Lariat Letters: Library still beautiful post-myth

In a Nov. 27 article titled “Alum dispels popular myth,” the Lariat talked to Jim Hillin, who has worked on a number of films including Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The article dispelled the myth that the ballroom in that movie was based primarily on the Armstrong-Browning Library. This is a response by Jim Hillin to some of the sentiments expressed in the article. Read the article at for more information.

I read your article, and being that particular alum, I would like to offer this to those students and docents of the library who might feel disappointed.

When I was at Baylor, I lived in a house at Eighth Street and Wood Avenue managed at the time by the owner of Baylor Drug; apparently his father-in-law had lived there, and now he was renting it to Baylor students.

During my time in that house, I spent almost all of my time in Waco Hall at the School of Music and, as a result, walked by the Armstrong-Browning Library every day.

It became one of my favorite places to visit with its quiet interior and beautiful decor.

I attended several voice-only choir events there and found the hushed, dark surroundings and the “live” nature of the acoustics complementing the music and performances.

If you get a chance for one of these, I highly recommend it.

And certainly, I can see where similarities can be drawn between the Library and “Beauty and Beast’s” Ballroom.

They are both beautifully decorated, including their recessed, gilt domes in the ceilings and wonderful chandeliers that help remind us of a past not to be forgotten.

While its design may have come from “Beauty’s” art director Brian McEntee, I’m sure my time at Baylor, subconsciously or otherwise, helped the ballroom in “Beauty and the Beast” find its romantic elegance.

It’s a beautiful building. Please try not to be too disappointed.

Jim Hillin

1979 Alumnus