You are here

Tompkins Hall

-A A +A
1906, James W. Golucke. University Ave.
  • (Photograph by Robert Brantley)
  • (HABS)

The largest building erected during Booker T. Washington’s tenure at Tuskegee Institute was Tompkins Hall, which was built in 1906 and designed by a white architect, James W. Golucke of Atlanta. An experienced courthouse designer, Golucke would have known metal and concrete construction, new materials for Tuskegee’s architect and planner, Robert R. Taylor. Golucke died while the building was under construction and Taylor supervised its completion. Tompkins Hall once had a 2,000-seat auditorium located below the 200-foot-long dining hall, and a dome that could (and still) only be seen from the exterior. Taylor engineered the 70-foot-wide roof span without intermediary posts, which would interrupt the spatial and social unity that Washington desired. Although internally reinforced in the 1940s, cumulative structural deterioration over the next half century forced the closure of Tompkins Hall in February 2011. Completely gutted and redesigned as a state-of-the-art dining facility and student union, Tompkins Hall reopened in October 2013.


Fluker, Roderick. “Tuskegee Charts a Progressive Course: 1953-1969.” Paper presented at symposium, The Architecture of Historic Black Colleges and Universities: Principles, Legacy, and Preservation. Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2015.

Massey, Dean James Earl. A Bridge Between: A Centennial History of Campus Ministry at Tuskegee University 1888–1988. Tuskegee University, n.d.

Weiss, Ellen B. Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee: An African American Architect Designs for Booker T. Washington. Montgomery, AL: New South Press, 2012.

Weiss, Ellen B. “Tuskegee: Landscape in Black and White.” Winterthur Portfolio 36, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 19-37.

Writing Credits

Ellen Weiss
Roderick Fluker
Robert Gamble
Robert Gamble



  • 1906

  • 2011


What's Nearby


Ellen Weiss, Roderick Fluker, Robert Gamble, "Tompkins Hall", [Tuskegee, Alabama], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.