Kent State Preserves Historical Building Owned by First Female Faculty Member

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 will move the house across the street from its present location to 212 S. Willow St. on Monday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m.

In preparation of the Feb. 20 house move, work was done Feb. 15 to slide the May Prentice house over from its location above the old foundation to the north so that wheels could be placed underneath.

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,” said Tom Euclide, Kent State’s 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

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Media Contacts:
Tom Euclide,, 330-672-3880
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:50 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:52 PM