Showalter Hall

The building you are now facing is Showalter Hall, the oldest building on campus dating back to EWU's second incarnation as a teachers college. Throughout the history of EWU its development has been closely linked to the development of the local area.

Washington Territory became Washington State In November, 1889, which precipitated rapid growth in the eastern region. Before long Spokane County began to coalesce, and the residents of Cheney in particular intended their town to be the county seat and biggest settlement. By 1889, however, Cheney had lost the competition to Spokane Falls (renamed Spokane in 1891). Nevertheless, the increase in population came along with a demand for more school teachers.

Beginning in the 1880s, the territorial government began to plan a new teachers' college for Eastern Washington. At the time, most places in the United States had established Normal Schools, institutions the sole purpose of which were training school teachers. Organizers chose the site of the recently-defunct Benjamin P. Cheney academy building in1890 and classes began immediately. Unfortunately, a fire of unknown cause consumed it in 1891, but the Normal School reopened later that year after temporary headquarters were found. Two new structures (an administration building and teacher training building) were added by 1896 and 1908 respectively.

In 1912 the original administration building was destroyed in a second fire and was replaced by Showalter Hall in 1915. The teacher training building was demolished in 1940.

Images

Cheney State Normal School April 24, 1912

Cheney State Normal School April 24, 1912

Black and white photo of the the fire of April 24, 1912 as it was destroying the original Normal School Administration Building. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Cheney State Normal School: Administration Building (foreground) and Teacher Training Building (background) 1910

Cheney State Normal School: Administration Building (foreground) and Teacher Training Building (background) 1910

Black and white photo of the original Normal School Administration Building and the Teacher Training Building (built in 1908) taken in 1910. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Cheney State Normal School: Administration Building (foreground) and Teacher Training building (background) 1910.

Cheney State Normal School: Administration Building (foreground) and Teacher Training building (background) 1910.

Black and white photo of the original Normal School Administration Building and the Teacher Training Building (built in 1908) taken in 1910. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Normal School Teacher Training Building 1908

Normal School Teacher Training Building 1908

Hand colored glass-lantern slide image of the Teacher Training Building taken in 1908. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Cheney State Normal School Postcard 1907

Cheney State Normal School Postcard 1907

Postcard of the Normal School Administration Building from 1907. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Normal School Administration Building 1900

Normal School Administration Building 1900

Hand colored glass-lantern slide image of the Normal School Administration Building from 1900. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Aftermath of the Normal School fire 1912

Aftermath of the Normal School fire 1912

Black and white photo taken of the remains of the original Normal School Administration Building right after the 1912 fire. | Creator: Archives and Special Collections, Eastern Washington University Libraries View File Details Page

Audio

Cheney State Normal School

Describes the founding of the Cheney State Normal School and how that connects to the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy. | Creator: John Moudy View File Details Page

Showalter Hall

Describes the significance and history of Showalter Hall. Also includes some biographical information on Noah David Showalter whom Showalter Hall is named for. | Creator: John Moudy View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

John Moudy, “Showalter Hall,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 23, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/28.
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