University Archives

Building Profiles

These profiles contain information about the building, its construction, dedication, images, links to documents, and other interesting facts.

Administrative Services (1975)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of Administrative Services
Architect's rendering of Administrative Services, 1973

Charles Graham and Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson at the groundbreaking, October 1975
Charles Graham and Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson at the groundbreaking, October 1975

Administrative Services construction, April 1974

Administrative Services construction, April 1974

Administrative Services construction, May 1974

Administrative Services construction, May 1974

Administrative Services, September 1974

Administrative Services, September 1974

Administrative Services dedication, May 5, 1975
Administrative Services dedication, May 5, 1975

Administrative Services, 2000
Administrative Services, 2000

By the early 1970s, the tremendous growth of St. Cloud State, both physically and the classroom, was nearly finished. The Administrative Services building, which first got funds in 1971 from the state of Minnesota, was that end of an era. The building would serve as the front door of a much larger campus than campus was before the late 1950s.

Several administrative campus units were scattered across campus in Stewart Hall, Whitney House, and Mitchell Hall. Efforts were underway to centralize some functions into a single building. Kiehle, which was recently vacated as the campus library, was considered but was too far from the west edge of campus to be the "front door" of campus and lacked adequate parking. The 1971 Minnesota state legislature appropriated funds to plan for a new administrative building, including an additional $1 million to purchase property. In the spring of 1973, the legislature appropriated $2.2 million to “construct and equip administration/orientation building.” Traynor, Hermanson, and Hahn Architects were hired to design the building. The building was to be built on the intersection of 3rd Avenue South and 7th Street South.

A press release from September 11, 1973 revealed the low bidders to construct the administration building: MJM Construction (general): $1.2 million, Holm Brother Plumbing and Heating (plumbing and heating): $297,500, Weidner’s Plumbing and Heating (HVAC): $179,325, and Granite City Electric (electric): $215,542. Construction began in October 1973, which included the parking lot to the northwest of the building (which would later become home to Miller Center in 2000).

Ground was broken on October 17, 1973. Attending the groundbreaking was Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson. A hockey stick shovel was created at St. Cloud State for the governor to use during the groundbreaking. Anderson played hockey at the University of Minnesota from 1951 through 1954 and played on the 1956 silver medal winning USA Olympic hockey team.

Measuring 52,000 square feet of space, the building was constructed with two stories and a basement to “serve as the front door to the campus.” Being that front door of campus, 7th Street South and 4th Avenue South were reconfigured. A loop was designed to the west side of the building that lead to a small part of 4th Avenue that connected with 8th Street South. 4th Street South was closed, and land was added to Barden Park, which was a square. Construction of this loop began in May 1974.

In addition, the architects decided to incorporate “the concrete exposure design apparent on other campus buildings.” The reflective glass was designed to conserve energy throughout the building.

In the summer of 1974, St. Cloud State proposed the name “Administrative Services” for its new building and was accepted.

Administrative Services was scheduled to be completed by January 1975 but was delayed due to worker strikes and time to secure necessary construction materials. Offices began to move into the new building by May 1975 and were soon open for business. These offices and location in Administrative Services were:

  • Career Planning and Placement – 101
  • Mailroom – 103
  • Auxiliary Services – 106
  • High School and Community College Relations - 115
  • Graduate Studies – 116
  • Admissions and Records – 118
  • Financial Aid – 121
  • Business Office – 122
  • Personnel Office – 124
  • President – 200
  • Academic Affairs – 204
  • Administrative Affairs – 205
  • Information Services – 207
  • Institutional Research – 209
  • University Relations - 210

To decorate the new building, 100 pieces of student-created artwork were selected from the Department of Art by St. Cloud State employees who were scheduled to work in Administrative Services.

The June 18, 1975 issue of the Chronicle reported that work was done shortly after the building opened as large cracks appeared on the second floor.

Administrative Services was dedicated on May 5, 1976. A time capsule was placed behind the building’s cornerstone.

The St. Cloud Times reported on August 6, 1976 that some offices were moved within the building as well as other modifications done for efficiency.

Architecturally, Administrative Services is one of the finest glass and concrete structures on campus. Its horizontality and use of ribbon windows show that it was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style houses. Often overlooked, this building has aged well.

The blueprints for Administrative Services as it looked when it opened in 1975 are available in the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Atwood Memorial Center (1966)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Atwood Memorial Center groundbreaking
Atwood Memorial Center ground breaking, October 1964

Architect's rendering of both construction phases of Atwood Memorial Center

Architect's rendering of both phases of Atwood

Architect's rendering of both construction phases of Atwood Memorial Center

Atwood Memorial Center construction, 1965?

Atwood Memorial Center, November 1965

Atwood Memorial Center under construction, November 1965

Atwood

Atwood Memorial Center, 1968

Atwood ribbon cutting at dedication, November 1967

Atwood ribbon cutting at dedication, November 1967

Allen Atwood bust, 1966?

Allen Atwood bust, 1966?

Atwood Memorial Center, 1966

Atwood Memorial Center east entrance, 1967

Atwood Memorial Center, October 1976

Atwood Memorial Center construction, Phase II, June 1971

Atwood Memorial Center, October 1976

Atwood Memorial Center, October 1976

East addition of Atwood Memorial Center

East addition of Atwood Memorial Center, October 1995

The 1960s brought many curricular and physical changes to St. Cloud State. Classroom buildings and residence halls were added to accommodate the influx of students, yet there was no student union. Spaces in campus buildings had been used as “unofficial” student unions, including Erwin House and Mitchell Hall. Nearby businesses, especially the Chatterbox (formerly known as Almie’s), also served as gathering places for students. When opened in September 1966, Atwood Memorial Center was the first campus building to be constructed to serve solely as the student union.

While Atwood Memorial Center has gone through countless changes inside, the physical “footprint” of the building has expanded since it first opened. This profile will focus mostly on the “footprint.”

Discussion about a campus student union at St. Cloud State started at least by 1955. In November 1955, several staff members attended a conference sponsored by the Association of College Unions, which was held at the University of Minnesota. The report produced from that conference listed possible features of a student union, issues surrounding the development of a student union program, and philosophical thoughts about its development. The report stated that a student union was not simply a place for students to relax, but one that “strives[s] to provide real opportunities for personal and social development.” In response to this report, St. Cloud State president George Budd appointed a committee to study the feasibility of a student union at St. Cloud State. The committee concluded that a student union was a good idea to pursue.

By 1961, campus efforts were underway to create a “living room for campus.” Activities to inform and to provide student opinions were sponsored by the Student Center Committee, including content in the Chronicle student newspaper, a convocation event, a radio program, and a film showing. On April 6, 1961, 1,356 students (49% of full time students at St. Cloud State) took a survey about a campus student union. Of those surveyed, 80% were willing to be assessed a $5 fee per quarter to support a student union. In response to this survey, President Budd brought the request for the fee to the State College Board. The Board approved the request on August 11, 1961.

In April 1962, St. Cloud State announced a campaign to raise $500,000 from friends and alumni for the student union which was estimated to cost $1.5 million. The plan was for three different streams of funds each paying one-third of the cost – students, who were already paying $5 per quarter to support the student union; friends and alumni; and an appropriation from the state of Minnesota. A kick-off banquet was held on October 6, 1962. The campaign was very active, which included an appeal of why a student union was needed. This campaign was St. Cloud State’s first full scale effort to raise a substantial amount of funds in its history.

On August 17, 1962, the State College Board approved that the student union to be named “Atwood Memorial College Center.” The name honored the Atwood family and their contributions to St. Cloud State over many years, as well as donations well over $100,000 towards the student union. The board minutes singled out five members of the Atwood family – Clarence (a St. Cloud State alum and campus resident director from 1911 to 1921) and his wife Mary, Allen and Marjorie (children of Clarence and Mary Atwood), and Allen’s wife Ferne, a former St. Cloud State faculty member.

Architects Traynor and Hermanson were selected to design the first phase of Atwood Memorial Center. This phase of construction included Atwood’s main floor and ground floor. They also designed Phase II, which opened in April 1972. In fact, Atwood was always intended to be built in two phases.

Contractors for Phase I were Conlon Construction Company (general), $747,580; Cold Spring Electric, $108,488; St. Cloud Restaurant Supply, $79,737; St. Cloud Plumbing and Heating (plumbing), $48,840; McDowall Company (ventilation), $75,566; and Knapp Plumbing and Heating (heating), $104,340.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 10, 1964 and construction began soon after. Totaling 43,000 square feet, the doors to Atwood were opened in September 1966 in time for the start of the new academic year. The building was dedicated on November 4, 1967. Former St. Cloud State president George Budd, who left campus in the summer of 1965 for Pittsburg State University in Kansas, was part of the festivities.

The records are not clear whether or not St. Cloud State raised enough money, especially since the Minnesota state legislature did not provide funds to help construct Atwood Memorial Center.

Since Atwood Memorial Center was always intended to be built in two phases, steps were taken to plan for additional space soon after the building opened. According to a July 22, 1969 press release, the student union fee was raised from $5 to $10 per quarter to help finance Phase II.

Phase II included the building’s second floor (containing the art gallery, Little Theatre, and today’s Alumni Room) constructed over the gaming area, and the third floor (containing the ballroom and offices) constructed over the main floor. The ground floor game area was also expanded. Construction began in January 1971.

Designed by architects Traynor and Hermanson, the contractors for Phase II were George Madsen Construction (general), $1,037,500; Axel Newman Plumbing and Heating, $153,660; McDowall Company (ventilation), $167,100; Electric Motor Services, $181,342; and the St. Paul Bar and Restaurant Company (food service equipment), $71,188. The total cost of Phase II was $1.9 million.

A grand opening was spread over three days, April 7-9, 1972, to mark the completion of Phase II. The ballroom on the newly constructed third floor was used in early March 1972 for the inauguration banquet and ball for new St. Cloud State president Charles Graham.

On August 1, 1975, Minnesota state colleges became universities. Thus, “College” was dropped from Atwood Memorial College Center name.

Planning began in the late 1980s to expand the physical footprint of Atwood Memorial Center. Student enrollment increased from 10,697 in fall 1972 when Phase II opened to 16,551 students in the fall of 1989. Atwood was overcrowded. With 1st Avenue South shut off to traffic in 1974 to become the campus mall, the building was able to expand to the east. A $5.9 million renovation and expansion began with a groundbreaking ceremony on October 22, 1991. The work was to be done in two phases – first the expansion of the building, then the renovation of spaces inside.

Designed by Grooters Gary Architects of St. Cloud, the expansion increased the physical footprint of Atwood Memorial Center by one-third, equaling 40,000 square feet of new space. This space included a non-alcoholic nightclub and additional food service space in the basement, as well as included more lounge and office space, information desk, coffee shop, and convenience store on the main floor. Meeting rooms were added on the third floor. The work was possible by the sale of bonds paid for by students in the Minnesota state university system through activity fees. The grand opening for the addition was celebrated through a variety of activities during the week of April 19, 1993.

The early 1990s expansion was welcome, though in a July 15, 1992 article in the Chronicle, complaints arose about the color of brick used for part of the expansion. Steve Ludwig, who was part of the vice president for Administrative Affairs office, said that the brick could not be matched to the existing gray brick and the use of concrete was too expensive to match.

The final expansion of Atwood Memorial Center’s physical footprint began in the summer of 2003. Ground was broken for a 15,900 square feet addition to the west side of the building. The addition featured an expanded service area (TCF Bank, Campus Card office, Information desk, Copies Plus) on the main floor with a 300 person capacity room on the third floor (Cascade Room), and an expanded dining area in the basement. In addition, a skyway was built to connect the building to nearby Centennial Hall. The expansion opened in April 2004.

Funding for the 2004 Atwood Memorial Center expansion was paid for through a $16 million bond issue approved by students in November 2001. This bond approval set aside $5 million for an expansion of Atwood, $5 million toward the construction of Husky Stadium, and $6 million for a new campus recreational center. The increase cost students a maximum of an additional $4.50 fee per credit to raise the $16 million.

Architecturally, Atwood Memorial Center was built in Brutalist style, a common campus mode found across the United States from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. The term “brutalist” refers to “beton brut,” or raw concrete, the common material used for the brutalist style. The 2004 addition is Postmodern—a style that uses historic elements in whimsical ways. 

The blueprints for Atwood Memorial Center, as completed in 1966 and 1972, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Benton Hall (1967)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of Benton Hall
Architect's rendering of Benton Hall

Benton Hall, ca. 1967-1968
Benton Hall, ca. 1967-1968

Benton Hall, 1967
Benton Hall, 1967

Benton Hall, 1968
Benton Hall, 1968

Aerial view of north side dormitory complex, 1977
Aerial view of north side dormitory complex, 1977

As the 1960s progressed and Baby Boomers were seeking a higher education, St. Cloud State’s physical campus continued to grow in leaps and bounds, especially student housing. Benton Student Residence was a shift – instead of a high-rise facility to house students, the complex provided apartment-style living and was St. Cloud State’s first co-ed dormitory.

The three story Benton Hall complex was built in two phases. The first phase, which opened in the fall of 1967, was built south and west of Ervin House to accommodate 200 students. Located just north of Ervin House, the second phase opened its doors in the fall of 1968 to accommodate 100 students.

Designed by architects Jackson-Hahn Associates, the $740,000 project went out for bid in the summer of 1966. Those awarded contracts were Wahl Construction Company (general), Erickson Electric (electrical), and Knapp Plumbing and Heating (mechanical). Benton Hall was financed through reserve bonds issued by the Minnesota State College board to be paid for through student rental fees.

According to the October 6, 1966, press release, men and women who were live in the complex were to be “selected on the basis of scholastic ability and maturity,” living in eight apartment-style units. In each unit, four students were to share a central bathroom, two bedrooms, and a living-study room.

Even before the first phase of Benton Hall was complete, plans were underway to begin construction of an addition that cost $400,000. Construction began in the fall of 1967. Designed again by architects Jackson-Hahn Associates, contracts were awarded to the Conlon Construction Company (general), Sporleders Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Erickson Electric (electrical). The addition opened in time for the 1968 fall term.

On April 1, 1967, the Minnesota state college board named the complex “Benton Student Residence.” Benton Hall was the second campus building to be named after a Minnesota county that St. Cloud State resides (the others are Stearns and Sherburne). The county itself was named in honor of, Thomas Benton, who served as a US Senator from Missouri from 1821 to 1854 and was author of the Homestead Act. In fact, the Benton Hall was to be named something else. At the January 11, 1966, meeting of the Minnesota state college board, St. Cloud State proposed to name the yet-to-be constructed building “Charlotte M. Knudson Student Residence” – and the resolution was tabled for unknown reasons. An 1897 graduate of St. Cloud State, Knudson served as a faculty member from 1913 to 1937. She passed away in 1953.

Along with Stearns Hall and Sherburne Hall, Benton Hall was dedicated on April 11, 1969.

Benton Hall was last occupied during the spring semester of 2017.

