Treadaway Hall

Tilted Spaces

What was originally built as a dormitory exclusively for the Marianist brothers was turned over to the University, converting into a building for faculty and students.

In the early 1970s, there were a growing number of men wanting to become Marianist brothers. At this time, St. Mary’s University had the brothers living in Charles Francis, but it only had 60 rooms, all of which were occupied. In response to the growing number of Marianists, the university constructed Treadaway Hall to accommodate 200 brothers. Marianists from the St. Louis Province of the United States were responsible for financing Treadaway.

Perhaps the most recognizable feature in Treadaway Hall is its slanted windows. By having the windows tilted at an angle, people looking in from the outside cannot see much. The reasoning for designing the windows this way was so that residents would not have to place blinds or curtains up. The rooms each have a bed, a desk, and a sink with a vanity, mirror, and a medicine cabinet to compliment it. To ensure that the design would be efficient, one of the brothers responsible for creating the rooms, Gene Myer, built a model room right next to where Casa Maria is today before starting constructing the rooms in Treadaway. The model room stayed up until it was taken down not too long ago since the Brothers had no use for it. On the first floor was a dining hall that was able to feed all the brothers living there. The building also had room for an auto shop built in the basement.

In regards to the basic structure of Treadaway hall, Brother Richard Dix explained that since Treadaway Hall was for Marianist men, the walls and ceilings were made with bare concrete to appear masculine. Concrete piers that are dug down around 30 to 40 feet support the building. However, the usage of caliche cement, a sedimentary rock made of gravel and sand, has shown to be problematic. In one instance, when one of the water pipes came apart under Treadaway, the caliche on the piers got wet. This resulted in the concrete expanding and essentially started lifting the entire building off of the pillars. To remedy the problem, the school had to dig up several feet of dirt. Jim Jakely was a brother who almost single handedly dug up the dirt.

By the early 1980s, only about 30 brothers were living on the fourth floor of Treadaway. Since most of the rooms were vacant, the Marianists relocated the remaining brothers and gave the building over to the university. Since then, much of Treadaway has been redesigned. While the chapel in Treadaway remained intact since its conception, the dining hall became the music department, the auto shop turned into the police department, the machine shop room converted into housekeeping and storage, the kitchen changed into the mailroom and the recreational room transformed into the English Communication Arts area.

Today, Treadaway hall is still used as a dormitory for students. Despite the small room size, many students enjoy the privacy of one person rooms. Students there tend to get loft beds so that they could have extra room for a TV or other furniture below. While no longer a dormitory for the brothers, Treadaway hall is still considered a part of home to those residing at St. Mary’s University.



Brother Richard Dix on Treadaway Hall's Caliche Problem
Brother Richard Dix describes the base structure of Treadaway Hall and what happened when one of the water pipes under the building broke. ~ Creator: Mario Sosa ~ Date: November 7, 2019
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Treadaway Hall Audio Tour
An audio history on Treadaway Hall ~ Creator: Mario Sosa ~ Date: December 15, 2019
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From the Pub, walk across Pecan Grove to reach the front of Treadaway Hall. It is found next to Parking Lot C.