Keeping Hinkle, Hinkle: A Tale of Restoration

INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, March 2, storyteller Sally Perkins will tell how Butler University restored Hinkle Fieldhouse, a National Historic Landmark, in her performance of Keeping Hinkle, Hinkle.
Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Indiana Landmarks commissioned the story for If These Walls Could Tell, a series sponsored by Frank and Katrina Basile. The stories focus on the winners of the Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration, given annually by Indiana Landmarks. Butler University won the 2015 Cook Cup for the Hinkle Fieldhouse project.
The performance takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Room of Robertson Hall on Butler’s campus in Indianapolis. Part of the university’s College of Communication Annual Symposium, the performance and a reception at 5 p.m. in the atrium are free and open to the public.
When Hinkle Fieldhouse underwent renovation in 2014, the guiding mantra issued by Butler’s Athletic Director Barry Collier was “Keep Hinkle, Hinkle.” “I sifted through a well of memories stored in the rafters, bleachers, and hoops of the great Basketball Cathedral to find out why everyone insisted on ‘keeping Hinkle, Hinkle,’ and what they meant by that,” says Sally Perkins.
Butler played its first basketball game in the fieldhouse in March 1928. Since then it has hosted four United States presidents, tennis matches of Bill Tilden, a three-ring circus, the Roller Derby, served as barracks for the United States Air Force and Navy during World War II and so much more.
Sally Perkins began telling stories in 2006 at the bedsides of patients at Riley Hospital for Children. In 2009, she received the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship from Storytelling Arts of Indiana and an emerging artist grant from the National Storytelling Network. A professional speaking skills coach, she also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Butler.
“Anyone who’s played at Hinkle, or watched a game as a spectator, knows it’s a special place. And although the fieldhouse appeared sturdy, it was in need of attention before Butler launched the $36 million-dollar restoration that concluded in 2014,” says Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks and a Butler alum. “The Cook Cup and the If These Walls Could Tell story are our way of telling Butler thanks for keeping Hinkle, Hinkle.”