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University at Buffalo Libraries

University Archives

Cornelia H. Allen Hall

Former Name: Frank Burkett Baird Music Building

Allen Hall is well known as the home WBFO, Buffalo's National Public Radio affiliate. It houses recording studios as well as a performance hall. Allen Hall was originally built as the music building (Baird Hall) for a proposed fine arts center.

Allen Hall is also the home to the Office of Alumni Relations and the University Community Initiative, public service program which seeks to strenghten relationships between the University at Buffalo and the city of Buffalo and surrounding towns.


Cornelia Hopkins Allen (1896-1979) was a pioneer in the field of social work. She was a member of the faculty of the University of Buffalo's School of Social Work for thirty-one years

Frank Burkett Baird (1852-1939) was an ironmaster and a pioneer in iron and steel. Through his efforts the Peace Bridge, connecting the city of Buffalo with Ontario, Canada, was built. Baird was a member of the University Council from 1920-1939, and was a recipient of the 1927 Chancellor's Medal.

Cancellor C.C. Furnas walking with Seymour Knox in back of the former Baird Music Hall

History and Chronology

  • 1956 -- (May 28) The University of Buffalo Council approves plans for the construction of a Music Building, the first phase of the University's proposed Fine Arts Center. (This South Campus Fine Arts Center was never built)
  • 1956 -- (July 24) Groundbreaking ceremony
  • 1957 -- (May 11) Cornerstone ceremony
  • 1957 -- (October 12) Dedication of the Frank Burkett Baird Music Building
  • 1979 -- (Spring) Controversy over the removal of asbestos flakes from Baird Hall
  • 1979 -- (November 9) Cornerstone Ceremony for the new Baird Hall on the North Campus. The cornerstone box, which contained memorabilia and archival records documenting the Music Department's history, was transferred to the new building.
  • 1982 -- The former Baird Hall is renamed Cornelia H. Allen Hall.

Building and Construction Information

Architects: Paul Schweikher, New Haven, Connecticut
Contractors: John W. Cowper Co.
Size: 43,434 sq. ft.