The blueprints for both phases of Benton Hall as it looked when it opened in 1967 and 1968 are available in the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Brainard Hall (1946)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect rendering of Brainard Hall, late 1930s
Archtect's rendering of Brainard Hall, late 1930s

Brainard Hall, late 1940s

Brainard Hall, late 1940s

Branaird Hall, Selke Field, and Veterans Housing, 1946

Brainard Hall, Selke Field, and Veterans Housing, 1946

Brainard Hall fireplace, 1943?

Brainard Hall fireplace, 1943?

Dudley Brainard, 1940s

Dudley Brainard, 1940s

Selke Field, Brainard Hall outline, and the remnants of Veterans Housing, 1972

Selke Field, outline of Brainard Hall, and the remnants of Veterans Housing, 1972  

As St. Cloud State slowly grew before World War II, there was a need for a campus dormitory for men. Though women had on-campus living options, men did not. Instead, men were encouraged to live at home or in nearby boarding houses while attending St. Cloud State.

By 1939, St. Cloud State decided to build a men’s dormitory. In March 1939, architectural plans were completed by Twin Cities architects Polivka and McMahon. The plans were prepared for the National Youth Administration (NYA), a WPA program that focused on providing work and education for youth between the ages of 16 and 25, to construct the new dormitory.

On November 10, 1939, the Chronicle newspaper reported that former St. Cloud State resident director Alvah Eastman donated 11 lots of property, just west of the south end of Sports Field (today known as Selke Field) on the east side of the Mississippi River on Michigan Avenue (now University Drive) between 9th and 10th Avenue Southeast. Construction had begun on October 15. The one-story building was to be “Y” shaped, include a basement, and face east. The article stated the first floor was to include a kitchen, dining room, lounge in the main (middle) section. The north and south wings would contain 32 double rooms each. There was also to be space for general offices, a director’s office, and check rooms. Much of the basement would be used by St. Cloud State athletic teams who played at the nearby Sports Field. This included storage, showers, and dressing rooms. The rest of the basement would be home to recreational rooms for residents and space held in reserve for future use.

The building was to be completed in time for St. Cloud’s State fall 1940 academic term but was not. While construction started, the building remained unfinished throughout 1940. In December 1940, St. Cloud State president George Selke was criticized for the building’s construction. According to an article in the December 13, 1940 edition of the St. Cloud Daily Times, Selke was accused by Minnesota state commissioner of administration Leslie Gravlin that construction was started without authorization. Selke defended himself. According to Selke, the campus needed a men’s dormitory and knew that the NYA had built other college dormitories. Selke’s ultimate goal was to present to the state a dormitory that was constructed without state funds. The building was on donated property while $6500 was gifted to St. Cloud State, including a $2000 donation from Selke himself, to begin construction. It is not clear where additional funds appeared to finish construction, though the state legislature did not appropriate monies to complete the building.

According to St. Cloud Daily Times newspaper articles, construction was to be completed by late summer 1942. The building was ready for use by fall 1942. Due to the decline in enrollment of students, especially men because of World War II, the building was used for other purposes. The Victory Corp program soon occupied the building. Men and mostly women aged from 16-25, including high school students, took shop courses to train for work in war industries.

By sometime in 1943, the NYA program ended and the building was no longer used for war defense training. An October 30, 1943 article from the St. Cloud Daily Times reported that the building was being used to store equipment from Lawrence Hall since Army Air Force cadets had moved into that dormitory. President Dudley Brainard said that the plan for the building after the war was to use it as a men’s dormitory.

The building continued to be used as storage, including for the idle machinery previously used for war defense training. In June 1945, the building was leased to house soldiers who were assigned to assist at the local veterans’ hospital. It is unclear how long the lease was and when the building was vacated.

At their March 5, 1946 meeting, the Minnesota state college board authorized St. Cloud State to convert the building into a dormitory for men. Work had progressed but the Chronicle reported on October 4, 1946 that the renovation was delayed due to the lack of construction material. On November 2, 1946, the Chronicle reported that the building would be open soon to house 110 men living in Eastman Hall’s main gymnasium. While the men moved in, renovation continued and was completed in January 1947. A party was held at the new dormitory on March 15, 1947 and “may also be considered an open house for the dorm as this will be the first party held there.”

By fall 1947, the building was in full operation and had a new name – Brainard Hall. The Minnesota state college board approved the name “Brainard Hall” in honor of the services of Dudley S. Brainard, long-time St. Cloud State faculty member and its acting president from 1943 to 1947. The building was dedicated on October 11, 1947 during homecoming. New St. Cloud State president John Headley was the main speaker.

Time and campus changes were not kind to Brainard Hall. The July 11, 1958 St. Cloud Daily Times reported that St. Cloud State president George Budd considered closure of the 78 bed Brainard Hall. The building needed a new boiler and roof. Architects advised that those repairs were not feasible. Playing into Brainard Hall’s fate was the opening of the new Mitchell Hall women’s dormitory in fall 1958 with an addition due to open in the fall of 1959. Once Mitchell Hall opened, Shoemaker Hall, a women’s dormitory, would house male students - Brainard Hall would no longer be needed. Budd closed Brainard Hall in time for the fall 1958 quarter. The state college board at their December 19, 1958 meeting supported Budd’s decision to close Brainard Hall and moved that it “be abandoned for dormitory purposes and to investigate the possibility of demolishing the building.” In December 1960, Landwehr Heavy Moving demolished Brainard Hall. The property was then to be used as parking for Selke Field events.

In a 1976 land swap with St. Cloud State, the city of St. Cloud acquired the property except for one lot that was privately held. That lot was purchased by the city in 1983. The property became a park and named West Selke Park. In 1986, Rotary Club donated funds to equip the park and the name was changed to “Rotary Park East” and, in 2020, is still intact. The Rotary Club donated funds for a basketball court, picnic tables and grills, and new playground equipment.

The blueprints for the demolished Brainard Hall are available in the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

  • St. Cloud Daily Times, November 4, 1939
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, December 13, 1940
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, February 7, 1941
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, January 19, 1942
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, July 25, 1942
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, November 20, 1942
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, January 28, 1943
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, February 22, 1944
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, May 9, 1945
  • St. Cloud Times, May, 8, 1986

Herb Brooks National Hockey Center (1989)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

National Hockey Center, 1996
National Hockey Center, 1996

Herb Brooks coaching St. Cloud State, 1986-1987

Herb Brooks coaching St. Cloud State, 1986-1987

National Hockey Center groundbreaking, September 23, 1988

National Hockey Center groundbreaking, September 23, 1988

National Hockey Center construction, 1989

National Hockey Center construction, 1989

National Hockey Center construction, 1989

National Hockey Center construction, 1989

Puck is dropped at first NHC game, December 1989

Puck is dropped at the first NHC hockey game, December 1989

Hockey game at the NHC, 1991

Hockey game at the NHC, 1991 

A famous Minnesota hockey head coach and a desire to jump the men's hockey team to Division I from Division III hockey led to a quick and stunning funding by the state of Minnesota for the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

In May 1986, St. Cloud State hired St. Paul native Herb Brooks as the new men's head hockey coach. Brooks coached the 1980 US men's Olympic hockey team to a gold medal. Formerly head coach of the University of Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team before the Olympics, Brooks was coach of the NHL's New York Rangers from 1981 to 1985. Brooks and St. Cloud State desired to move the men's hockey program from Division III to Division I competition. A major component of that proposed move was a larger arena to play. In 1986, a decade-old proposal was submitted to the Minnesota state legislature for a hockey arena, football stadium, and a track. Eventually, the hockey arena part of the proposal was split off from the other athletic needs for legislators to consider separately.

In his only season at St. Cloud State, Brooks posted a 25-10-1 record, finishing third in the NCAA Division III tournament. Brooks brought instant credibility to the program. Along with St. Cloud State president Brendan McDonald, administrator William Radovich, men's athletic director Morris Kurtz, and others, Brooks successfully lobbied the 1987 Minnesota state legislature to fund a new arena located on the St. Cloud State campus.

Thought dead many times over the 1987 legislative session, the proposed arena was eventually billed as a possible training site for Olympic athletes. In May 1987, that possibility swayed state legislators to fund an arena at St. Cloud State with a $9.5 million appropriation. Hockey was not going to be the sole focus of the arena, and was to be used for other student activities, intramurals, and events such as commencement and music concerts. A new on-campus multi-purpose football stadium and track were not funded.

In June 1987, the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States designated the soon-to-be built arena as an official training center in which "high-level international games will be played” as well as “Olympic development youth hockey camps."

In July 1987, Ellerbe Associates was selected as the architect to design the arena. Work began immediately on those plans.

The March 24, 1988 edition of the St. Cloud Times reported that there were cost overruns and St. Cloud State needed to pare the project down. To stay within budget, possible cuts included reducing seating capacity, providing seating on just two sides of the arena, and eliminating a physical link to Halenbeck Hall to the north.

Architectural plans were completed by August 1988. According to the August 3, 1988 edition of the St. Cloud Times, the name of the building was revealed – National Hockey Center (NHC). The main Olympic ice sheet (200 feet long by 100 feet wide) was oriented east to west, while the second ice sheet sat to the east of the main rink and oriented north to south. Due to costs, the main ice sheet had seating on only two sides, with standing room at each end, reducing seating capacity to 6,000.

Ground was broken for the National Hockey Center on September 23, 1988 and construction began in early October. Donlar Construction submitted the lowest (and winning) bid of $6.9 million to build the arena.

When completed in late 1989, the National Hockey Center contained 138,000 square feet of space. The building hosted its first collegiate hockey game on December 16, 1989 in front of 3680 fans. St. Cloud State defeated Northern Michigan University 5-4.

The National Hockey Center was officially dedicated January 20, 1990. With 4,026 fans in attendance, St. Cloud State defeated Michigan Tech 5-0.

As a result of the jump to Division I hockey for the 1987/88 season and the construction of a new arena to host games, St. Cloud State was admitted to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in April 1988 (and finalized a year later) to begin conference play in the 1990/91 season. Thus, for three seasons, St. Cloud State played as an independent.

On March 5, 1994, the main sheet of ice was named the “Brendan J. McDonald Ice Rink” to honor Brendan McDonald, who served as St. Cloud State’s president from 1982 to 1992. McDonald played a major role in bringing Division I hockey and funding for a new arena to St. Cloud State.

By the late 2000s, efforts began to remodel and add on to the National Hockey Center. To better describe the building, at least by early 2009, the name was temporarily changed to the National Hockey and Event Center (NHEC). Front row Marketing Services from Philadelphia was hired to help secure sponsorship and naming rights of the building after a planned $14.7 million renovation.

In March 2009, JLG Architects was hired to design the renovation and later included Hagemeister Architects. Work finally started by Donlar Construction after a groundbreaking ceremony on March 2, 2012. Central to the renovation was a four story, 50,000 square foot glass atrium on the building’s southside. In all, 61,000 square feet was added. The four-story addition included a main floor lobby and ticketing area with elevators to the upper floors of the atrium. The now second floor concourse to the building was widened and featured two new concession stands and bathrooms, as well as Husky Den. The fourth floor included luxury suites and working space for support services. The home men’s and women’s locker and training rooms were renovated as well. A team store was added to the west side of the arena in a space that had served as the ticket office. The interior of the main rink was painted and graphic design elements celebrated St. Cloud State’s long hockey history.

Renamed the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in the spring of 2013, a grand reopening celebration was held on September 28, 2013. Brooks’ son, Dan, spoke at the celebration.

The state of Minnesota provided $6.5 million for the addition. The remainder of the $14.7 million of the 2013 renovation/addition was fundraised from the private sector.

On October 26, 2019, a statue of Herb Brooks was unveiled near the south entrance of the building. Generously and fully supported by Brooks’ younger brother Dave, the statue was created by Brodin Studios in Kimball, MN. Brodin Studios used the same mold for the Brooks statue that stands near the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Additional Sources

Brown Hall (1960)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Joseph Brown
J.C. Brown, 1925

Model of Brown Hall
Model of Brown Hall

Brown Hall (1960)
Construction of Brown Hall (1958)

Construction of Brown Hall (1959)
Construction of Brown Hall (1959)

Brown Hall (1960)
Brown Hall (1960)

Brown Hall was the start of the tremendous physical growth of St. Cloud State University classrooms that began in the late 1950s. Before Brown Hall opened in January 1960, Stewart Hall was the only classroom and office building on campus. After Brown Hall was completed, many other buildings followed. Over the next 10 years, campus would change dramatically.

With $1.412 million from the 1957 Minnesota state legislature, construction began in September 1958, marking the start of the westward movement of campus from its traditional home along the Mississippi River. The Science and Mathematics building (it would be renamed in 1962) was to be three stories that occupied a half-block between 1st and 2nd Avenue South. A small greenhouse was to be attached to the building along with a bell shaped 250 person auditorium on the north side.

The building became the home of the departments of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Mathematics, as well as the sections for botany and geology. Inside were 29 laboratories and classrooms, nine research rooms, and 29 offices. The building also included an aviation workshop and a ramp entrance for handicapped students. Science equipment from Stewart Hall was moved here, including an additional $75,000 for more.

When the building opened in January 1960, it contained 78,965 square feet of space, about two-thirds the size of Stewart Hall. Brown Hall was to relieve student traffic by at least one-fourth from Stewart Hall, the only classroom building on campus.

The building was designed by Traynor and Hermanson. The general contractor was Gunner Johnson and Son.

On October 26, 1958, the Science and Mathematics building was dedicated, despite construction just starting. The building would officially open in January 1960.

In August 1962, the Minnesota State College Board renamed the building the "J.C. Brown Science and Mathematics Building." J.C. Brown was St. Cloud State's ninth president, serving from 1916 to 1927. It was the second space named after President Brown - the first was the J.C. Brown Athletic Field which stood just west of Shoemaker Hall.

The 2008 Minnesota state legislature appropriated $15 million to renovate Brown Hall to become the home of the Nursing program. The renovation was completed in 2010.

The blueprints for Brown Hall, as completed in 1960, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Case Hall (1964)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Marie Case
Marie Case visits Case Hall during construction

Case Hall (1960s)
Case Hall, 1960s

Case Hall construction (1963)
Case Hall construction, 1963

As the 1960s continued to roll on, the plans to expand campus were coming to fruition. The 1963 Minnesota state legislature approved several new campus buildings at St. Cloud State including a physical education building (Halenbeck Hall), a fine arts building (Performing Arts Center), maintenance and service building, and a new residence hall. That residence hall was Marie E. Case Hall, constructed under a plan to develop a residence hall complex on the north side of campus. Case Hall opened in September 1964 as a residence hall for men.

The funding for Case Hall was under a direct $3 million appropriation and $13 million available in a new bonding authority granted to the State College Board. The bonds were to be repaid from room rental income.

Bids for the new 200 bed, four story, fireproof brick and concrete building opened in August 1963. Winning bids were Wahl Construction Company (general), Johnson Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Allcity Electric Company (electrical). The bids totaled $590,010. The building was designed by Jackson-Hahn Associates and the consulting engineers were from Orr-Schelen-Mayeron and Associates.

