Pinson Hall, Yonsei University

Find out the story of Pinson Hall, registered Cultural Heritage No. 770, where traces over 100 years have piled up layer by layer.

A New Path (2020) by Yoondongju Memorial HallYoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University

Life in Pinson Hall (1941) by Yonsei University MuseumYoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University

Pinson Hall, the cradle for the youth, and Yoon Dongju

In the early days, Pinson Hall was a dormitory where countless students who were attending Yonhui College lived and interacted. Among them were Poet Yoon Dongju and his seniors and juniors who interacted with him. It is believed that in 1938, freshman Yoon   Dongju shared an attic on the third floor of the dormitory with Song Monggyu and Kang Cheojung, and that in 1940, he moved to a room on the second floor. Pinson Hall was a space for the youth, with students from various majors and backgrounds mingling together here.

While Yoon Dongju lived and contemplated with his fellows here in 1938 and 1940, he created numerous works, including "A New Path" and "Self-portrait". He also wrote prose works like Shooting at the Moon as he was looking out the window on a sleepless night in his dormitory.

Panoramic view of Pinson Hall (1928) by Yonsei University MuseumYoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University

Pinson Hall is a building of Yonhui College, the former Yonsei University, which was completed in 1922. It was named Pinson Hall in commemoration of its sponsor, Dr. W. W. Pinson. The building was used as a dormitory from 1922 to 1944 and later as a space for the Department of Music, the Department of Theology, the college newspaper “The Yonsei Chunchu”, corporate offices, etc.

Master plan of Yonhui College campus (1917) by Yonsei University MuseumYoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University

Pinson Hall was built by Murphy & Dana Architects, which designed the early campus of Yonhui College. Its 1917 master plan includes eight dormitory buildings on the northern side of the Central Teachers’ Army, but only two were actually built – one of which is Pinson Hall, a dormitory on the western hill.

Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Panoramic view of Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall(taken from the side), Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2019, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Pinson Hall is a simple, three-story building of Collegiate Gothic style. Its external walls and window frames, which were finished with dark brown mica schist stones collected from the Ansan Mountain located next to the campus, remain intact. The repetitive windows give a sense of steady rhythm to this simple building with minimal decorative elements and have become an important element in the restoration and reinterpretation process of the building.  It is interesting how giwa roof tiles, patterned with rose of Sharon, are placed on top of the bay dormer windows that were designed to create boarding space in the lower part of the roof.

핀슨관 1층 복도, Gyoungtae Kim, 2020, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Bar table by the window in the library at Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2020, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Dormer windows on 3rd floor of Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2020, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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The first floor of Pinson Hall had a narrow corridor along which rooms for two people were lined up. At the southern end was a rest area where students gathered to chat and relax.  The second floor was used in different ways, as an open and private space, when it was a dormitory, and it is believed that Yoon Dongju lodged here in his third year of college. It is impressive how the light shines in brightly through the repetitive windows.  he third floor, which was relatively well-maintained, is where you can see Yoon Dongju’s poetry stone, the Literary Garden, and the seasonal changes at a glance outside the windows. This is also where the poet created his prose, “Shooting at the Moon”, focusing on the sound of pine trees and the moonlight outside the window on an autumn night of his first year in college.

Pinson Hall close ups 2, Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2020, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Pinson Hall close ups 7, Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2020, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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Pinson Hall close ups 1, Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University, 2019, From the collection of: Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University
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The front door Yoon Dongju entered and exited, the stairs he climbed up and down, and the windows he looked out to enjoy the four seasons are all preserved as they were. 

Entrance of Pinson Hall (2020) by Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei UniversityYoon Dongju Memorial Hall, Yonsei University

Pinson Hall, reborn as Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall

Pinson Hall became the only remaining building among those Yoon Dongju used. Considering this high value as a modern dormitory building, Pinson Hall was designated as a registered cultural heritage on December 30, 2019. In 2020, as the building came to embrace valuable relics hand-stained by the poet himself, it was transformed into Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall, where the poet now lives forever.

Continue to explore the spaces of Yoon Dongju Memorial Hall in virtual reality, here.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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