Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fohs Hall History

Fohs Hall located at 143 N. Walker Street is certainly not the oldest building in Marion, but it is the most historic.

F. Julius Fohs planned and had the building built in 1926 and presented the magnificent building to the Marion Board of Education.  It was built for the high school grades. The picture at the right was made soon after it was finished in 1926. 

The Fohs family moved to Marion from the state of New York in the year 1890.  Julius attended school at the Marion schools, and as a boy, through the exploring of the surrounding hills, caves and mines, he got the inspiration of the rocks as a basis for his life work.  He went on to be an internationally known geologist.

Even though he became very wealthy and was well known all over the work, he always remembered his roots and wanted to do something for the community where he grew up and learned to love the rocks and minerals of the earth.  His dream was a wonderful school and auditorium for these people.  
On Oct. 22, 1926 Julius Fohs said in his Fohs Hall dedication speech "In providing for you, in this building, a better basis for a better education and a better cultural background, this gift is a fulfillment of that dream I have for your community.  I present this building, Fohs Hall, the only building of its kind in America, to the Marion School Board as a gift of love to the the community of my childhood, to be used for the furthering of those worth-while things which really make life worth living.

Fohs Hall today is looked after by Fohs Hall, Inc., a group of interested citizens interested in the preservation of the building.  Fohs Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 1982, and in June of 2001, a Kentucky Historical Marker was placed at the entrance of the building. 

Today  Fohs Hall is used as as a community center and civic auditorium.

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