[Tenny's Architectural Reminiscence] Helen Hall: Where the Past Dwells
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[Tenny's Architectural Reminiscence] Helen Hall: Where the Past Dwells
  • 김태연 기자
  • 승인 2006.05.03 00:00
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   Helen Hall is better known for its two restaurants and shoe repair shop than for its academic purposes. Not many students study in this building as it is used solely for nursing science classes. However, the shoe repair shop has been in the building since 1990, and many students rely on its services. The restaurant, Arumttul, opened in 1998, offers a resting spot for Ewha students tired from studying in the Central Library. The student restaurant located on the third floor of the building is famous for its oddly delicious spaghetti.
   Helen Hall is located right below the Central Library, next to the main administration building, Pfeiffer Hall. It is surrounded by big, green trees and has a small lawn called  "Cheongmaru" in front of it. This concrete building is one of the old buildings of the Ewha campus. This is well shown in the little lobby on the first floor where old pictures and books are preserved. It was built in October, 1957 and was named after Dr. Helen Kim to commemorate her 40 years of stay at Ewha. There is a half-length statue in the lawn mentioned above. Many might believe that it is Dr. Kim, however, it is Mary F. Scranton, a Methodist missionary who established Ewha in 1886. Why Scranton's statue is located next to Helen Hall is unknown. Nevertheless, Dr. Helen Kim's full-sized statue stands in Helen lawn located between the Pfeiffer Hall and Appenzeller Hall.
   Dr. Helen Kim is one of the best-known personages of Ewha. She was the 7th president of the Ewha Womans University serving from 1945 to 1961. It is hard to imagine Ewha today without her dedication and sacrifice; although many people criticize her for her support of the Japanese government during the colonial period.
   Helen Hall was originally designed as Ewha's library. Although its usage has decreased greatly today, it was once the most rationally designed and contemporary library in Korea. Its reading rooms were comfortably made so students could enjoy a neat and bright atmosphere. It was filled with light brown furniture, which was designed and decorated by men who had former Ewha students as wives.
   However, after the current Central Library was constructed to celebrate Ewha's 100th anniversary in 1986, Helen Hall was no longer used for library purposes. Currently the building is used for classes and seminars, and contains spare for student clubs, the Research Institute for Nursing Science, professors' offices, and the Ewha Labor Union.
   There is one very special and interesting feature of Helen Hall that has not changed. It still contains a typewriter room equipped with 150 typewriters. Even though Helen Hall is an unfamiliar building to many of us, it is still an important part of Ewha's past and present.

Photo by Kim Ji-sun
The white exterior of Helen Hall resembles the white exterior of hospitals.

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