In 1910, Dr. Edward S. Joynes, a charter member of the Board of Trustees and one of the guiding forces behind Winthrop's founding in 1886, donated a lot which he owned on Oakland Avenue to Winthrop with the stipulation that the Edward S. Joynes Memorial Building be built on the site following his death. Dr. Joynes hoped that this building would be dedicated to “the service, the comfort, the recreation and pleasure of the women teachers, the pupils and the alumnae of Winthrop.” Although Joynes Hall was not built on the particular lot donated by Dr. Joynes, his specifications as to its usage were followed.
Plans for the construction of Joynes Hall as a teachers’ dormitory were begun in 1917, as part of the building campaign which included Roddey Hall and the Students’ YWCA Building (Johnson Hall). The architect, Edwards and Sayward of Atlanta, GA, were the same for the other buildings in this group. Construction was started in 1919 by the Palmer-Spivey Construction Company, but the building stood half-finished and boarded up for years, with a tarpaper roof to keep out rain due to inadequate funding. The building was finally completed in 1926 and was opened for use as a teacher dormitory in 1927.
The completed building is a three story masonry Neo-Georgian dormitory with a “U” shaped plan modified by a recent addition. The hipped slate roof with pedimented attic dormers is concealed by a masonry and stone parapet with boxed wood cornice. A plan stone belt course above the first floor serves as a continuous sill for second floor windows, and a brick belt course above the third floor serves as a continuous lintel for third floor windows.
Windows on each floor vary but they are all evenly spaced except for double windows over the main entrance. First floor windows are 8/8 sash with flat stone arches radiating voussoirs and are set in arched recesses. Second floor windows are 6/6 sash with shaped stone lintels. Third floor windows are 6/6 sash with separate plain stone sills. Hall windows on wing ends are longer and transomed.
The front entrance has an open masonry and cast stone porch with a long one story portico centered over the triple entrance. The portico has a flat roof with iron railing, boxed cornice, and groups of three “Tower of Wind” wood columns like those on Kinard Hall and the Carnegie Library (now Rutledge Hall) addition. Transomed doors are frames with pilasters and shelf entablatures with a broken pediment over the central door. The first floor opens into a lobby with halls running to the wings, which originally contained lounges and offices for faculty. Dog-leg stairways are on both ends of each wing, and rest rooms on the inside corners where wings join the main section. Upper floors have long central halls in the main section and wings. Two room apartments with private baths open on each side of the halls.
In the fall of 1965, Joynes Hall was converted from a faculty and staff residence, which it had been since it opened in 1927, to a student dormitory due to a large increase in freshman enrollment. International students stayed in Joynes from 1969 to 1973, when the building was converted into a center housing Winthrop’s Outreach Program, the Joynes Conference Center for Continuing Education. Renovations to the first floor were made, including removing four bedroom partitions to create space for larger seminar rooms. The first floor of Joynes included several large seminar rooms, offices, a large entrance lounge, and a kitchen and dining area which was added to the Teacher’s Dormitory after the original building was completed. Upstairs bedrooms were then used for housing visitors to the center. Joynes Hall served in this capacity until 2003 until it became the Inn at Winthrop as well as the official Welcome Center for the University.
Joynes is one of the finer Neo-Georgian buildings at Winthrop and was the first building on the north side of the campus. Its style helped set the tone of later buildings around it (Phelps Hall, Thurmond Building, and Byrnes Auditorium). The detailing is elegant and simple, with the façade less cluttered than earlier buildings like Kinard Hall and Breazeale Hall (razed in 2004).