Saturday, December 02, 2006

King Hall


King Hall, the main building pictured above, was the old gymnasium of PBTS. It was used for sporting events as well as graduation. King Hall was the old skating rink of the White City Amusement park. In the article “Reminiscences” by Mary Scotten in the 1932 Theologue, she remarks:

The former skating rink, now King Hall, was the scene of the first gathering when outsiders were with us. While we were eating dinner that day in our new dinning room, terrific thunder storm broke upon the Park, uprooting about thirty trees, and breaking off other. Who is “the prince of power of the air,” and what purpose had he in visiting here just then?

When the building was first converted from the rink it was called “Davis Hall” in honor of John A. Davis the founder. Yet, after Dr. Davis lost his voice in 1912 he became acquainted with Dr. Bryon King.

Rev. Davis received much help from Byron W. King, Ph.D., voice therapist and founder and head of "the world's greatest school of oratory," which was located in Pittsburgh, Pa. In September, 1913, Dr. King gave a series of lectures at PBTS on health and how to keep it. This was the beginning of a long relationship that he had with the school. Until his death in 1924, Dr. King came to PBTS annually to lecture on health and on the use and the care of the voice. The students were always delighted with his Shakespearean dramatizations. (From Dr. Barackman’s book on PBTS history).

In 1919 the building name was changed to “King Hall” in honor of Dr. King. In Dr. DavisEducation that Educates he tells a little more about Dr. King.

On our beautiful campus here at Bible School Park, New York, we have a building called “King Hall.” It is named after my friend, the late Byron W. King, the noted Lecturer and Teacher. I have heard him stand before audiences and vision a creek, river or lake and with eloquent, descriptive powers, picture its possibilities for power, pleasure, and profit. I have listened as he has told about some filthy old swamp in the center of an island. He would visualize it drained, the island made over and changed into a place of beauty with trees, shrubbery, flowers, beautiful homes, gardens and boats for fishing and pleasure. The swamp was converted into a little lake with a shore line and lovely drive. The creek was dammed up to produce electric power to operate factories, mills, light cities, and furnish clothing, furniture, etc. He saw the land cultivated to bring forth food and wealth. Trees were made into chairs, furniture and carvings. In fact, Byron W. King saw possibilities in everything.

Some of us see only hard, cold, everyday facts; we live in a rut, lose hope and have no vision of better things. Others see the world as a work-shop in which wonderful things can be produced. Someone has truthfully said:

Two men looked out

From behind the bars,

One saw mud,

And the other saw stars.

King Hall was torn down in the 1980s. The stone slabs were the three pillars were still are in the parking area of the where it once stood.


Corey Adams

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