Construction began in the late summer of 1963 and continued until the summer of 1964. The building shared a common lobby area with Hill Hall and, at the time, was a residence hall for women.

On November 22, 1963, the State College Board approved the name of the new dormitory – Marie E. Case Hall. Ms. Case served as a faculty member in the women’s physical education program at St. Cloud State from 1927 until her retirement in 1958.

Along with Holes Hall and Halenbeck Hall, Case Hall was dedicated on October 16, 1965.

In August 2012, Case Hall reopened after a renovation project that began the previous January. This $12.8 million project also renovated Hill Hall. Updates included wider doorways, larger bathrooms, improved kitchen facilities, a computer tech center, video surveillance, and card access.

The grand reopening of Case and Hill Halls was held on September 18, 2012.

The blueprints for Case Hall, as it was completed in 1964, are available on the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Centennial Hall (1971)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect rendering of Centennial Hall
Architect rendering of Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall ground breaking, October 1968
Centennial Hall ground breaking, October 1968

Centennial Hall construction, 1969
Centennial Hall construction, 1969

Centennial Hall sunken lounge, 1970s
Centennial Hall sunken lounge, 1970s

Centennial Hall, 1970s
Centennial Hall, 1970s

The campus library is at the heart of a university and St. Cloud State is no exception. Since the doors opened at St. Cloud State on September 15, 1869, campus has always had a library. Thanks to the Baby Boomers coming of age, the rapid growth of enrollment that began in the late 1950s and continued until the early 1970s, it became clear that a new campus library was desperately needed to be relevant.

Planning for a new campus library began in the early 1960s. Kiehle Library, which opened in the fall of 1952, was meant to serve a student population of 2,000. By 1965, St. Cloud State was serving almost 7,000 students. With a projected enrollment of 10,000 students by 1970, it became clear that Kiehle Library had to be replaced and fast. A new library building also provided an opportunity for a new direction – the library being more than a traditional library by encompassing media and technology to support St. Cloud State’s instructional program. Instead of a library, the library became a “learning resources center.”

To build a new library building, the 1965 and 1967 Minnesota state legislative sessions appropriated in total $4 million to St. Cloud State. A federal grant awarded an additional $400,000. Campus planners origiinally envisioned that the library would be built in two phases but was soon abandoned. They realized that the impact of rising construction costs could be held to a minimum if built all at once, as well as the opportunity to provide better climate control than planned and incorporating proven instructional technology into the building.

St. Cloud State kicked off its centennial celebration with Heritage Day on October 2, 1968. The main event for Heritage Day was the ground breaking for the new library building. Centennial Hall, described as the "new campus focal point," was to be built on the intersection of 7th Street South and 3rd Avenue South. Participating in the ground breaking were Minnesota state college chancellor Theodore Mitau, Minnesota governor Harold LeVander, St. Cloud State president Robert Wick, and St. Cloud mayor Edward Henry. Centennial Hall was designated as the “official Centennial year building.”

According to a March 18, 1969 press release, the Wahl Construction Company was hired as the general contractor for Centennial Hall with a bid of $1.9 million. Other winning bids were Holm Bros Plumbing-Heating (mechanical), $266,700, Weidners Plumbing-Heating (HVAC), $355,000, and Granite City Electric (electrical) $419,276.

Designed by architects S.C. Smiley and Associates, construction for Centennial Hall began in March 1969 and was slated to open in May 1970. Due to delays related to construction and an extended workers strike, the building did not open until May 1971.

Totaling 178,000 square feet, complete with a basement, the four story Centennial Hall was designed to seat 2,200 people at once, make accessible 470,000 volumes, and shaped as a rectangle that measured 154 feet by 244 feet. The building itself was constructed with reinforced concrete with brick paneling and built in a way that two stories could be added to the roof with no further structural alterations.

According to the May 1972 dedication program, the ground floor of Centennial Hall contained the campus computer center, technical services, TV production services, and a study area. The first floor included library administrative offices, card catalog, technical services, lecture room and classrooms. The second floor contained Special Collections (including archival material), curriculum material, a photography laboratory, and offices for the academic department of Library and Audio-Visual Education. The third floor housed reference services and reference collection, periodicals, microfilm, classrooms, study carrels, and offices. The fourth and top floor included the bulk of the circulating book collection, 80 enclosed study carrels, and two study rooms.

Centennial Hall featured RRAIRS (Remote Random Access Information Retrieval System), an innovative technology that allowed students to view remote materials in the library. 30 RRAIRS stations in the building allowed users to access this material from a remote location. The building also had three rear screen projection rooms.

At the November 20, 1967, Minnesota state college board meeting, the building was named Centennial Hall: Learning Resources Center to honor St. Cloud State’s centennial year as well as reflect the library’s expanded role in learning and instruction. As with other campus buildings constructed in the 1960s, there was another name proposed for Centennial Hall. At the board’s January 11, 1966 meeting, St. Cloud State proposed to name the yet-to-be constructed building “Grannis-Martin Library” to honor two long-time and retired librarians Edith Grannis and Mamie Martin. The resolution was tabled.

Centennial Hall officially opened in late May 1971, even though St. Cloud State was in the midst of its spring quarter. Kiehle Library closed in late April 1971 and materials were moved to the new Centennial Hall building over the next month. During the summer of 1971, various areas within the building were completed. A dedication was held in early May 1972.

Planning for another new campus library began in the early 1990s, resulting in new state appropriations. The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center opened in August 2000. No longer serving as the campus library, Centennial Hall sat mostly empty until it could serve another purpose.

The 2003 and 2005 Minnesota state legislative sessions appropriated a total of $13.3 million for the renovation of Centennial Hall while St. Cloud State raised and contributed another $2.2 million, including a $500,000 gift from the Herberger family. GLTArchitects was hired to design and oversee the Centennial Hall renovation, which occurred in stages beginning in 2006. Opening its doors in time for the 2007 fall semester, Centennial Hall's primary purpose was to house the Herberger Business School, including its academic departments. Other campus units included Career Services Center, Honors program, Undergraduate Studies, and Husky Bookstore. 

A renovation celebration of Centennial Hall was held on April 24, 2008.

Rectangular in shape, each floor of Centennial Hall was cantilevered to provide shade for the floor below. Sculptural in design, the building was influenced by Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s 1955 High Court building in Punjab, India. Centennial Hall is constructed of reenforced concrete with red brick that softens the gray, concrete walls. The 2007 renovation ruined the building’s sculptural aspect when windows were punched into the walls of the top story.

The blueprints for Centennial Hall, as completed in 1971, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Eastman Hall (1930)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of Eastman Hall, 1929
Architect's rendering of Eastman Hall, 1929

Eastman Hall, 1930

Eastman Hall, 1930

Alvah Eastman, ca. 1930

Alvah Eastman, ca. 1930

Eastman Hall, 1940s-1950s

Eastman Hall, 1940s-1950s

Eastman Hall pool, 1930

Eastman Hall pool, 1930

Basketball game at Eastman Hall, February 1964

Basketball game at Eastman Hall, February 1964

Eastman Hall Nautilus Center, January 1988

Eastman Hall Nautilus Center, January 1988

Eastman Hall gymnasium and east windows, January 1995

Eastman Hall gymnasium and east windows, January 1995

 

Eastman Hall was the first campus building constructed to house physical education. St. Cloud State was small enough that the Old Main building, which stood behind Stewart Hall, housed nearly all academic functions. The campus was slowly growing, both physically and academically. Statewide, educational offerings at Minnesota state colleges were expanding. The Minnesota state colleges began to offer four-year baccalaureate programs by the late 1920s, partly due to the increase of enrollment. Enrollment at St. Cloud State was expanding as well. At St. Cloud State in the fall of 1919 just after the end of World War I, 1,057 students attended, compared to the 1,649 students by the fall of 1930. Over just a 10-year period, enrollment increased by 35 percent. That enrollment increase fueled the expansion of the physical campus, resulting in the construction of Eastman Hall.

After two failed attempts, the 1929 Minnesota state legislature provided $225,000 “[f]or construction of physical education and classroom building and the acquisition by purchase or condemnation by the state teachers’ college board of such lands as the board shall determine to be necessary therefor, available for the year ending June 30, 1930”. The appropriation also provided for funds to purchase additional land to add to campus. Property was purchased from the campus boundary just south of Riverview to 10th Street South on the east side of 1st Avenue South. A home owned by J.E. Jenks stood on the property where Eastman Hall was to be constructed. The house was moved just south of the Eastman Hall site in the fall of 1929, renovated for $3000, and called “Music Studio” for use by St. Cloud State’s department of Music. The home was demolished in 1969.

According to an article in the "St. Cloud Times" on Nov. 7, 1929, construction began that day. The building was designed by Minnesota state architect Clarence Johnston, who also designed the second (and still standing) Lawrence Hall, the old Model School building (which stood just south of Old Main and demolished in 1960), Riverview and Shoemaker Hall. Designed in the Moorish style, Eastman Hall was the final campus building designed by Johnston. According to that same "St. Cloud Times" article, a special bid was provided for "the use of special Minnesota clay brick for the exterior." That brick would also be ornamented in a "diaper pattern" when the building was complete.

Construction contracts were awarded to A.G. Wahl and Sons (general), Charles Connor and Company (heating), and People’s Electrical Company (Electrical).

According to an article in the "St. Cloud Times" on Feb. 13, 1930, the cornerstone was laid the day before on Feb. 12. Presiding over the ceremony was St. Cloud State president George Selke. Minnesota state senator J.D. Sullivan, who helped secure the state appropriation, spoke at the cornerstone ceremony and praised the college and its soon to be completed physical education building, “[t]he standing of the St. Cloud College is of such character, and the work so beneficial that the mere suggestion of the need of this building several years ago should have been accepted as sufficient proof have its necessity.”

A time capsule in a small copper box was placed underneath the cornerstone. Inside the copper box contained a copy of the 1929 St. Cloud State "Talahi" yearbook, the final issue of the "St. Cloud Journal-Press", a copy of an article about homecoming in 1929 in the "St. Cloud Journal-Press", a history of St. Cloud State, a roster signed by every current St. Cloud State student, and a St. Cloud State course catalog. The copper box was sealed by faculty member Marie Case. “Motion pictures” were taken by L.L. Williams – the fate of that film is unknown.

Eastman Hall opened in September 1930. According to an article in the "St. Cloud Times" on Oct. 3, 1930, Eastman Hall was dedicated during homecoming that day. The dedication took place in Eastman Hall’s main gymnasium. That gymnasium seated 1,100 spectators, which included two balconies. The building also contained two side gymnasiums and locker rooms located below the main gymnasium. Eastman Hall also contained a 65 foot by 25 foot swimming pool that was finished with green and white tile, bringing a new sport on campus – swimming. With the opening of Eastman Hall, it would relieve overcrowding in the Old Main building and the campus library located in the Old Model School building. Classes for “psychology,” sociology, and composition were to be moved to Eastman Hall.

At the dedication, the building’s name was officially unveiled – Eastman Hall. It was named for Alvah Eastman, a prominent St. Cloud citizen who served as resident director twice, 1901-1908 and 1926-1933. A resident director served on the Minnesota state college board and represented the campus – Eastman served for St. Cloud State. Eastman also has owned and served as the editor the "St. Cloud Journal-Press" newspaper until 1929 when the paper merged with the "St. Cloud Times". When Eastman died in December 1939, he was referred to as “St. Cloud’s First Citizen”.

According to an article about the dedication from the Oct. 4, 1930 edition of the "St. Cloud Times", St. Cloud State president George Selke said of Eastman, “Throughout the many years since he first became director of the St. Cloud State Teachers college, Alvah Eastman has been its most valuable and most devoted friend. We honor the St. Cloud State Teachers college in naming its new physical education building for a man whose highest ambition has been the serving of this fellow man.” In response, Eastman said, “I’ll have to behave myself the rest of my life to live up to the reputation which has been given me here tonight.”

Besides providing classroom space, Eastman Hall served as the main home for physical education, including intercollegiate athletics. The first basketball game played at Eastman Hall occurred on Jan. 10, 1931. St. Cloud State defeated St. John’s University, 24-23. The last basketball game was played on Feb. 20, 1965. St. Cloud State defeated Moorhead State, 78-73. According to a press release dated Feb. 15, 1965, special guests were members of the 1930 St. Cloud State basketball team that played in that first game, including former head coach John Weismann, Edward Colletti, Malcolm Doane, and Gene Rengel.

According to an article in the Jan. 26, 1940 edition of the "College Chronicle", Health Services was first housed in Eastman Hall. Health Services moved to Hill Hall in the summer of 1973.

In the fall of 1946, according to an article in the November 22, 1946 edition of the "College Chronicle", the main gymnasium was the "temporary home of more than 100 veterans." The gym would soon be emptied in the next few days for basketball practice once the "new men's dormitory" (Brainard Hall) opened in the next few days.

More noticeable changes to Eastman Hall include the large west windows being closed up in the spring of 1963 to “eliminate sun glare.” Also done at that time was to replace the building’s four wooden doors with aluminum doors.

Halenbeck Hall opened in the summer of 1965 and became the new home for physical education. Eastman Hall would then serve as a fitness center, home for intramurals, faculty offices and classrooms. Art, Student Teaching, ROTC, and, especially, English, were housed in Eastman Hall after 1965. The building closed sometime in 2012.

The 2017 Minnesota state legislature provided $18.5 million for the renovation of Eastman Hall. Renovation began in the fall of 2017 and was completed in the summer of 2019. Home to the Center for Health and Wellness Innovation, Eastman Hall includes the Medical Clinic (formerly Student Health Services), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Recovery Resource Center, and the U-Choose program as well as others. A ribbon cutting to officially open the building was held on August 20, 2019 and a grand opening on September 29, 2019.

The blueprints for Eastman Hall, as completed in 1930, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Ervin House (1940)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Carol Hall, undated
Ervin House, undated

Carol Selke, 1930s

Carol Selke, 1930s

Bird's eye view of Ervin House, 1976

Bird's eye view of Ervin House, 1976

Ervin House, 1985

Ervin House, 1985  

Despite the Great Depression that gripped the country in the 1930s, St. Cloud State expanded its physical campus footprint. Administrators saw the opportunity to acquire property near campus for mostly future use.

In 1936, the former Ervin home at 425 1st Avenue South was acquired by St. Cloud State. At the June 2, 1936 meeting of the Minnesota State Teachers College board, St. Cloud State was authorized to purchase the structure for a sum not to exceed $12,000, using monies from the “General and Dormitory Funds” line. The June 4, 1936 St. Cloud Daily Times announced that the acquisition by the school was final. At the time of purchase by St. Cloud State, it was the home for the Wheelock Whitney, Sr., family. According to the June 12, 1934 edition of the St. Cloud Daily Times, the Wheelock Whitney family was scheduled to move into the home in time for fall 1934.

Designed by Minneapolis architects Tyrie and Chapman, the home was finished circa 1919. It was built by Mary Ervin, widow of Harry Clay Ervin.

