Muskingum News


Design of Otto and Fran Walter Hall unveiled
Muskingum University

The design of Otto and Fran Walter Hall – our new music building and campus front door – was unveiled before alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students.

Located on Muskingum’s historic East Campus, Walter Hall will welcome students and visitors to the campus, and connect them with the main academic quadrangle beyond. The 20,000-square-foot building will more than double the Music Department’s current space and is designed to provide state-of-the-art acoustics. As the elevation drawings show, the building promises to be spectacular.

The new space will offer a thoughtfully designed environment for teaching, learning, and performing music in the twenty-first century. Features include:

Two recital halls for choral and instrumental performances 
Acoustically designed classrooms
Composing and arranging laboratory
Piano, percussion, and ensemble music studios
Music library
Faculty and student studios and practice rooms

Robert J. Miklos, FAIA, principal of designLAB architects, will serve as Walter Hall’s lead architect. Specializing in performing arts structures, museums, and libraries, his work includes the Boston Athenaeum, the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock College of Bard, and the Ray Charles Center for the Performing Arts at Morehouse College. Gary C. Balog, principal of balog steines, hendricks & manchester architects, will serve as the Ohio partner on the project.

Jaffe Holden of Norwalk, Connecticut, sound consultants to the New York Philharmonic, will provide acoustical design. Jaffe Holden’s projects include Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Kennedy Center, and schools of music for universities across the country.

Construction is to be completed by Fall 2010.

Thank you, Otto and Fran Walter, for our new home for music

Otto and Fran Walter Hall, Muskingum’s new music building, honors the extraordinary lives and generosity of two long-time champions of excellence. For Otto and Fran Walter, the arts, music, and literature were lifelong passions. Dr. Otto L. Walter was an accomplished pianist and his wife, Fran, a talented watercolorist.

Otto was driven from his native Bavaria by Nazi persecution. He came to the United States and, turning hatred into understanding, became a powerful voice for German-American reconciliation in the decades following World War II. With Fran at his side, he became a renowned international jurist, published and honored in both his native and adopted lands.

Fran Doonan Walter loved young people, but had no children of her own. Never forgetting the circumstances of her own impoverished childhood, she used her talents and resources to ensure innumerable young people could have the happy memories she had not known during her own childhood.

"We are proud that the indomitable spirit of Otto and Fran Walter will live on in the prized liberal arts tradition of music at Muskingum,” said Harold W. Burlingame ’62, Chair, Muskingum College Board of Trustees.

This milestone is reached on a path forged by a core group of alumni who stepped forward as Cornerstone Donors:

Harold W. Burlingame ’62, and Susanne Hussey Burlingame ’63
William T. Dentzer ’51 and Celia Hill Dentzer ’52
Walter Young ’66 and Donna Higginbotham Young ’66
James R. Gray ’74

"Our community will forever be enriched by the musical gifts that Muskingum students and faculty will share in the superb setting of Walter Hall,” said Muskingum College President Anne C. Steele.

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