Clio Logo
The Hemingway Center building is located NE of Liberal Arts building. The actual address is: 1819 Campus Lane. The building contains Boise State's Hemingway Western Studies Center, labs for Boise State's Anthropology department, offices, and an extension of Boise State's VAC (Visual Arts Center) which holds frequent temporary exhibitions. Frank K. Hummel designed this building originally called, interchangeably, the "Assembly Hall" or "Assembly Building". It has also been referred to as the "Auditorium".

  • Front View of Hemingway Center

  • Interior view of main hall. Temporary exhibit in gallery shown.

  • Pipe Organ in main hall formerly used for assemblies. 

  • Exterior of Hemingway Center

  • Interior shot of temporary exhibition by the Visual Arts Center.

  • Current photo of pipe organ in main hall.

  • Photo of almost-completed Assembly Hall fall, 1941.

source: Boise Capital News. October 22, 1941.
  • Image of interior of assembly hall in 1953. 

source: Boise Junior College Pipe Organ Dedication program.
  • First Floor of Assembly hall floor plan
  • Second Floor and Basement of Assembly hall floor plan
Frank K. Hummel was the architect who designed the Assembly Hall. The building was constructed by the WPA in the neo-Gothic collegiate modern style.1 The original intention for the building was to host assemblies for Boise Junior College students.

The building's ceiling is specially insulated for acoustics. A 1941 newspaper called "Boise Capital News" stated that although the building's purpose is for assemblies and a student union, the growth of the college population demanded that the building be used as a library.2 This usage was dependent on an expansion that ultimately did not happen. 

The original floor plan of the Auditorium included a stage in the main hall of the building and practice rooms. Additional rooms on the west end of the building included restrooms and lounges. The cost of the completed building was $88,675. The building was largely constructed of concrete which was reinforced with steel. The ceilings were specially insulated in order to provide better acoustics to the main hall. The exterior was faced with dark red Salt Lake brick. Hummel used the same brick on the administration building. 

Historical Use: Assembly Hall
Assemblies were hosted in the Assembly hall. The purpose was general and throughout the years the building has has held any musical performer, dancer, or lecturer that wished to use the building.

Modern Use: Hemingway Center
The English department has offices within the Hemingway Center Building. 

Modern Use: Visual Arts Center
The Boise State University Visual Arts Center uses the main hall as a gallery space for ever-changing temporary exhibitions. 

Modern Use: Anthropology 
The Anthropology department has labs within the Hemingway Center. 

Modern Use: Music Department
Musical performances are conducted upon occasion by the Boise State University Music Department. The building's original purpose was intended to cater to wonderful acoustics. Though the organ is not used, a grand piano is instead housed on the stage in the main hall.3 

1Chaffee, Eugene B. 1970. Boise College; an idea grows. [Boise, Idaho]: [Printed by Syms-York Co.].
2Author name not visible on newspaper scan. "New Projects at BJC Near Completion." Boise Capital News. October 22, 1941.
3Boise State University. Department of Music Student Handbook. 2014-2015.