Married in 1883, Philadelphians Harry Clay Ervin (born on November 27, 1860) and Mary Jeannette Sappington (born May 16, 1861) moved to Minnesota in 1887. They followed flour miller George Tileston to Fairbault. When Tileston opened a new mill in St. Cloud in 1888, the Ervins moved to the city, where Harry managed the mill. In 1902, Ervin purchased Wesley Carter's mill and renamed it the St. Cloud City Mills. Successful, the couple, along with their four children, began plans to build a new home. Despite the death of Harry on November 15, 1914, Mary went ahead with plans to construct a new home. She passed away on December 8, 1947 and is buried in St. Cloud’s North Cemetery alongside her husband Harry.

Carol Hall opened in the fall of 1940 as a gathering meeting place for campus. The building was dubbed “Carol Hall” in honor of St. Cloud State president George Selke’s wife Carol. A student union opened in the home’s basement in early 1941. In the fall of 1942, Civilian Pilot Training Course cadets arrived on campus and were housed in Carol Hall for most of that academic year.

The September 24, 1943 edition of the Chronicle announced the use of Carol House as a women’s co-op dormitory and housed 17 individuals. One reason was the use of Lawrence Hall by Army Air Force cadets, which displaced its female residents in March 1943. The first two floors of Carol Hall housed the students, while the basement, formerly the campus student union, had laundry facilities and a recreation room. The third floor remained empty but could be finished for further use.

Due to an increase of enrollment in the fall of 1946, especially of men who now outnumbered female students for the first time at St. Cloud State, the third floor was used to house women. 16 women slept on bunkbeds to alleviate overcrowding of campus residence halls. Use of Carol Hall as a residence hall continued into the 1960s.

With the creation and expansion of the residence hall complex on the northeast side of campus throughout the 1960s, especially when the first phase of Benton Hall opened in 1967, Carol Hall had a nearly $70,000 renovation done. A press release from June 29, 1967 spelled out those renovations: repair and conversion of a heating system from steam to hot water, remodeling bathrooms, improving electrical wiring, third floor conversion into sleeping quarters, installation of a third-floor fire escape, roof repairs, and exterior painting. The building became part of the Benton Hall residence complex. Carol Hall housed Benton Hall resident mailboxes and contained recreational and laundry facilities. When Benton Hall closed after the 2017 spring semester, those uses ended.

Carol Hall continued to be used as a dormitory through the 1971/72 academic year. In its last years as a residence hall, Carol Hall housed 22 women.

In time for fall 1972, Carol Hall was converted into campus office space. According to the 1972/73 campus telephone directory, Housing (today’s Residential Life) occupied Carol Hall’s first floor while Allied Health and Alumni Affairs were located on the second floor. By the next fall, Housing was the building’s only occupant.

In fall 2011, Carol Hall was renamed Ervin House to honor the Ervin family.

In March 2020, Residential Life moved from Ervin House to Hill Hall, in space that was formerly occupied by Health Services. Health Services moved to newly renovated Eastman Hall in the summer of 2019. Ervin House is now closed.

Campus architectural historian Bill Morgan described Ervin House as Dutch Colonial. Elements on Ervin House of Dutch Colonial style include a gambrel roof, dormers and a symmetrical façade that is graced with a narrow columned porch. The roof is sheathed with colorful slate shingles.

The blueprints for Ervin House, as completed circa 1919, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Garvey Commons (1963)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Beth Garvey
Beth Porter Garvey in front of Garvey Commons, 1964

Construction of addition
Construction of addition, March 1987

Garvey Commons during construction
Garvey Commons during construction, 1963

Garvey Commons (1963)
Garvey Commons, 1963

To accommodate a rapidly growing campus, St. Cloud State planned for a dedicated food service building. Designed by Frank Jackson and Associates, Garvey Commons consisted of a modern kitchen containing the “latest in food preparation and dishwashing equipment” on the ground level, a 56 by 100 foot dining room which sat 450 people, two food service counters, and a private dining room.

Garvey Commons was initially intended for commuter students and all women students living in St. Cloud State residence halls. It replaced the cafeteria located in the basement of Stewart Hall. Men living in St. Cloud State residence halls would continue to eat their meals at the Shoemaker Hall cafeteria. Garvey Commons, along with Hill Hall, were the first buildings of a new eight building residence hall complex to be located between 1st and 3rd Avenue South and 4th and 6th Street South.

Funds for the construction of Garvey Commons did not include tax money but instead Minnesota State College board bonds to be repaid from revenues earned. The first phase of construction cost $549,641.

Bids opened in March 1962 and excavation began in early April 1962. Contracts were awarded to Wahl Construction (general), St. Cloud Restaurant Supply (equipment), Knapp Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Granite City Electric Company (electrical).

Intended to open in December 1962, Garvey Commons served its first meal in June 1963.

Shortly after the building was opened in June 1963, the Minnesota State College Board officially named the building “Beth Porter Garvey Commons” at their June 17, 1963 meeting. Garvey arrived on campus in 1925 and retired in 1953. She was St. Cloud State’s first dean of women.

In letters written to St. Cloud State president George Budd and to the Minnesota State College Board in June 1963, Garvey was very thankful for the building being named in honor of her service to the school.

Garvey Commons was dedicated during homecoming week on October 12, 1963. Other buildings dedicated at the same time were Headley Hall and Hill Hall. Two dining rooms were dedicated to honor the four Hayden sisters and three Joyner brothers who attended St. Cloud State between 1904 and 1922.

Planning began to construct an addition to Garvey Commons began soon after the building opened in 1963. The construction for the north addition, which cost $314,430, began in the summer of 1964 and was designed by Jackson-Rahn Associates. Contractors were Wahl Construction (general), Knapp Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Granite City Electric Company (electrical).

The new construction included two large dining rooms, additional serving lines, expansion of the dishwashing room, relocation of a staff lounge, and a bakery area. The addition opened in 1965.

Between February and August, 1987, Garvey Commons went through a complete renovation, construction of a west addition, and a new concourse to link the building with nearby Sherburne Hall. Designed by Fredric Wemlinger and Associates and built by Donlar Corporation, Garvey Commons would now able to sit 1,100 people at one time. The building was rededicated on October 19, 1987.

The blueprints for Garvey Commons, as it was completed in 1963 (and part of the plans for Hill Hall), and its 1987 renovation, are available on the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Gray Campus Laboratory School / Engineering and Computing Center (1958)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Thomas Gray
Thomas J. Gray

Girl weeping
A girl weeps after the final day of the Campus Laboratory School, May 27, 1983

Gray Laboratory School construction, 1958
Gray Laboratory School construction, 1958?

Campus Lab School (1960s)
Thomas J. Gray Campus Laboratory School, 1960s

Engineering and Computing Center
Engineering and Computing Center, 1980s

The teaching of teachers has been a core function of St. Cloud State University. Founded in 1869, St. Cloud State was established to train teachers to teach in Minnesota public schools. And those teachers in training needed a place to observe “master” teachers teach children as well as have a place to do their own student teaching.

Several buildings at St. Cloud State has served as the campus “laboratory” school, dating back to 1869. The laboratory school was a fully functioning school with grades from kindergarten to 8th, sometimes more, depending on the time period. Run by St. Cloud State, the children received instruction from university faculty. The Thomas J. Gray Campus Laboratory School was the final building to hold that distinction. After the laboratory school closed in the spring of 1983, the building was soon renamed the Engineering and Computing Center and renovated a few years later.

With $800,000 appropriated by the state of Minnesota in 1955, construction began in July 1957. The building, which replaced Riverview as the building housing the laboratory school, did not obtain all of its funding to construct as designed. That funding would be received later and then used to fully complete the structure.

The building was designed by two firms – Traynor and Hermanson and Gausman and Moore. The building’s main contractor was Art Wahl and Son.

The laboratory school opened in time for the 1958 fall session and was simply called the "Campus Laboratory School." In August 1962, the Minnesota State College Board renamed the structure the “Thomas J. Gray Campus Laboratory School” in honor of Thomas Gray. Gray was the first alum to serve as president, graduating in 1872. Gray was hired as a faculty member the next year. Gray served two stints as president, including one as acting. Gray was acting president in the fall of 1881 and would be appointed permanently to the position in 1884, replacing Jerome Allen. Gray left St. Cloud State in 1890 to become president of the Greeley Normal School, now the University of Northern Colorado.

In 1959, a year after the building opened, the Minnesota State Legislature appropriated additional funds to complete the building. Designed by Traynor and Hermanson, construction for the addition began in May 1961. Opened in time for the 1962 fall session, the $283,413 addition included a gymnasium and allied art area, dressing rooms, two physical education offices, two conference rooms, equipment storage, and industrial arts and arts areas.

The contractors for the 1962 addition were Kratochvil and Company (general), Erickson Electrical Service (electrical), Phil Thometz and Son (plumbing and ventilating), and St. Cloud Plumbing and Heating (heating).

The building was dedicated on October 26, 1958 along with Mitchell Hall and Math and Science building (later named Brown Hall).

The Thomas J. Gray Campus Laboratory School closed in the spring of 1983. Though the training of teachers was still part of the overall university curriculum, St. Cloud State would no longer operate its own laboratory school. In late 1983, the building was referred to as the “Engineering and Computing Center” and slated for a renovation. The renovation was to turn the building into the home for the academic departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics and Statistics, as well as for Academic Computer Services and the Child Care Center.

Renovation and construction for the new addition, designed by Pauly and Olsen Associates / Traynor, Hermanson, and Hahn, began in August 1985 and was completed in time for the 1986 fall quarter. The building was remodeled as well as had a new two story north wing added. This wing contained 52 additional offices. The general contractor was Donlar Construction.

In addition to the new structure for offices and general renovation, engineering labs and individual faculty labs were built, windows added to the gymnasium, and wiring upgraded.

The building was dedicated once more, but this time as the Engineering and Computing Center, on September 12, 1986.

The blueprints for Gray Campus Laboratory School / Engineering and Computing Center as completed in 1958, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Other sources used include: Chronicle articles on January 22, 1957, April 30, 1957, April 29, 1958, October 21, 1958, June 22, 1983, November 4, 1983, and July 24, 1985.

Halenbeck Hall (1965)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of Halenbeck Hall
Architect's rendering of Halenbeck Hall

Philip Halenbeck
Philip L. Halenbeck

Halenbeck Hall groundbreaking
Halenbeck Hall groundbreaking, September 9, 1963

Halenbeck Hall (1970s)
Halenbeck Hall, 1970s

The 1960s saw a great increase of the intellectual and physical presence at St. Cloud State. “Baby Boomers” flocked to campus to get an education and, in response, new campus facilities were built to accommodate the changes that were happening. Physical education was not immune to that growth. The 1963 Minnesota state legislature approved several new campus buildings at St. Cloud State including a fine arts building (Performing Arts Center), a maintenance and service building, a new residence hall (Case Hall), and a $2.2 million physical education building. Opened in June of 1965, the Philip L. Halenbeck Hall replaced Eastman Hall, increasing the amount of space used for the teaching of physical education as well as provide a larger home to many of St. Cloud State’s athletic programs. Eastman Hall opened in 1929.

On February 24, 1964, the Minnesota state college board named the building in honor of Dr. Philip L. Halenbeck, a local physician. According to a February 25, 1964 press release, Halenbeck provided funds for St. Cloud State’s first academic scholarships, helped conduct the school’s first major fundraising campaign (to build Atwood Memorial Center, which opened in 1966), and financed “the research required for planning closed-circuit and educational television facilities at the college.” The building was designed by architects Traynor and Hermanson.

According to an August 16, 1963 press release, the main portion of the building was to contain two handball courts, storage rooms, two classrooms, gymnastics room, wrestling room, dance studio, and a main gymnasium with pull out bleachers to seat 8000 fans. The south end of the building was to house an Olympic size swimming pool, an adjacent diving pool and bleachers to seat 500 fans, as well as a training room, first aid room, lockers, team rooms, offices, staff conference rooms, lounge, general office, seminar room, and four classrooms.

Bids were awarded in the summer of 1963: Conlin Construction Company (general), Cold Spring Electric (electrical), Knapp Plumbing and Heating (plumbing), McDowall Company (ventilation and heating), and Haldeman and Homme (bleachers), totaling just under $2 million. After the remaining homes at the site were to demolished or moved, construction on the building began in August 1963. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 9, 1963.

Halenbeck Hall opened in June 1965, hosting commencement ceremonies for St. Cloud’s Tech High School on June 3 and St. Cloud State on June 11, 1965.

Along with Case Hall and Holes Hall, Halenbeck Hall was dedicated on October 16, 1965.

A south addition to Halenbeck Hall opened in the fall of 1980 that provided for 86,900 square feet of further physical education space. Designed by architects Sovik, Mathre, Sathum, and Quanbeck, the Donlar Construction Company was hired to build the addition. $4.7 million for the Halenbeck Hall addition was approved by the 1979 Minnesota state legislature. Construction began in the summer of 1979. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 8, 1979.

According to a November 12, 1980 press release, the $5 million addition included “an activity center bordered by a 200-meter, six-lane running track and multiple-purpose area covered by a composition floor, 30 feet below the roof. The center of the track measured 160 feet by 300 feet long, which also contained a system of suspended nets to separate various activities. The addition also included six regulation size racquetball courts, a wrestling practice room, intramural offices, and human performance facility. Also included were second floor locker rooms and six women’s athletic team rooms, as well as three third floor classrooms, nine faculty offices, and two conference rooms.

The south addition was dedicated on December 2, 1980. The dedication speaker was St. Cloud native and prominent Minnesotan Wheelock Whitney.

Architecturally, Halenbeck Hall is a prime example of Late-Modern, a style identified by the use of reinforced concrete, brick, a minimum of ornamentation and rectilinear, slab-like forms. Doors on the east and west walls are beneath four Gothicized hoods, the only ornamental features found on the entire building and may have been intentionally designed to reflect the Gothic hoods found around windows on many late 19th century homes in St. Cloud.  The east and west walls also contain three cave-like entrances rendered in concrete. One can see where the imprints were left when the wooden forms were removed after the concrete was poured and considered an aesthetic element in Late-Modern style.

The blueprints for Halenbeck as it looked when the building opened June 1965 and for the south addition of Halenbeck Hall, as it was completed in 1980, are available on the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Headley Hall (1963)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

John W. Headley
John W. Headley

Architect's rendering of Headley Hall
Architect's rendering of Headley Hall, 1961

Headley Hall construction
Headley Hall construction, 1962

Headley Hall (1963)
Headley Hall, April 1963

Headley Hall opened in April 1963 to serve as the new home for the departments of Industrial Arts and Art. Officially named by the Minnesota State College board on August 17, 1962, as the “John W. Headley Industry and Art” building, it honored John Headley, who served as St. Cloud State president from 1947 through the end of 1951. Headley, who also was president of today’s Mayville State University in North Dakota from 1945 to 1947, left St. Cloud State in 1952 to become president at South Dakota State University. He died in a 1957 hunting accident.

