inez Knight Allen, son-in-law and daughter of Jesse Knight. Dr. and Mrs. H. V. Hoyt were asked to supervise the dormitory. Students began to occupy the building in 1938.
Allen Hall was an immediate success. In fact, it was so successful that plans were quickly drawn up to construct a residence hall for women. Approval for the construction of Amanda Knight Hall was received in July 1938 and it was occupied in 1939.
If you would like to learn more about the resources available for studying student housing at Brigham Young University, contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.