If someone were to say, “Hey, check out that door,” you’d immediately think that they were weird but then, out of curiosity, would probably look in the general direction they were pointing.
And if they were standing in Kilbourn Hall and pointing to a spot near the ceiling, you’d definitely question their sanity. But, once you looked, you’d probably ask, “What’s a door doing in the middle of the wall?” Or, at least, that’s what I did.
As it turns out, they’re not really doors but covered windows.
Years ago, the windows were open, and looked out onto the sights of Gibbs Street, but at some point, the powers that be decided that the windows should be blocked off.
While Concert Manager Andy Green didn’t know exactly why the windows had been blocked off, he believes that they were blocked off either because of the outside noise that resulted in a growth of the areas around Kilbourn or because the light coming in from the window was distracting to the performers on stage.
While the last date that the windows were open is unknown, you can see them in early pictures of Kilbourn Hall. Likewise, at one point, there were blue tapestries hanging on the walls of Kilbourn.
However, those were taken down in the ’50s in order to make the hall more lively.
So yes, sadly there is no mystery to the “doors” of Kilbourn Hall. However, there’s no need to be disappointed.
According to Green, there is a door backstage of Kilbourn that leads up to the marquee on Gibbs Street. In the olden days, it was used both to repair the marquee and also to change the sign.
It’s not used anymore, but then again, neither are the windows.