With an appropriation of $950,000 approved by the Minnesota state legislature in 1959, planning for the 34,500 square foot building began in the spring of 1961. According to an April 21, 1961 press release, the first floor was to contain “a woodworking shop, graphic arts room, bookstore, electricity, electronics and power shop, ham radio facilities, two metal shops, lobby and display area, two lecture rooms, finishing room, storage room, research laboratory, and eight offices.”

The second floor was to include “two pre-engineering drawing rooms, two conference rooms, a lobby and display area, a large lecture hall and a small lecture room, an art studio, an art education room, ceramics and sculpture room, a gallery and gallery storage room, nine offices, and general office, and a handicrafts and crafts room joined by a machine work room.”

Preparations to the property began in the summer of 1961. According to a May 17, 1961 press release, 20 homes were being sold by auction, which included removal from the property, demolition of the foundation, filling in of the basement, and clearing of site debris.

Designed by the St. Cloud firm of Frank Jackson and Associates, contractors to construct Headley Hall were hired in October 1961. According to a November 1, 1961 press release, Wahl Construction Company won the bid for general contractor, Knapp Plumbing and Heating for the mechanical work, and Granite City Electrical Company for the electrical. The bids amounted to $717,527, less than the appropriation. Construction began shortly afterwards and continued through 1962.

Headley Hall opened in April 1963. According to an article in the April 11, 1963 edition of the College Chronicle, the building was only partially open – the Department of Art began using their portion of the building while Industrial Arts was to move in shortly as Headley Hall was finished. For art, Headley Hall was significant. It finally provided appropriate classroom and display space for art students to learn and exhibit creative works.

Headley Hall, along with Garvey Commons and Hill Hall, were officially dedicated during homecoming week on October 12, 1963.

The blueprints for Headley Hall as completed in 1963, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Sources

Hill Hall (1962)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Helen Hill
Helen Hill

Hill Hall

Hill Hall, October 1962

Hill Hall construction (1961)
Hill Hall construction, October 1961

Hill Hall construction (1961)
Hill Hall construction, November 1961

Proposed residence hall complex
Proposed residence hall complex, June 1962

As St. Cloud State began its skyrocketing growth in the 1960s, administrators started to plan for the influx of incoming freshmen. Hill Hall, which opened in September 1962, was to be the first of a new eight building residence hall complex located between 1st and 3rd Avenue South and 4th and 6th Street South that would accommodate 1200 students.

On June 16, 1961, the Minnesota State College Board approved plans for a 200 bed women's residence hall. Designed by Frank Jackson and Associates, the four story structure was financed through Minnesota State College Board bonds to be repaid from revenues earned from room rentals. No tax money was used. At the time of the board's approval of the building, homes bordered by 5th and 6th Street South and 2nd and Third Avenue South were acquired to begin construction of Hill Hall and for future development of the residence hall complex.

In August 1961, thirteen homes and ten garages, acquired from the property where Hill Hall (and later Case Hall) was to be built, were sold at auction. Bids for these structures were to include removing the building from the property, demolishing the foundation, filling the basement, and clearing debris from the site.

Contractors were hired in September 1961 to construct the four-story fireproof brick and reinforced concrete structure. Contractors included Wahl Construction (general), Knapp Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Electric Motor Service (electrical). Excavation for Hill Hall began the next month.

Construction also included a commons area at the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue South and 4th and 6th Street South. Case Hall would later connect to this commons area.

On June 18, 1962, the Minnesota State College Board named the building in honor of Helen Hill. Hill served as a faculty member at St. Cloud State between 1915 and 1952. Hill Hall opened in September 1962.

Hill Hall and Case Hall, which opened in 1964, were the only buildings constructed from an early residence hall plan - see the image below that appeared in the College Chronicle on June 1, 1962. Of the eight proposed buildings, which all were to look alike, only Hill Hall and Case Hall were built.

Hill Hall would later serve an additional purpose - the new home for Health Services. Health Services, which was previously located in Eastman Hall, opened its doors on Hill Hall's main floor on July 30, 1973. This also included a pharmacy with a full-time pharmacist, a first for Health Services. Health Services were obligated to pay $11,200 in rent, the cost of what 45 students would have paid if those rooms had been rented..

In August 2012, Hill Hall reopened after a renovation project that began the previous January. This $12.8 million project also renovated Case Hall. Updates included wider doorways, larger bathrooms, improved kitchen facilities, a computer tech center, video surveillance, and card access. During the renovation, Health Services moved temporarily to Shoemaker Hall and returned to Hill Hall in time for the 2012/13 academic year.

The grand reopening of Case and Hill Halls was held on September 18, 2012.

Health Services moved back to a renovated Eastman Hall in the summer of 2019. Residential Life moved into the former Health Services space in Hill Hall in March 2020.

The blueprints for Hill Hall, as it opened in 1962, are available in the University Archives' Archon portal. The blueprints also include Garvey Commons.

Additional Sources

Holes Hall (1965)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Building dedication ceremony
Building dedication ceremony with Robert Wick, Marie Case, Wilbur Holes, and Philip Halenbeck, October 16, 1965

Wilbur H. Holes
Wilbur W. Holes, 1956

Holes Hall
Holes Hall, 1970s

Architect's rendering of Holes Hall
Architect's rendering of Holes Hall, 1964

As the 1960s progressed and Baby Boomers were seeking a higher education, St. Cloud State’s physical campus continued to grow in leaps and bounds, especially student housing. Two new dormitories Hill Hall (1962) and Case Hall (1964) were built since 1962 and Shoemaker Hall, originally opened in 1915, got a 400 bed addition to its south end. Construction continued to house the large and increasingly growing student body at St. Cloud State. The next residence hall to open was Holes Hall.

On September 19, 1964, the Minnesota state college board named the residence hall in honor of local businessman Wilbur W. Holes. Holes served as St. Cloud State’s resident director, representing the school at the state college board from 1947 to 1958. He was instrumental in developing the revenue bond financing plan at Minnesota state colleges, which helped fund construction at other state college campuses. Holes Hall was no exception – the building was funded through “self-liquidating revenue bonds, not state funds.” These bonds were to be repaid from room rental income.

Holes Hall was also a departure from student residence plans at St. Cloud State at the time. Plans were circulated as late as November 1963 to make future residence halls look all the same and be in a set pattern – see Hill Hall and Case Hall. But by the time Holes Hole went out to bid in May 1964, those plans had changed. A reason given appeared in a July 17, 1964 press release that stated the high rise building of nine stories was to be built “for economy of space and maximum use of land.” An architect’s rendering of the building, which appeared in the July 28, 1964 edition of the Chronicle, gave a look at what it would look like when completed. It was the first high-rise residence hall built at St. Cloud State.

Designed by Jackson-Hahn Associates, construction was scheduled to begin in late July 1964. With a budget of $1.2 million, Wahl Construction Company commenced its work as the general contractor. Other contractors included Sporleder Heating and Plumbing and Granite City Electric.

Construction lasted just over a year and Holes Hall opened in September 1965 in time for the new academic year. Containing 400 beds for female students, each of the upper eight floors contained 26 double bedrooms and a study room. In addition, each floor also had a central bathroom and laundry, plus the hallways were completely carpeted. While the upper eight floors housed students, the first floor served as a commons that contained offices, lounge with a television, and recreation room.

Before Holes Hall was completed, work began on a new nearly identical building nearby. Stearns Hall opened in the fall of 1966 that also contained 400 beds.

Along with Case Hall and Halenbeck Hall, Holes Hall was dedicated on October 16, 1965.

With the opening of Holes Hall in the fall of 1965, St. Cloud State increased its on-campus housing capacity to 2,050 to serve a student population of 6,169 students, up over a 1000 students from the fall of 1964. Total enrollment had doubled since 1959.

Holes Hall completely closed in the fall of 2014 and was demolished in June 2016.

The blueprints for Holes Hall as it looked when it opened in 1965 are available in the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Resources

Additional Images

Kiehle Library / Kiehle Visual Arts Center (1952)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect rendering of Kiehle, ca. 1950
Architect rendering of Kiehle, ca. 1950

David L. Kiehle
David Kiehle

Kiehle Library construction, 1952?
Kiehle Library construction, 1952?

Kiehle front entrance, 1952
Kiehle front entrance, 1952

Wilbur Holes (right) accepts the keys to Kiehle, 1953
Wilbur Holes (right) accepts the keys to Kiehle, 1953

Kiehle Library, 1950s
Kiehle Library, 1950s

Kiehle Library, 1967
Kiehle Library, 1967

Unofficial Kiehle renovation groundbreaking, November 1973
Unofficial Kiehle renovation groundbreaking, November 1973

Kiehle addition on southeast side of building, April 1974
Kiehle addition on southeast side of building, April 1974

Charles Graham at the Kiehle rededication ceremony, September 1975
Charles Graham at the Kiehle rededication ceremony, September 1975

Participants get ready to cut the electronic ribbon at Kiehle rededication, September 1975
Participants get ready to cut the electronic ribbon at Kiehle rededication, September 1975

After World War II, St. Cloud State, along with other institutions of higher learning, was growing. Much of that growth was due to the GI Bill, which ensured US military veterans were given a college education by the federal government. By 1950, St. Cloud State enrollment stood at 3123, up from 1784 students in 1946. With Stewart Hall opening in late 1948, campus facilities were becoming modern – and the need for a new campus library was evident.

Since 1913, the library was housed in the Old Model School building. The Old Model School opened in 1906 and served as the home for the campus laboratory school until Riverview opened in 1913. The library then moved from the Old Main building into the Old Model School. By 1948, the Old Model School was showing its age. In April that year, St. Cloud State began to lobby for a new campus library building. St. Cloud State then printed a booklet expressing the need, showing how inadequate the Old Model School had become as a library.

The booklet documented the poor state of the current library building, arguing that it no longer served the needs of the library collection and students. In addition, the Old Model School building was in danger of collapse. In 1946, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, which first accredited St. Cloud State the next year, gave the library collection a high rating but called the building as “totally inadequate…and a fire trap,” adding that it was “old, unattractive, and unsatisfactory for a modern educational program.”

The Minnesota state legislature listened. In the spring of 1949, $500,000 was appropriated to build a new library at St. Cloud State. In 1951, the state legislature appropriated an additional $275,000 for the library. $80,000 of the total would be used to equip the building.

A few campus sites were considered for the new library. In May 1949, SCS faculty recommended a site just north of Lawrence Hall on the banks of the Mississippi River. The recommendation believed the site offered “plenty of room for construction and an ideal setting in terms of natural beauty, seclusion, and unobstructed east lighting.” Other options considered were adding a south wing to Stewart Hall and on property across 1st Avenue South from Riverview.

By early 1951, former St. Cloud State student and architect Louis Pinault designed the building but was smaller than originally planned. Thanks to an additional appropriation from the state legislature in 1951, the building would be larger. Before the final appropriation was approved, bids went out and construction started. The lowest bidders included George Madsen (general contractor), Phil Thometz and Sons (ventilation), Knopp Plumbing and Heating (plumbing and heating), and Cold Spring Electric (electric). Construction began in late March/early April 1951.

On May 14, 1951, the Minnesota State College Board approved the name for the new library as the “David L. Kiehle Library.” David Kiehle was St. Cloud State’s second president, serving from 1875 to 1881.

Kiehle Library was built 215 feet long and 92 feet wide in a style described as “contemporary.” The building was three stories tall, with two floors showing while looking east from 1st Avenue South. The building totaled 55,000 square feet, sat 500 readers, and capacity for 135,000 monographs. Kiehle was constructed with reinforced concrete columns that supported reinforced concrete floors and roof slabs. The exterior was made of variegated red brick, Rockville pearl gray granite base, polished granite facing at the main entrance, and cut stone trim of Indiana limestone.

Kiehle Library opened in September 1952. The building was dedicated a year later on October 15, 1953. The main dedication address was given by former St. Cloud State president John Headley, who left at the end of 1951 to become president at South Dakota State College. Fred Kiehle, son of the building’s namesake, had passed away before the dedication. His remarks were read by St. Cloud State president George Budd.

Kiehle continued to serve as the campus library until the early 1970s. Rapid enrollment at St. Cloud State that started in the late 1950s reached 10,000 by 1970, making Kiehle Library too small to serve students. It was built to serve 2000 students. Centennial Hall opened as the campus library in May 1971.

While plans for a new campus library progressed, the future of Kiehle was debated. The 1969 Minnesota state legislature appropriated St. Cloud State $500,000 to “convert Kiehle Library and Whitney House to administration and central service facilities.” Administrators soon realized that Kiehle was too far from the west edge of campus, which stood at 3rd Avenue South, to be the “front door” of St. Cloud State. The site also lacked enough parking. Thus, in 1971, the state legislature re-appropriated $380,000 to convert Kiehle into a visual arts center and become the home of the Department of Art. $26,000 had been used for plans to turn Kiehle into an administration building and another $90,000 as a visual arts center, leaving $380,000 to renovate. The state appropriated St. Cloud State $2.2 million in 1973 for a new administration building – Administrative Services.

Yet $380,000 was not enough to renovate Kiehle, which was estimated at $1.2 million. The 1973 state legislature appropriated an additional $397,000 and money was found elsewhere to make up the difference. The funds were $263,000 left over when construction bids came in lower at other state campuses and $74,000 remaining from the School of Education building construction. Despite the funding, the 1971 appropriation was frozen while the state studied declining enrollment. The monies were later released in 1973.

While the renovation project was on hold in late 1972, plans were completed by Wemlinger-Remely and Associates that called for all new lighting and plumbing, central air, a 75 seat auditorium, reconfiguration of all internal space, and a small one-story addition at the southeast corner, replacing the reading porch.

Donlar Construction was the low bidder for the $1.2 million renovation and renovation began in October 1973.

In early 1974, Kiehle Library was renamed “Kiehle Visual Arts Center,” which included the desire to keep “Kiehle” as part of the building’s name.

Renovation ended in the summer of 1974 and the building was open for the start of classes in September 1974. It had centralized Department of Art functions that were in Eastman Hall, Headley Hall, Lawrence Hall, and Kiehle itself.

Kiehle was rededicated on September 24, 1975. The dedication was part of a larger celebration that featured Hollywood director Frank Capra visiting campus. At the ceremony, an “electronic” ribbon was cut. Five televisions, hooked up to five videotape machines, were placed in front of the building’s entrance. Minnesota House Representatives Delbert Anderson and Jim Pehler, Minnesota state senator Jack Kleinbaum, St. Cloud State president Charles Graham, and state architectural engineer Paul Cummings cut the videotape on the videotape machines. The St. Cloud Times called the ribbon cutting “an art-piece to correspond to the opening of a visual arts center and to maximize the number of people involved in cutting the ribbon.”

Wrightian in style, Kiehle borrows features from the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, but falls short of making a convincing statement from the master’s vocabulary. Local architect Louis Pinault—a highly talented craftsman whose best work this is not-- was hindered by having to use a site that placed his creation between Whitney House and the Mississippi River, leaving little room to showcase the architect’s work.

