Keeping Hinkle, Hinkle: A Tale of Restoration

Storyteller Sally Perkins shares tale of a great Basketball Cathedral.

How do you maintain the character and spirit inherent in a historic place while updating it to function productively for another century? On Thursday, March 2, storyteller Sally Perkins tells how Butler University achieved this feat in the restoration of 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.”


Media contacts: Ellen Munds, Executive Director, Storytelling Arts of Indiana,, 317-576-9848 Tina Connor, Executive Vice President, Indiana Landmarks,, 317-639-4534


About Storytelling Arts of Indiana

Since 1988, Storytelling Arts of Indiana has introduced the art of storytelling by creating environments for the residents of Indiana to listen and share stories and by showcasing tellers who entertain and inspire diverse audiences. Year-round programs include public performances, the As I Recall Storytelling guilds, weekly storytelling at the bedside of patients at a local children’s hospital, summer performances for various day camps, and the Life Stories Project. For more information, please visit

About Indiana Landmarks

Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit organization, saves unique, historically significant, and communally cherished properties—rescuing them, rehabilitating them, and giving them new purpose. Why save historic places? Because landmarks lend character, beauty and a sense of place that enhances our quality of life and makes our communities attractive and meaningful places to live, work, and build a future. Indiana Landmarks’ staff in nine regional offices help individuals, organizations, and communities preserve, restore, and celebrate historic places. Join us.

About Butler University

Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Together, these colleges offer more than 60 undergraduate areas of study, eight pre-professional programs, and 19 graduate programs. Around 4,700 students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 49 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. This community-centered immersion is coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making to prepare students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities.

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