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Photos, Memories of ASU’s Winkler Residence Hall, Building To Be Demolished This Coming Sunday Morning

Winkler Hall depicted in a 1974 photo shortly after it opened. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)
Winkler Hall depicted in a 1974 photo shortly after it opened. (Photo courtesy of University Archives)

By Jesse Wood

May 30, 2014. On the morning of Sunday, June 1, a limited number of folks will be able view the 8 a.m. demolition of Winkler Hall at the College Street Parking Deck along Rivers Street on the campus of Appalachian State University. The implosion event will also be streamed live on ASU’s website.

The 11-story residence hall, which housed 132 students, was built in 1974. According to a release from ASU, “The cost to renovate Winkler Hall proved to be impractical, [and] the building is being razed. The site will be analyzed as a potential location for a new residence hall.”

While Falcon Engineering Inc. is the designer in charge of the implosion to be performed by Contract Drilling and Blasting LLC. D.H. Griffin Company has identified a 1,000-foot perimeter that only authorized personnel will be able to enter.

This perimeter extends to portions of Rivers Street and Stadium Drive, and from Bodenheimer Drive to the former Broyhill Events Center. Only essential vehicles will be allowed to access Stadium Drive from 6 a.m. to 30 minutes following the blast.

Five minutes before the blast and one minute prior, a siren will sound. Demolition experts estimate that the building’s implosion will last about 12 seconds, and vibrations should be minimal.

Not much of a clear sight line exists of Winkler Hall outside of the perimeter, but the demolition will be streamed live at http://streaming.appstate.edu/winkler.

Memories of Winkler Hall

Michelle Ligon lived in Winkler Hall in the ‘80s during her junior year. She recalled that the building was unique.

“It was just really different. There was nothing else like it on campus, and there were a lot of parties there. I think that’s why everyone’s fond of [Winkler],” Ligon said.

When she attended Appalachian State University, three options existed for some of the dorms:

  • Option A meant no visitor of the opposite sex was allowed except for one Saturday of the semester
  • Option B meant that you could have visitors of the opposite sex until 11 p.m.
  • Option C meant folks could come and go as they pleased

She recalled living in Cannon Hall her freshman year. That was Option A. In her sophomore year, she moved to Doughton Hall, which was Option B. Then in her junior year, she moved to the 11-story Winkler Hall, which was co-ed and Option C.

“We definitely felt like we were moving up in more way than one because it was kind of a taller dorm,” Ligon said.

She couldn’t recall whether the occupying gender of the suites alternated every other suite or every other floor. She also mentioned that four people shared two bedrooms per suite.

“It seems like it was more conducive to getting to know people,” Ligon said.

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    Winkler Hall has been fenced off, ready for implosion to take place on Saturday. Photos by Ken Ketchie
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    The cost of renovation proved to costly.
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    The hall was 11 stories tall.
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    The demolition can be viewed from the College Street Parking Deck. Little other sight lines outside of safety perimeter exist.
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    The odd shape was unique among the architecture at Appalachian.
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