Wrightian features include shallow-pitched roofs, overhanging cornices, and ribbon windows. Kiehle’s superstructure was constructed with reenforced concrete columns that supported reenforced concrete floors and roof slabs—a hidden feature that shows the engineer’s skill with up-to-date architecture.

The blueprints for Kiehle, as it was completed in 1952 as a library, and its 1973-1974 renovation as a visual arts center, are available on the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Resources

Lawrence Hall (1885)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Isabel Lawrence
Isabel Lawrence

Lawrence Hall (1900)
Lawrence Hall, ca. 1900

Lawence Hall dorm room
Lawrence Hall dorm room, 1903

Lawrence Hall after fire
Lawrence Hall after fire, 1905

There are very few St. Cloud State buildings that no longer are standing – and only one that met its fate through disaster. The first Lawrence Hall, which opened in the fall of 1885, was that one building. It stood on the same site of the second Lawrence Hall, the oldest standing campus building today, which opened in December 1905.

The first St. Cloud State residential hall, initially named “Ladies Home,”  was the campus’ first building constructed as a student residence. It replaced the Stearns House, which, upon the opening of the Old Main building in 1874, served as the campus residential hall. Stearns House was St. Cloud State’s first building when the school opened in 1869. At the February 25, 1899 meeting of the Minnesota State Normal Board, the building was renamed "Lawrence Hall" in honor of faculty member and, later, acting president, Isabel Lawrence. It was the first St. Cloud State building named in honor of an individual.

The 1883 Minnesota state legislature appropriated $10,000 for construction of Lawrence Hall. It is not known who designed or constructed Lawrence Hall, which was done in the Venetian Renaissance architectural style. The 1886/87 St. Cloud State course catalog described the building in depth: “built of cream-colored brick, three stories in height, 105 feet in length and 65 feet in depth, in the form of an L.” The catalog brags that the building “affords the best accommodations to seventy-five young ladies, and can furnish day-board to fifty more ladies…,” continuing that the “nearness of the Home to the school makes it peculiarly desirable during the winter months, saving a long walk through the cold and snow.”

The building was heated and ventilated “by the most perfect system known to architects – the Ruttan system,” which allowed temperature in each room to be between 68 and 70 degrees and “all of the air in each room is changed as often as every 20 minutes.” This system did away with fires in each room, “rendering the building practically fire proof.”

Unfortunately, the first Lawrence Hall was completely destroyed by fire on Saturday afternoon, January 14, 1905. Luckily, none of the 200 residents were killed and only a few injuries, including those of the firemen fighting the fire, were reported.

According to the article that appeared in Monday, January 16, 1905 edition of the St. Cloud Daily Times, the fire was reported 4:25pm on the building’s roof. St. Cloud State president Waite Shoemaker speculated that the fire began in a defective flue. Despite the effort of the firemen, the roof collapsed and the building could no longer be saved. Efforts were then focused on ensuring the safety of nearby buildings. 60 tons of coal in the basement “helped prolong the fire.”

The building was a total loss and was valued at $25,000. The contents were valued at $6,000. Lawrence Hall was insured for $15,000.

The St. Cloud community quickly acted to help the women displaced by the fire. Nearby St. Cloud residents took in all of the women and $1500 were raised to assist. The state of Minnesota acted as well – the legislature passed a bill in late March 1905 appropriating $50,000 for the construction of new residence hall to replace the gutted Lawrence Hall. Minnesota state architect Charles Johnston completed the plans for the “new” Lawrence Hall in early May 1905 (his first St. Cloud State campus building) and O’Neill and Son of Faribault, Minnesota, were named as general contractor on May 27, 1905. Work started two days later to remove the remains of the gutted dormitory and begin construction of the new.

According to the December 20, 1905 edition of the St. Cloud Daily Times, women began to move into the new Lawrence Hall that day, less than a year after the first Lawrence Hall was destroyed by fire. The building was dedicated on June 12, 1906 in conjunction with spring commencement activities that featured Minnesota governor J.A. Johnson.

Interested in more information about the later Lawrence Hall? Check out that profile below!

Additional Sources

Lawrence Hall (1905)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Isabel Lawrence
Isabel Lawrence

Lawrence Hall (1906)
Lawrence Hall, 1906

Lawence Hall dorm room
Lawrence Hall dorm room, 1907

Lawrence Hall with new cupola (2004)
Lawrence Hall with new cupola, 2004

Opened in December 1905 as a residence hall, Lawrence Hall is the oldest standing campus building at St. Cloud State. It is named in honor of faculty member and, later, acting president, Isabel Lawrence, the second building to hold that distinction. The first building, also known as Lawrence Hall, opened in 1885 as the Ladies Home and renamed in 1899 in honor of Isabel Lawrence.

Lawrence Hall stands on the site of the first Lawrence Hall. That building was destroyed by fire on January 14, 1905. No one perished in the fire, but the building and its contents were a complete loss.

The state of Minnesota acted quickly to replace the residence hall – the legislature passed a bill in late March 1905 appropriating $50,000 for the construction of new residence hall to replace the gutted Lawrence Hall. Minnesota state architect Clarence Johnston completed the plans for the “new” Lawrence Hall in early May 1905 (his first St. Cloud State campus building) and O’Neill and Son of Faribault, Minnesota, were named as general contractor on May 27, 1905. Work started two days later to remove the remains of the destroyed structure and construction of the new.

According to the December 20, 1905 edition of the St. Cloud Daily Times, women began to move into the new Lawrence Hall that day, less than a year after the first Lawrence Hall was destroyed by fire. The building was dedicated on June 12, 1906 in conjunction with spring commencement activities that featured Minnesota governor J.A. Johnson.

According to an article that appeared in the St. Cloud Daily Daily Journal-Press on June 13, 1905 (which reported on the building’s dedication), the four storied, 180 foot long, and 50 foot wide building with 32,000 square feet of flooring was home to 150 women and  made of reddish brock with gray granite trimmings, and contained a basement dining room that sat 200. 100,000 pressed bricks, 600,000 common bricks, 90 cords of stone, 1200 loads of sand, 25,000 hollow tile, and 30,000 feet of Georgia pine flooring were used in its construction.

For much of its history, Lawrence Hall did serve as a residence hall but also served other purposes. According to the March 3, 1943 edition of the Chronicle, the 72nd College Training Detachment arrived on campus in very early March and used Lawrence Hall as its barracks. Due to a shortage of space, the U.S. government contracted with colleges and universities across the country to provide facilities and training for air cadets.  The detachment moved out in time for the fall 1944 academic term – Lawrence Hall then returned to housing women students.

Starting in the fall of 1969, Lawrence Hall no longer housed students. According to a July 9, 1969 press release, the building was converted to faculty offices. The newly opened 14-story Sherburne Hall would house students that had resided in Lawrence Hall. The building would continue to provide office space until 1999.

Plans were in works for the building to be renovated in the 1980s. A press release from September 28, 1989 stated that the Minnesota State University System board approved a request for Lawrence Hall to be renovated  rather than the construction of a new 350 bed resident Hall on the university’s northwest side. Renovation would have to wait. Not until 2001 did the state of Minnesota legislature appropriate funds to modernize the building.

A yearlong $6.4 million renovation began in the summer of 2002. When the renovated Lawrence Hall opened in the fall of 2003, it housed 100 international students as well as the Center for International Studies and the department of Foreign Languages and Literature. The renovation also added a cupola, which concealed the newly installed elevator shaft.

Lawrence Hall was rededicated on August 28, 2003.

The building is Georgian Revival in style, a style that adheres to rigid symmetry and elements borrowed from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architecture. It was built using red, pressed-brick and granite trim. On the eastern coast of the United States, this style reflected the classical education that served as a bedrock for a liberal education. These styles spread westward and found homes on campuses everywhere. Its 2003 restoration is a fine example of contemporary restoration work.

The blueprints for Lawrence Hall, as completed in 1905, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Interested in more information about the earlier Lawrence Hall? Check out that profile above!

Additional Sources

Lewis House (1973)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect rendering of Lewis House, 1920s
Architect rendering of Lewis House, 1920s

Claude Lewis, 1930
Claude Lewis, 1930

Lewis House, 1973
Lewis House, 1973

Claude Lewis family in living room, 1930s
Claude Lewis family in living room, 1930s

Lewis House first floor living room, foyer, and steps, 1973
Lewis House first floor living room, foyer, and steps, 1973

Thanks to the Baby Boomers coming of age, the St. Cloud State campus grew rapidly. At the end of World War II, most of campus was on the east side of 1st Avenue South. Towards the end of the 1950s, plans were being made to expand campus west. By the early 1970s, campus had stretched to 3rd Avenue South, displacing much of the residential neighborhood. The state of Minnesota continued to acquire property to the west of 3rd Avenue South and the Lewis House, which stands at 724 4th Avenue South, was one of the final pieces of property acquired on the main campus. The home’s first two owners were prominent St. Cloud citizens.

Completed in 1926 at a cost of $30,000, the building was constructed as a home for the Claude Lewis family. Claude was born on September 17, 1878 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He was an older brother of Nobel Prize winning author Sinclair Lewis. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1900 and moved to Chicago to attend the Rush Medical College. Claude graduated in 1903 and moved to St. Cloud in 1905. A medical doctor like his father Edwin, Claude opened a private practice. By 1921, he was the chief of staff at St. Raphael’s Hospital in St. Cloud, a role he held until 1923. Claude was involved in the planning of a new hospital building to replace St. Raphael’s, now the current St. Cloud Hospital, as well as instrumental in establishing the training school for nurses at the hospital. He would serve again as chief of staff at the St. Cloud Hospital twice more (1932-1933 and 1938-1939).

Claude married Mary (Whilmelmenia) Freeman in 1907 and had four children: Freeman (1908-1976), Phillip (1910-1911), Virginia (1912-1986), and Isabel (1916-2000). Claude died on April 20, 1957, in St. Cloud and is buried in the city's North Star Cemetery.

In August 1913, Mary purchased lots 10-12 of block 27 of the Curtiss Addition, just across the street from Barden Park, from C.D. Schwab. The home would be built on lots 11 and 12. Lot 10 was sold to St. Cloud State faculty member (and later acting president from 1943 to 1947) Dudley Brainard in 1929. Brainard would build a home here.

Designed by local architect Louis Pinault (who designed Stewart Hall and Kiehle), construction began in the fall of 1925 and was completed in the summer of 1926 by builder Hubert J. Hansen. An article from the St. Cloud Daily Journal Press on December 30, 1926 profiled the newly opened Tudor Revival style home. Heated by hot water using an oil burner, the stone and stucco house contained eight rooms, including five bedrooms upstairs. The basement included a large rec room with a fireplace. All floors were of quarter-sawed white oak and the trim was stained oak and birch. The detached garage alone cost $2000 and was heated. Leaded stain glass windows adorned the front entrance.

Claude’s famous brother Sinclair often visited and stayed at the home during trips to Minnesota.

In August 1964, Claude’s second wife Helen, who he married in 1950 (first wife Mary died in May 1949), sold the home to L. Ferne Atwood. Atwood, who was married to the late Allen Atwood, had to move when St. Cloud State purchased their home at 414 2nd Avenue South to begin construction on the new student union, Atwood Memorial Center. Mrs. Atwood redecorated the former Lewis home and enclosed the screen porch on the building’s southside.

In late 1972, the state of Minnesota acquired the former Lewis home and other homes on the block for St. Cloud State’s physical expansion (especially for the future site of the Administrative Services building). Mrs. Atwood moved out in August 1973 and the university took possession of the home shortly after – and she was not happy to move again. Purchased for $100,000, the building was slated for demolition, but a decision was made to retain it for St. Cloud State purposes. All other homes on the block were razed. After spending a year in Carol Hall (today’s Ervin House), Alumni Services moved into the home’s first floor in September 1973. The redecorated upstairs bedrooms could then be rented by St. Cloud State guests and alumni for a minimal cost.

In early September 1973, Learning Resources Services dean Luther Brown suggested that the home be named in honor of Claude Lewis. Instead, Auxiliary Services director Tom Braun suggested the home be dubbed “Alumni House” – and the name stuck. Braun felt that Mrs. Atwood would become even more unhappy if the house was named in honor of its original owners.

In time for fall 1988, the St. Cloud State Development/Foundation offices moved to Alumni House, joining Alumni Affairs, and ended the ability to rent rooms.

In September 2011, St. Cloud State University renamed Alumni House to Lewis House to honor the Claude Lewis family.

During the summer of 2012, the Lewis House underwent a $238,000 exterior renovation. Work included a new roof, stucco repairs and improvements to the drainage system. In 2013, the detached garage, which stood empty, was renovated as office space for the Foundation.

Architectural historian Bill Morgan described the building as Tudor Revival, a style reminiscent of 16th century England and a popular style of home in St. Cloud in the 1920s. The exterior was an attempt to make the surface look as if the plaster had worn away, leaving a stone surface beneath. The home is divided into three sections of varying widths, making the façade less symmetrical and more picturesque. The home was built with high craftmanship and materials.

The blueprints for Lewis House, as completed in 1926, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

James W. Miller Learning Resources Center (2000)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Parking lot where Miller Center would be built
Part of parking lot where Miller Center would be built, 1986

Miller Center 3-D model
Miller Center 3-D model, 1994

Drawing of Miller Center reading court
Miller Center reading court drawing, mid-1990s

Groundbreaking, September 1998
Miller Center Groundbreaking, September 1998

Construction, late 1998?
Construction, late 1998?

Archaelogists work at the Miller Center construction site, January 1999
Archaelogists work at the Miller Center construction site, January 1999

Miller Center construction, 1999?
Miller Center construction, 1999?

Miller Center construction, 1999?
Miller Center construction, 1999?

James W. Miller, 2000
James W. Miller, 2000

Ray Bradbury at the Miller Center dedication, October 2000
Ray Bradbury at the Miller Center dedication, October 2000

Miller Center, October 2000
Miller Center, October 2000

Miller Center plaque, March 2020
Pioneer plaque, March 2020

The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center continues a long tradition of housing St. Cloud State’s library. Since the Third State Normal School opened in 1869, the library has been in six buildings (including three built specifically for the library), Miller Center being the last.

Centennial Hall, opened in the spring of 1971, was quickly outgrown by the increasing student population at St. Cloud State. Fall 1971 enrollment was 10,061 and steadily increased especially in the 1980s. By fall 1990, enrollment reached 17,076 students and the current Centennial Hall could no longer keep up with the expectations of what a university library should be. Though there had been talk to add and expand to Centennial Hall (Centennial Hall was built to accommodate an additional two stories) in the late 1970s, none of it came to fruition. By the late 1980s, serious consideration at St. Cloud State was being made to build a new campus library. In 1990, a “Library of the Future” was conducted. The report done stated several goals for the library of the 21st century:

  • Sufficient growth space to serve increasing number of library clients, increasingly sophisticated requests for information, and an environment for patrons and resources that facilitates understanding through knowledge rather than merely warehousing books
  • Flexible patron areas to provide access to an increasing array of technology based information resources and to meet the variety of cognitive styles
  • Flexible instruction areas for library use instruction classes and lectures, with access to the full ranges of information resources

Lobbying for a new library building soon began at the Minnesota state legislation. In 1992, the legislature awarded St. Cloud State $290,000 to develop “schematic plans to construct a new library.” In 1993, the architectural firm Leonard Parker Associates was hired to develop those plans. The 1994 state legislature awarded $8 million to St. Cloud State and, as part of a larger project, to prepare working drawings for a new library. The 1996 Minnesota state legislature awarded $29.5 million to St. Cloud State to “construct, furnish, and equip a new library.”

