BGSU Historic Campus Tour
Bowling Green State University’s Guest House, located in the area of Troup Avenue and Clough street south of the main campus, was acquired by the University in 1949 from the B.H. Urschel family. The five acre plot, formerly known as Urschel Farm, was the site of a spring fed swimming area that had been created when the site was used as a quarry for paving East Wooster Street with stone in the 1880s. The Guest House itself was the residence of the Urschel family, and the land included an apartment building, which was used by the University as a women’s dormitory and a changing area for the swimming facilities. In June of 1961, a fire occurred in the Urschel Apartments, damaging the inside. The building was restored to accommodate twenty-five students in a dormitory fashion.
|The Guest House has been staffed by a resident Hostess, responsible for the premises and services to guests, including meals and attendant service. In 1960, the residence was granted for the use of President Emeritus Frank Prout for the remainder of his life in recognition of his past service to BGSU, though he did not use this house as his residence.|
The Guest House has primarily been used as an accommodation for dignitaries and visitors involved in activities on campus, including visiting scholars, foreign diplomats, heads of state, as well as nationally-prominent individuals, ranging from movie stars to former Presidents. The Guest house officially closed its doors as the sanctuary for visiting VIPs April 9, 2010.
Listed below are additional highlights in the history of the building:
- Margaret Truman- Daughter of President Harry Truman visited BGSU in March of 1950 to sing for the Artists Series entertainment.
- Lillian Gish- Film Star of the Silent Screen, Stage, and television actress, frequently visited BGSU before her death in 1993. Among those times were the dedication of the Gish Theatre, and the presentation of an honorary degree.
- Jimmy Carter- Former President of the United States stayed over at BGSU while on the campaign trail for the 1980 Presidential election.
- Eva Marie Saint- Film Star and Academy Award winning Actress stayed at the Guest House frequently for the dedication of the Eva Marie Saint Theatre, presentation of her Honorary Degree, and many other events. Ms. Saint also frequently wrote extra notes of thanks praising the service, hospitality of the Guest House, and her admiration for BGSU.
- Scott Hamilton- Olympic Gold Medal Winning Figure Skater raised in Bowling Green, and Honorary Alumnus of BGSU (1985).
- Norman Jewison- Award Winning Director of major motion pictures visited BGSU to give a lecture for Featured Directors Week.