Thursday, July 05, 2007

The first plan of Patterson Dorm?

The first plan of what would become Patterson Dorm? I believe so. In the 1950 Golden Anniversary Theologue there were two pages showing (Yesterday [the old white city hotel] Today [the Main Building of PBTS with two wings] and if the Lord tarries Tomorrow [with this image above]). Some might think that this a plan for Chatlos-Davis, but from the article it is quite clear that it was to be a men's dorm. Here is what the Theologue says:

Our friends here in the Triple Cities and in many other places are saying, “The Lord has done great things for Bible School” and our answer is, “The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” As we write these words, we do so with the joy of knowing that the same Lord is your Lord and He waits to do great and difficult things for you, which you know not (Jer. 33:3). What a challenge it is to us when He says, “according to your faith be it unto you.”

The above is the architect’s drawing of our proposed New Building for the Practical Bible Training School For a number of years we have turned students away because of limited accommodation in our dormitories, and with a host of young people anxious for a Biblical Christian training, the proposal become a “must undertaking” for the near future.

This will be a three story, fire-resistant building, with a separate heating plant, of practical design. The first floor will provide a dining room with seating capacity of four hundred, modern kitchen, and parlor. The second and third floors will be dormitory space for one hundred young men, ---fifty rooms, together with parlors, bathrooms, linen closets, and prayer rooms.

The site for the new building is to be just northwest of the Inner Circle toward Sunset Knoll. The estimated cost is $200,000.00. This may seem like a gigantic undertaking, but God is able. The Alumni Association is supporting this effort and a host of friends praying. At the present time we have $35,000 in our fund deposited with the Workers Trust Company in Johnson City.

The Practical Bible Training School of today is the result of the vision of its founder. Not without effort, pain, and trouble has the School come thus far; not without hard work and sacrifice will the future achievements be made possible.

But should anyone think that the work, the program of 50 years, is to stop where it is? The thought is preposterous. We want to make this, the Golden Anniversary year of our School, the greatest in its history.

The leaders are here, the experience is here, the vision is here for even greater advancement. If it is true that, without a vision the people perish, it is equally certain that where the people are obedient to the voice and the inspiration that would lead them to even better and greater things, they attain to heights that at the outset seemed impossible. Please pray that God will undertake for us, and accomplish what may seem like the impossible. He is ABLE.

There are some great information that we glean from this article. Some also is shown in the 1956 16mm film that was made to promote the building project. The First thing I think is so interesting is what was going to be on the first floor. The article says it will have "a dining room with seating capacity of four hundred, modern kitchen, and parlor." I believe these plans were scrapped for when Chatlos was built a few years later. The downstairs of Patterson does not have room for a dining room to sit 400 people. The Second thing I think is interesting is the location of the building. It was to be near the Sunset Knoll Northwest of the Inner Circle. I have created a diagram (below) to show the proposed location using this information and it would have been around where Robb Gym was build around 2 decades after Patterson Hall was finished in 1960.

The 16mm film was proposed a few years later in late 1955 or early 1956 and it was shot at Commencement time of 1956. In the 1957 Theologue it has an article about it:

Our Future Plans

For a number of years we at the Practical Bible Training School have been engaged in a campaign to raise funds for the construction of a new men’s dormitory. Because of the condition of our present buildings, this endeavor is a “MUST” in our program. One year ago last October at their semi-annual business meeting, our Alumni Association voted to put forth an effort to raise $50,000.00 in order to bring our fund up to $100,000.00.

This effort was proposed by a Christian business man, a friend of our school, who requested that we communicate with him when we reach our goal. The campaign is now well organized and our fund has increased to the $68,000.00 mark. Our aim is to complete this drive by commencement, May 1957.

A committee of our Alumni met with the Executive Committee of our Board of Directors and suggested that, perhaps, a colored moving picture showing our present buildings, the personnel of the school, and some of the school activities, might be of great value in promoting this endeavor. They agreed to go ahead with the film and the Alumni Association offered to underwrite the cost of its production.

This film has been completed and had its premiere showing at our Alumni Retreat in October 1956. It is a 1,200 foot film showing not only our buildings and personnel, but also the school in action—actual classroom scenes and many of the commencement activities of May 1956. It is a sound picture with our commencement music in the background and Dr. Gordon C. Davis, President of our school, the narrator. We have two copies of this film and at the present time it is being shown in the churches of our Alumni. It is also available to any of our friends who would like to use it in their churches. Those interested should write Dr. M.C. Patterson, chairman of the Alumni Development Fund.

We are launching out on faith in this campaign, trusting that God will supply this great need. Will you pray with us that the Lord will honor this effort with a real victory and make it possible for us to have this much needed men’s dormitory?

In the film Dr. Gordon Davis, his wife, and Dr. and Mrs. Patterson are walking near the Inner Circle and putting to piece of ground all ready to begin building on. Yet, soon after, and it could not have been very long the location was moved to near Riverside Drive where Patterson Hall is now. I am not sure what caused the change from 1956 to 1958. Either way the dorm was constructed and God provided, as he did for the rest of the buildings that ended up replacing all the older buildings on the campus during the 1960s.

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