In the late summer of 1998, Donlar Construction was hired to build the new library with a low bid of $19.88 million. This low bid allowed St. Cloud State to add features that were previously cut, including the construction of a basement to the east wing of Miller Center.

The groundbreaking for the new library took place on September 2, 1998 and was attended by Minnesota governor Arne Carlson. The library was to be built on a two square block campus parking lot north of Barden Park that bordered 5th Avenue South to the west, 6th Street South to the north, 3rd Avenue South to the east, and 7th Street South to the south. The parking lot opened in late 1973 on property that the state of Minnesota purchased for St. Cloud State, tearing down or selling the homes that stood there. Construction then began soon after the groundbreaking.

On January 20, 1999, construction workers digging the foundation of the new library discovered unmarked graves on the eastern side of the site. Work was briefly delayed and continued elsewhere on the site as archaeologists from campus and the state investigated. More graves were uncovered as construction continued. Faculty member Richard Rothaus headed the archaeological dig and led a team of students to remove and then study the human remains and material that were left behind. Most of the archaeological work wrapped up the next month, and was complete by late spring. Construction workers had discovered a forgotten pioneer cemetery that opened in the late 1850s, shortly after St. Cloud was established and used mostly until the mid-1860s. With the opening of the city’s North Star Cemetery, which lays a few miles southwest of campus, in 1864, bodies were exhumed and reinterned at North Star, but some were left behind. Ultimately, 21 grave shafts were excavated, containing remains of 11 people. University Archives has the final archaeological report from Rothaus and available for download on St. Cloud State’s institutional repository. An exterior plaque laid in a small boulder stands at the building’s southeast corner to mark and honor St. Cloud’s pioneer families and the cemetery where some were laid after death. A similar marker lies in St. Cloud's North Star Cemetery marking the spot where the human remains were reinterned.

In January 2000 as construction progressed, the new building was given a name – the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center. James W. Miller, who owned Miller Construction, had recently donated $3 million to St. Cloud State for scholarships and technology, thus the building was named in his honor.

In August 2000, the Miller Center opened its doors, home to Learning Resources and Technology Services. Costing $32.5 million to construct and equip, the building contained 235,000 square feet of space to house library resources, provide office space for library and technology employees, and be home for students to research, study, socialize, and learn. There were 16 study rooms, 438 public computers, 1050 Ethernet computer connections, six classrooms, and 2400 study seats, as well as a 182 seat auditorium and a large second floor reading court. The reading court is 42 feet high from floor to ceiling. Technology provided the latest and greatest access to electronic resources while making available 567,414 monographs on mostly compact shelving. Also included in the Miller Center was a coffee shop, 24 hour computer lab, and climate controlled space for University Archives.

Other offices located in Miller Center when it opened included the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education.

On October 21, 2000, Miller Center was dedicated. Speaking at the dedication was renowned science fiction author Ray Bradbury.

Since opening in 2000, Miller Center has had some renovation. In 2013, the technology help desk, computer store and lab support was centralized in the former 24 hour computer lab in the Miller Center first floor lobby. A specific library renovation included the move of Collections from the second floor to the first, adding office space added to the first floor west, and moves of the library dean’s office.

In September 2005, a celebration marked the building's five years, honoring previous St. Cloud State LR&TS/Library deans, including Luther Brown and John Berling

Emeritus faculty member and architectural historian Bill Morgan described Miller Center as “post-modern,” which combines historical styles and modern materials. The use of yellow and red brick harked to the region’s early brick manufacturing. Many historic St. Cloud State buildings and neighboring homes were built with local yellow brick, and wealthier citizens often used red brick.

The central Lantern Tower stands 77 feet from the ground floor. The tower symbolized the light of learning, such as a lighthouse. Morgan felt that the north and south entrances with their mast like canopies create the illusion of ships passing beneath the lighthouse above.

The tower is also home to artwork entitled Opening Change by Kenneth F. von Roenn, Jr. Seen from the second and third level of Miller Center, Opening Change consists of dichoroic glass and stainless steel cables with forms that are suggestive of the opened pages of a book.

Additional Sources

Mitchell Hall (1958)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

William B. Mitchell
William B. Mitchell

Mitchell Hall construction
Mitchell Hall construction, 1958

The children of William B. Mitchell at the dedication of Mitchell Hall, October 26, 1958
The children of William B. Mitchell at the dedication of Mitchell Hall, October 26, 1958

Mitchell Hall, 1960s
Mitchell Hall, 1960s

Architect's rendering of Mitchell Hall, 1956?
Architect's rendering of Mitchell Hall, 1956?

When Mitchell Hall opened its doors in September 1958, it was the first new campus dormitory built since Shoemaker Hall in 1915. Mitchell Hall was the start of St. Cloud State's expansion for the housing of its students. By 1970, nearly all of today's current residence halls were completed.

State financing was made available in 1955 to construct the building, but not as planned. In 1957, the financing was adjusted that allowed a planned wing to be constructed to the unfinished building. The cost of the initial construction cost $893,709 while the estimated cost of the addition was $552,897.

The building and its addition was designed by Frank W. Jackson and Associates. Contractors included Art Wahl and Son (general), Sporleder Heating and Plumbing (mechanical), and Erickson Electrical Service (electrical).

Construction began on the unnamed dormitory in the fall of 1956 on the site of the old Mitchell House, home of William B. Mitchell and his large family. Mitchell had deep connections with St. Cloud State, serving as resident director to the Minnesota State College Board from 1877 to 1901. To honor Mitchell's service to St. Cloud State as well as acknowledge the site where the family home stood, the State College Board on May 13, 1957 authorized that the building be named the William B. Mitchell Hall.

In 1934, Al Sirat, a local men's social fraternity, moved into the Mitchell family home. Al Sirat moved out shortly before the home was demolished in April 1938. In 1965, Al Sirat became Theta Chi.

Construction of the wing on the north side of the building, running east to west, began in July 1958. It opened in time for the fall of 1959.

When Mitchell Hall opened its doors in the fall of 1958, it housed 215 female students. With the new addition finished in time for the fall of 1959, the building housed over 400 students. Each 12 x 16 foot room was equipped with built-in wardrobes, dressers, occasional chairs, "Hollywood" beds, and beige drapes. Each floor had a modern lounge with a television, piano, magazine racks, tables, and chairs, as well as a small kitchen. Mitchell Hall also contained a first floor lounge as well as a snack bar on the ground floor open to the entire campus, rapidly becoming the "unofficial student center" (Atwood Memorial Center would not open until 1966.).

Mitchell Hall was dedicated on October 26, 1958, along with the completed Campus Laboratory School and the still under construction Science-Mathematics Building (later renamed Brown Hall). The children of William B. Mitchell, six daughters and one son, were present at the dedication.

Until 1980, Mitchell Hall was solely for female students, the last residence hall to be segregated. It became co-ed that fall.

The blueprints for Mitchell Hall as it looked when it opened in 1958 are available in the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Other sources used include: Chronicle articles on September 14, 1934, April 29. 1938, October 9, 1956, October 16, 1956, April 2, 1957, May 13, 1958, September 16, 1958, October 21, 1958, October 28, 1958, and April 4, 1980.

Music Studio (1929)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Music Studio, 1969
Music Studio, 1969

Music Studio just south of Riverview, 1915?
Music Studio just south of Riverview, 1915?

Music Studio with porch, 1967?
Music Studio with porch, 1967?

Music Studio demolition, 1969
Music Studio demolition, July 1969

By the end of the 1920s, St. Cloud State was slowly growing and had an enrollment of 1537 by the fall of 1929. In the fall of 1920, there were 1208 students. That slow growth saw academic functions of St. Cloud State move out of the Old Main building. Eastman Hall, the college’s new gymnasium building with some classrooms, opened in October 1930 after a year of construction.

As part of the $225,000 appropriation by the 1929 Minnesota state legislature to construct Eastman Hall, $12,000 were earmarked to purchase property south of Riverview for the new building. On that property stood the James E. Jenks home. According to St. Cloud State administrative records from the late 1960s, the west facing wood framed home was 2.5 stories and measured roughly 34 feet by 54 feet. Sitting on a granite foundation, the 15-room building contained a full basement, a cedar shingle roof and siding, and a wood lath and plaster interior. It also had an attached porch along the south and east sides.

To prepare the property for construction, the Jenks home was moved in late September 1929 south of its original location and then remodeled for an additional $3000. The home and Eastman Hall were separated by a ravine, which was eventually filled in. The building was dubbed “Music Studio” and used, as the 1936/37 course catalog described, to accommodate music instructors in voice, piano, and violin in its many rooms.

Located orginally at 820 First Avenue South, the home was owned by Mrs. James E. Jenks. Mr. and Mrs. George E. Hanscom had lived in the home when it was purchased by St. Cloud State.

In 1939, the Work Progress Administration (WPA) repaired the home’s roof.

At some point, the home also served as a dormitory for male student-athletes while still being used as music studio. Students resided in the basement and third story. Correspondence from 1966 and 1967 detail problems caused by students living there. As a result, after June 1967, students were not allowed to live at the Music Studio.

Time was not on the side of the Music Studio. A letter from the state fire marshal’s office dated October 17, 1968, detailed the many deficiencies with the structure and urged St. Cloud State to demolish it “in the very near future in the interest of fire and life safety.” In addition, the Performing Arts Center opened in April 1968 and all musical activities held in the Music Studio were moved out.

In the spring of 1969, St. Cloud State decided to demolish the Music Studio and August Stoltz was hired. The July 10, 1969 issue of the Chronicle included a photograph of the building being demolished. Once razed, it was announced in September 1969 that two new parking lots were to be built near Eastman Hall, including one where the Music Studio sat, for $7000 – and construction was to begin soon. As of 2020, J parking lot is still on the Music Studio site.

Additional Sources

Old Model School (1906)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Old Model School
Old Model School, undated

Old Main and Old Model School, 1908
Old Main and Old Model School, 1908

Old Model School just north of Riverview, 1920s
Old Model School just north of Riverview, 1920s

Old Model School library main desk, 1930s
Old Model School library main desk, 1930s

Old Model School Reserve Reading Room, 1930s
Old Model School library reserve reading room, 1930s

Old Model School library children's room, 1930s
Old Model School library children's room, 1930s

Old Model School demolition, 1960
Old Model School demolition, 1960
 

The State Normal School at St. Cloud was slowly growing as the 20th century became reality. All academic functions were still in the Old Main building. Since 1900, enrollment had increased from 283 students nearly 400 and set to increase in the future. The model school, which was housed in Old Main, had 189 children attending. Space was needed for campus.

Dating back to 1869, Several St. Cloud State buildings have served as the campus "laboratory" or “model” school. Depending on the time period, the model school was a fully functioning school with grades from kindergarten to 8th, sometimes more. Teachers in-training observed "master" teachers teach children as well as have a place to do their own student teaching.

By late 1904, the state normal school board was aware for more space at St. Cloud State and considered a request for the 1905 Minnesota state legislature to construct a model school building. The situation moved rapidly in early 1905. At the January 31, 1905 state normal board meeting, a committee to “investigate and report on crowded conditions” at St. Cloud State made their report. They agreed relief was needed, especially with the complete destruction of Lawrence Hall by fire a few weeks earlier. The board then passed a resolution that a model school building be erected as early as 1906.

The state legislature approved a new and separate model school building for St. Cloud State. On April 19, 1905, St. Cloud State was appropriated $25,000 to construct and equip a model school building. On February 14, 1906, the board formed a committee to consider plans for the building and “have power to act for this Board.”

Designed by state architect Clarence Johnston, it is believed the model school building opened in 1906. It stood in what is today a parking lot between Webster Hall and Riverview.

In 1909, the state legislature again appropriated funds for the new model school building, including storm windows ($200), completion of a tunnel between the building and Old Main ($600), and completion and equipment for the domestic science department ($1500).

By at least 1911, efforts were in motion for a larger campus building to house the model school. The 1911 state legislature appropriated $65,000 for a new model school building. Riverview opened in January 1913. With the opening of Riverview, the “Old” Model School building was to be repurposed. The 1913 state legislature acted and appropriated $2960 to convert the building into the campus library, which was housed in Old Main. Conversion plans were developed by R.C. Buckley and C.D. Hudson of St. Cloud was hired to do the work. In addition, William Hart was contracted for painting and decorating. The St. Cloud Times also reported that a dining room was built in the basement as well. The work was to be completed on or before September 6, 1913.

The building served as the campus library until the opening of Kiehle Library in the fall of 1952. It is likely the Old Model School was also used for other purposes while it housed the library. But by at least the early 1930s, nearly the entire building was the library. The 1936 course catalog mentioned the “college cafeteria” in the Old Model School basement and likely continued to be in use until the early 1950s.

Before the library moved into Kiehle from the Old Model School in 1952, the 1951 course catalog described the library. The first floor included the main reading room, periodicals, and the children’s library. The second floor housed the reserved reading room, stacks for reserve books, an office and catalog room. The basement contained more books and periodicals, curriculum library, and the “Historical Collection.”

Within the library, there were 70,000 books and catalogued pamphlets, 8,000 volumes of periodicals, government documents, 400 leading periodicals, representative newspapers, pamphlet and clipping files, 16,000 mounted images and many unmounted pictures and postcards.

By 1948, the Old Model School was really showing its age. In April that year, St. Cloud State began to lobby for a new campus library building. St. Cloud State then printed a booklet expressing the need, showing how inadequate the Old Model School had become as a library.

The booklet documented the poor state of the building, arguing that it no longer served the needs of the library collection and students. In addition, the Old Model School building was in danger of collapse. In 1946, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, which first accredited St. Cloud State the next year, gave the library collection a high rating but called the building as “totally inadequate…and a fire trap,” adding that it was “old, unattractive, and unsatisfactory for a modern educational program.” Images showed the internal and external building cracks, significant floor sags, and the overall poor physical condition of the building. It was clear that the building could not accommodate the nearly 3000 students on campus either.

After the library moved out of the Old Model School, the building was not used much due to its physical condition. The children’s library was still housed here for a time, very likely due to its location to Riverview, which still housed the campus model school. The 1952 course catalog described the library having magazines “suitable for a school library” and over 10,000 carefully selected juvenile books.

The cafeteria probably still was in operation for the model school students. Staff for the Chronicle student newspaper and Talahi yearbook staff were housed in the Old Model School as well. The building was also used for storage and a carpenter shop.

At some point after 1952, the building was condemned for general use. In December 1960, the Landwehr Heavy Moving Company demolished the building. The site was then converted into a parking lot. It remains a parking lot today.

