Goodwin-Kirk Residence Hall

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Goodwin-Kirk Residence Hall

Originally submitted by Kristen Bramhall on September 27, 2011, Drake University Updated by Dr. Susan Fink, July 16, 2012

Goodwin-Kirk - looking toward the west. Photo 6/29/66 - Drake University Copyright

Goodwin-Kirk Residence Hall, affectionately known as GK, was built in 1962 by architect Harry Weese. The building was an important addition to Drake’s campus because it represented the beginning of a massive expansion in construction that the university would see in the following years. The building was erected initially because of the boom of young men funded by the G.I. Bill pursuing higher education after World War II. Goodwin-Kirk was originally built to accommodate some 380 male students. [1]


In April of 1965, the Times-Delphic published that the Board of Trustees had given the “Notice to Proceed,” and a T-shaped addition was built onto Goodwin-Kirk; the addition was specifically an expansion of Goodwin. This new section made Goodwin-Kirk the largest residence hall on Drake’s campus, housing approximately 485 students. [2]

Goodwin-Kirk Hall Addition - looking north 9/28/65 - Drake University Copyright


Goodwin-Kirk Hall is a four-story residence hall that is connected by a series of enclosed overpasses. One architectural feature is the bay windows that stand out from the building on the second through fourth floors. These bays provide for a window seat in every room, something very unique to Goodwin-Kirk. An arcade is formed by the pillars on the courtyard side. There is also an expansive reception and recreation room. [3]

Goodwin-Kirk Hall Room - approx. 1966 - Drake University Copyright

Goodwin Hall - runs north and south (formally parallel to 30th street)
Kirk Hall is the south building that runs east and west (parallel to University Ave)

Building Named After

William J Goodwin, Jr - Drake University Copyright

William J. Goodwin Jr.

William Goodwin was born January 14, 1878 in Grand Junction, Iowa. While attending Drake, William was a member of the debate team, and he was also on the baseball and football team. In 1901, he married Grace Henrietta Kingman and in 1909 the couple had their son, Robert. Goodwin was a Senator for Iowa District 30 and a partner for Goodwin Tile & Brick Company, a corporation founded by his grandfather. Throughout World War I Goodwin was active in numerous drives and fundraisers. Goodwin later became a member of the Chamber of Trustees at Drake and remained so until near his death in January of 1928. In 1972, the Goodwin family donated $250,000 in 1972 for a new law building for the university. [4]

Sherman Kirk - Drake University Copyright

Sherman Kirk

Sherman Kirk was born in Flushing, Ohio in 1865. He graduated from Bethany College and did additional studies at Drake University and the University of Chicago. He served as a member of the Drake faculty from 1897-1940 as Professor Classical Languages and Literature. From 1910-1915, Professor Kirk served as the Dean of the Drake Bible College. In December 1929, Professor Kirk published a treatise on "The Value of Greek for Christian Workers."

One of Professor Kirk's four children, Arthur Sherman Kirk, was also important to Drake. Arthur was born in 1891 and received his bachelors and law degree from Drake. He joined the Board of Trustees at Drake in 1925 and served as the chairman of the board from 1964 to 1966. He was also the president of the Des Moines Real Estate Board and was associated with Iowa Real Estate Association and the National Institute of Real Estate Brokers. Kirk was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity while attending Drake. Later he received a Master’s Degree from Harvard and died in 1975.

Goodwin-Kirk is labeled as 28 on this map, provided by Google Maps.

GK newspaper article.jpg


  • 1. Goodwin-Kirk residence hall complex [fact sheet]. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2011, from The Council of Independent College Historic Campus Architect Project website:
  • 2. Drake University. (1965, April 21). Drake to expand Goodwin-Kirk dorm. Times-Delphic.
  • 3. Weese, H. (Ed.). (1962). Goodwin and Kirk residence hall.
  • 4. Baldwin, R. M. (1929). William J. Goodwin. In Who's who in Des Moines (p. 109). Louisville, Kentucky: Des Moines Chapter No. 1, Disabled American Veterans of the World War.