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November 19, 1931

The college celebrated the opening of the Belle Skinner Hall of Music. Presented to the college by William Skinner in memory of his sister, a member of the Class of 1887, the French Gothic style building was designed by Charles Collens. Belle Skinner restored the severly damaged French town of Hattonchatel after World War I, and her memorial hall was modeled after the chateau at Hattonchatel. Professor George C. Gow presided at the opening ceremony, and a choir of 140 students sang “Praise Ye the Lord.” William Skinner spoke of his sister’s lifelong love of music, and Mrs. Charles Storrs ’87 spoke about her Vassar classmate.

Music librarian George Sherman Dickinson was largely responsible for the extraordinary completeness of the new building’s design, which included recital halls, offices, practice facilities, a 7,500-volume library and a museum. Reporting on the building’s dedication The New York Times called Skinner Hall “one of the finest of [Vassar’s] college buildings and one of the finest and most completely equipped of any college musical buildings.”

The Years