Built on the site that once housed the Spilman Home for Girls and Treat Annex, Blackwell Hall honors the eighteenth president of Mars Hill College, Dr. Hoyt Blackwell (1890-1988). Upon his arrival to campus I 1966, President Dr. Fred Bentley began to question the functionality and need for the under-utilized Treat Annex (Spilman Home for Girls had been demolished in 1935 to make room for the Dr. W. F. Robinson Memorial Infirmary). Described as opportunity meeting the college’s need for a new administration building, administration made the decision to construct a new building following a fire that claimed the Treat Annex in 1977. Located in the center of campus, school officials made the decision to name the building in honor of Dr. Blackwell who had served as college president from June 1938 to June 1966. Designed by Six Associates, an Asheville based architectural firm, construction on the new three-story structure began in the summer of 1977 and completed in 1978. Today, Blackwell Hall still serves as the administration building for Mars Hill University and houses the president’s office as well as several other administrative departments and offices. A particular unique feature of Blackwell Hall is a three-story ceramic mural that depicts traditional Appalachian household and farming implements. Designed and created by Mars Hill College alumni Douglas Ferguson, visitors may see the mural if they enter from the main entrance on first floor.
Hood, Davyd Foard. Mars Hill College Historic District Nomination for National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service, 2006.
Mars Hill College: Emphasis Records Catalog, 1985-86. North Carolina: Mars Hill College, 1985.