Taylor Hall opened to 592 male students in September 1966 after completion of the $3.2 million project. The building was comprised of two wings, each with five residential floors, a main community lobby, and a front desk. Taylor Hall was supposed to mirror Thomas Hall, which had four floors. However, because of the decline in the terrain, the building would have appeared lower than Thomas. Taylor was designed to have five floors, one being half underground to make the two buildings appear even.
The transition to Taylor for the men who once lived in Lincoln and Douglas Halls was not an easy one, nor collaborative. Students did not want to unite immediately, as they had rich, but separate, hall histories from their previous buildings. Eventually a south council and north council were formed, each providing unique programs to residents. There were two full-time directors and four graduate assistants who oversaw Taylor and served as the advisors for the separate hall councils.
In 1972, Taylor Hall became one of two halls to become co-educational and allow females to live on alternating floors. On September 2, 1976, the Daily Eastern News reported Taylor Hall was the second residence hall (after Thomas) to vote in favor of a 24-hour visitation policy for both the male and female floors. The implementation, however, was postponed due to a rise in the number of unescorted guests during the summer months.
Residents of Taylor were very invested in social and political issues. During the 1988 presidential race, Taylor held a last minute presidential debate for students on campus. In the early 1990s, Taylor held a discussion on the topic of homosexuality and hosted speakers and programming surrounding Black History Month.
MLK Jr., University Union,
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920