Before the Trexler Pavilion was built in 1999, before South and Robertson Halls joined Benfer Hall as student residences, Bernheim House stood on the yet-to-be-developed south end of campus. Named for former registrar Oscar Bernheim (and the administrator’s home for many years), the building served as special interest housing for theatre students. For a few years after Bernheim House was bulldozed, there were rumors of friendly ghostly activity, though those have died down over the years.
Currently, the Trexler Pavilion houses the department of theatre and dance, scene shop, costume shop, rehearsal halls, the box office, and two smaller Studio Theatres. It also houses the “Lavender Lounge,” a student lounge, green room and dressing rooms. The Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre is the jewel in the crown of the Trexler Pavilion, completed in 1999. An elegant but intimate Broadway-style proscenium theatre, the Baker seats 365 on two levels, orchestra and balcony. The Pavilion’s defining architectural feature is its sweeping curved glass facade, enclosing the front of the Baker Theatre and two levels of lobby space — known affectionately among students as “the fishbowl,” a favorite spot for student meetings and scene rehearsal. In this photograph, the Pavilion was part of the “Light It Up Blue” campaign for autism awareness.