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Kent State University Preserves Historical Building Owned by First Female Faculty Member

Posted Feb. 27, 2012 | Foluke Omosun

Kent State will preserve the 110-year-old May Prentice house, previously owned by Kent State’s first female faculty member. The house was moved to a new location on Feb. 20.

Kent State University will preserve one of the oldest houses along the Kent State University Esplanade extension, which will connect the university to the city of Kent. The 110-year-old May Prentice house at 128 S. Willow St., previously owned by and named after Kent State’s first female faculty member, will not be demolished during ongoing expansion of the University Esplanade. Instead, the university moved the house across the street from its present location to 212 S. Willow St. on Feb. 20.

Kent State University’s Board of Trustees approved the University Esplanade extension project in 2011 to create a pedestrian path that will connect the university campus to the city of Kent. The project is a key component of the economic revitalization of downtown Kent.

Prentice was on the faculty of Kent State from 1912 to 1930, and taught English, history of education and school management. She lived in the house on Willow Street until her death in 1935.

“We made the decision to save the May Prentice house because of its historical connection to Kent State,” says Tom Euclide, associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Operations. “This structure is not only significant to Kent State’s history, but is also representative of the evolution of both our campus and city.”

The May Prentice house is in better shape than most houses its age located around the University Esplanade extension because of its owner occupancy – it was not recently used as a rooming or boarding house.

For more information about the University Esplanade extension project, contact Euclide at teuclide@kent.edu.