Given to the University of Kentucky by the class of 2001, Historical Marker #2070 commemorates Barker Hall and Buell Armory. Originally known as Alumni Hall, it was dedicated in 1901. The original building was three stories with a gymnasium and a drill hall on either side. It was used for physical education, student clubs, dances, and ROTC, and was the site of the first UK basketball games. It was converted to an infirmary during the 1918 flu epidemic. With the aid of WPA funds, it was expanded in the 1930s. The nineteenth century bell from the Peter Taylor Methodist Church in Lewis County was installed in 1989.
It was named for UK's second president, Henry Stites Barker and Union Civil War General and UK trustee Don Carlos Buell. Henry Stites Barker was president of UK from 1911-1917 and was known as "Old Magnanimous" due to his friendliness and accessibility. The Graduate School, Department of Journalism, and YMCA were established on campus during his administration, and the Reserve Officers Training Corps was set up in 1917 to provide instruction for military personnel participating in the First World War. In March 1916, the Kentucky legislature statutorily changed the name of the growing institution from "State University, Lexington, Kentucky" to "University of Kentucky."
The UK Senior Challenge Historical Marker Project, administered by the Kentucky Historical Society, began in 1994 as a way for the graduating senior class to leave a memorial to the university. Every year since then, the UK historical marker committee has decided on the topic, raised the money, and written the text for the markers.