Performing Arts Center (1968)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Performing Arts Center

Architect's rendering of the Performing Arts Center, 1967

Performing Arts Center construction, ca. 1967
Performing Arts Center construction, ca. 1967

Aerial view of Performing Arts Construction, 1967
Aerial view of Performing Arts Center construction, 1967

Performing Arts Center, 1980s?
Performing Arts Center, 1980s?

Though the construction of student residence halls in the 1960s was the main phase of the expansion at the St. Cloud State campus, classrooms were added as well.  A major need was fulfilled for the burgeoning music and theatre programs when St. Cloud State proposed, received funding, and built a fine arts building, the Performing Arts Center. 

Thanks to bills passed by the 1963 Minnesota state legislature, $1.7 million was appropriated to construct a fine arts building. In addition, funds were provided for what would become Halenbeck Hall, a heating and maintenance building, and Case Hall, as well as for property acquisition for future expansion of campus. Additional funding was provided by the federal government, which pushed the funds available to $2.5 million.

Designed by architects by the Walter Butler and Engineering Company and Haarstick, Lundgren and Associates, construction began in the fall of 1966. Contracts were awarded to Gunnar I. Johnson Company (general) for $1.36 million, Granite City Electric (electrical) for $275,904, Sporleders Heating and Plumbing (mechanical) for $211,450, and Weidner's Plumbing (ventilation) for $187,000.

According to a press release from September 29, 1966, the nearly 76,500 square foot building would feature a 500 seat main theatre with a turntable stage that permitted scenery to be changed on one side while a performance was happening on the other.  Also included were a box office, concessions area, check room, orchestra pit, scene shop, dressing rooms, wardrobe room, makeup room, a modern light and sound control system, and a studio theatre with 200 portable seats. In addition, there was a debate room, recording and listening room, and choral and band rehearsal rooms, which have access to a 200 seat recital-lecture hall.  There also would be a large piano classroom, 20 piano practice rooms, faculty offices, and a radio-television studio with a control and equipment room and a radio room.

The Performing Arts Center opened in April 1968 with the "Region V" high school music contest that featured 1500 area high school musicians.

On November 20, 1967, the Minnesota state college board named the structure “Performing Arts Building".  It is unknown why "Building" was dropped for "Center".  It happened relatively quickly - the January 12, 1969 dedication program calls the building "Performing Arts Center".  As with other campus buildings constructed in the 1960s, there was another name proposed for the Performing Arts Center.  At the January 11, 1966, meeting of the Minnesota state college board, St. Cloud State proposed to name the yet-to-be constructed building “George F. Budd Hall” – and the resolution was tabled for unknown reasons. Budd served as St. Cloud State president from 1952 to 1965.

On January 12, 1969, the Performing Arts Center was dedicated. The dedication address was given by former St. Cloud State president George Budd. Budd left St. Cloud State in 1965 to become president of Kansas State College of Pittsburg (now known as Pittsburg State University).

This monolithic building shouts brutalism. The term “brutalist” refers to “beton brut,” or raw concrete, the common material used for the brutalist style. Its concrete construction represents the Cold War Era when many people built bunkers to protect themselves from nuclear attack.

The blueprints for the Performing Arts Center as it looked when it opened in 1968 are available in the University Archives' Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Riverview (1913)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Riverview, 1916
Riverview, 1916

First floor of Riverview, ca. 1915
First floor of Riverview, ca. 1915

Riverview classroom, 1918
Riverview classroom (1918)

St. Cloud State opened as a Minnesota state "normal" school in 1869. Its primary purpose was to train teachers to teach in Minnesota public schools. Today, the university no longer has a single focus on training teachers, but it still remains an important part of its currciulum.

Several buildings at St. Cloud State have served as the campus "laboratory" school, dating back to 1869. The laboratory school was a fully functioning school with grades from kindergarten to 8th, sometimes more, depending on the time period. Teachers in-training would observe "master" teachers teach children as well as have a place to do their own student teaching.

Riverview, which opened in January 1913, served as St. Cloud State's campus laboratory school until the fall of 1958. The Old Model School, which opened in a few years earlier in 1906 and stood just north of Riverview, became St. Cloud State's library.

It is unknown why St. Cloud State needed a new model school so soon after it had just built one. Yet planning began for Riverview by at least early 1911, likely even earlier. The 1911 Minnesota state legislature appropriated to St. Cloud State $65,000 to construct a new "model" school, as well as $17,200 to be used partly for the acquisition of property that the new building would be located.

Built with common local yellow brick, the Clarence Johnston-designed building served as the campus laboratory school until the fall of 1958 when the Thomas J. Gray Campus Laboratory School opened. The school would close in 1983. Riverview became the home of the Division of Languages and Literature and, later, the department of English until 2008.

In 1989, faculty member Bill Morgan led the effort for the building to be placed on Minnesota's National Register of Historic Places. The application can be viewed at http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/nrhp/text/88003072.pdf.

In January 2001, the cupola was removed from the roof of Riverview. The cupola returned in March 2002, but was an exact replica using modern materials.

After a $6.2 million total renovation was completed in 2009, Riverview is now the home for the department of Communication Studies. The renovation won a Restoration/Rehabilitation Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in 2010. To learn a little more about the renovation, watch a 2010 St. Cloud State produced video featuring Ellen Luken. Luken was the architect in charge of the Riverview renovation project.

Riverview is a fine example of Georgian Revival. Riverview has bays or pavilions at either end of the building. Following typical mathematical perfection, the façade is divided into three parts.

The blueprints for Riverview, as it was completed in 1913, are available on the Minnesota Digital Library's web portal Minnesota Reflections.

Sources used include:

Minnesota State College Board minutes for February 14, 1911, May 6, 1911, June 6, 1911, and June 19, 1913; 1911 Minnesota State Legislative Session, Laws, Chapter 28, St. Cloud Times, January 21, 2001 (cupola), and St. Cloud Times, March 15, 2002 (cupola)

Additional Image

School of Education (1971)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

School of Education
Architect's rendering, 1969

School of Education construction, November 1970
School of Education construction, 1970

Irvame Applegate at the cornerstone laying ceremony, April 1972
Dean Applegate at cornerstone laying, 1972

School of Education, 1971
School of Education, 1971

As St. Cloud State grew slowly before World War II and then rapidly from late 1950s until the early 1970s, campus units and similar activities were often physically spread out. The School of Education was no different. As St. Cloud State expanded, so did the offerings of Education. As the 1960s rolled forward, there were efforts to consolidate like activities into a single building, providing a better experience for students and an opportunity for faculty to work together and collaborate with other like disciplines.

The School of Education was part of the rapid development of the physical campus and the expansion of academic offerings. The 1969 Minnesota state legislature appropriated almost $3 million to “construct and equip education building.” Designed by architects Traynor, Hermanson and Hahn, St. Cloud State moved quickly to get construction underway yet with specific aims in mind. According to the dedication program, the School of Education building was “designed to provide an environment which invites communication between people: college students and faculty, and the youth and adults of the community.” Also, the building was built for “flexibility so that activities and programs can be adapted to changing human and social needs.”

According to a December 10, 1969 press release, the George Madsen Construction Company was hired as the general contractor with a bid of $1.7 million. Other contractors included Gorham’s Construction Company (plumbing), $68,500, St. Cloud Plumbing and Heating (heating), $166,433, McDowall Company (HVAC), $175,400, and M.J.B. (electrical), $236,450. Construction was slated to begin in February 1970.

The building was to contain classrooms for secondary, elementary, and special education, space for remedial reading and psychology, and facilities for student teaching and faculty offices. Special features of the building included a learning resources center, individual study carrels, a human relations laboratory with an eight foot Roman style “theatre in the round” called the Kiva Room, central air-conditioning and two elevators. The two story building did not have a basement but was designed to have one built at a later date if necessary. In addition, many spaces in the building featured accordion-like doors and movable walls to customize space, thus making it adaptable to changing needs.

Opening in September 1971, the official name of the building is “School of Education.” Initially rejected by the Minnesota state college board, the name was ultimately approved by that body at their February 3, 1971 meeting.

To celebrate the opening, the School of Education planned a yearlong event of activities with an open house during homecoming in October 1971, a series of speakers, and a cornerstone laying ceremony in April 1972.

The blueprints for the School of Education building, as completed in 1971, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Sherburne Hall (1969)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Sherburne Hall, March 1969
Sherburne Hall, March 1969

Sherburne Hall construction, 1968
Sherburne Hall construction, 1968

Sherburne Hall construction, 1968
Sherburne Hall construction, 1968

As the 1960s came to a close, so did the tremendous physical growth of campus. The Baby Boomers were getting older and finishing their studies at universities and colleges all over the country. Sherburne Hall was the last campus student residence to be built at St. Cloud State until Coborn Plaza opened in 2010. With enough space to house 500 students, the building is still the largest campus student residence.

Construction began on Sherburne Hall in the fall of 1967. The $1.8 million structure was financed through bonds issued by the Minnesota State College board to be paid through student rental fees. Designed by Jackson-Hahn Associates, construction contracts were awarded to the Wahl Construction Company (general), Weidner Plumbing and Heating (mechanical), and Granite City Electric (electrical).

According to a press release dated August 25, 1967, Sherburne Hall was scheduled to be 14 stories tall (the tallest building in St. Cloud) and each floor to contain three wings for 14 students projecting from a central core. Each wing would have seven bedrooms, a living-study room, and a bathroom. Sherburne Hall would contain three high-speed elevators, carpeted corridors, living-study rooms, telephones, and a walking tunnel connecting it with other north side residence halls and Garvey Commons. Howard Walton, director of campus planning, said that the building would “incorporate” the best features of Holes, Stearns, and Benton Halls.

At the November 20, 1967, meeting of the Minnesota State College board, the building was named “Sherburne Student Residence”.

Slated to be completed in time for the fall term of 1968, Sherburne Hall did not open until the fall of 1969. The main reason for the delay was a strike by construction workers. A result of Sherburne Hall's opening in the fall of 1969 was Lawrence Hall no longer being used as a residence hall.  The building would be then used for classrooms and faculty offices. 

Along with Stearns and Benton Halls, Sherburne Hall was dedicated on April 11, 1969.

Sherburne Hall was part of the 1987 renovation of Garvey Commons. As part of that renovation, a concourse was built connecting Sherburne Hall with Garvey Commons. The architectural plans for that renovation have been digitized and available for viewing online.

Sherburne Hall was set to close after spring semester 2020 but remained open to provide single rooms for students living on campus.

The blueprints for Sherburne Hall, as completed in 1969, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Shoemaker Hall (1915)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Shoemaker Hall, 1915
Shoemaker Hall, 1915

Waite A. Shoemaker
Waite A. Shoemaker

Shoemaker Hall dining room, 1916
Shoemaker Hall dining room, 1916

Model of Shoemaker Hall with 1960 addition
Model of Shoemaker Hall with 1960 addition

Shoemaker Hall's 1960 addition
Shoemaker Hall's 1960 addition

Opened in the fall of 1915 as a residence hall for women, Shoemaker Hall is the second oldest standing campus building. It is named in honor of Waite A. Shoemaker, who held many roles at St. Cloud State – student, faculty member, and then president. Shoemaker died in March 1916.

Planning for Shoemaker Hall began by at least 1912. At the November 30, 1912, meeting of the Minnesota normal school board, a resolution was passed to ask the Minnesota state legislature for an appropriation of $80,000 to construct a new dormitory for women. That $80,000 appropriation was granted by the legislature on April 28, 1913. The normal school board acted at their November 21, 1913, meeting, appointing a committee to make recommendations for placing the new dormitory. By February 1914, the new dormitory’s location was set – the normal school board asked for bids for the sale and removal of two buildings on the west side of 1st Avenue South. With 60 rooms to accommodate 110 students, Shoemaker Hall was the first St. Cloud State building placed on the west side of that street – or any street in the neighborhood - and had a commanding view of the Mississippi Riverview before Eastman Hall opened in 1930.

Designed by Minnesota state architect Clarence Johnston, the blueprints for the new dormitory were dated August 19, 1914. Construction began sometime that fall of 1914. The building, which featured local yellow brick similar to Riverview, was opened for students in late November 1915.

According to Bill Morgan, professor emeritus at St. Cloud State and architectural historian, Shoemaker Hall is Federal Revival Style. Federal Revival Style are buldings built in the Federal Style after 1820 (Federal Style was popular between 1780 and 1820). Morgan says that "Federal is a refined version of Georgian architecture, mainly showing recessed arches." If a portico (or porch) is present on a building that is Federal Style, it tends to be less bulky than what one may find on a Georgian style building. According to Morgan, the portico (or porch on Shoemaker Hall) seems "heavier" than what one would find on a Federal Style structure in the eastern United States. In addition, the balustrade is a key element of Federal Style, but the one on Shoemaker Hall has been removed. But the windows set in recessed arches and the low-pitched roof still survive.

Though no official action was done by the state normal board, the dormitory has always been known as Shoemaker Hall. During the time the building was being constructed and then opened, Shoemaker was on a leave of absence as president for an illness. In November 1914, Isabel Lawrence was named acting president while Shoemaker was ill. Unfortunately, Shoemaker never returned to St. Cloud State – he passed away in March 1916. The building was dedicated on June 5, 1916. And in that program, the dormitory is referred to as Shoemaker Hall.

According to an article June 5, 1916 edition of the "St. Cloud Times," which discussed that day's dedication of the building, the building was "erected by St. Cloud labor with the use of local material throughout." In addition, the article said that the building was built "absolutely fire-proof, with all the modern conveniences, to make the recollections of the students dwelling therein, the fondest in the history of their education."

Shoemaker Hall was not immune to the physical growth of campus due to the arrival of the Baby Boomers in the late 1950s. In fact, Shoemaker Hall was affected early on as the campus struggled to provide enough housing for students, especially for men. By the fall of 1960, a large addition to Shoemaker Hall to house 400 more students opened, making it the largest campus dormitory at the time.

Designed by Frank Jackson and Associates, construction of the addition began in May 1959. Costing $1.4 million, east (six stories) and west (four stories) wings just south of the existing building were constructed by Wahl Construction Company. The addition also included a two story central section containing a 275 seat dining room which connected the addition to the old part of Shoemaker Hall, which was remodeled and redecorated at the same time.

According to a press release dated August 11, 1960, Shoemaker Hall addition rooms on each floor were to be clustered around bathrooms, a lounge, living room, and utility room. This arrangement allowed “more privacy than is provided by dormitories where rooms face each other across the hall.”

Two students were to occupy each room and provided “with two single beds, a lounge chair, two fiberglass study chairs, a vinyl-topped double study desk, separate closets and a book utility shelf.”

The dormitory’s main recreation room was on the ground floor and “equipped with ping pong and shuffleboard facilities” as well as a 60 seat television room. The addition also included a kitchen and dining room “of the latest design,” which featured “stainless steel equipment, ceramic tile floors and walls, walk-in freezers, modern dishwashers, and a conveyer belt for moving dishes from the dining room to the dishwashing room.”

On November 22, 1960 an open house was conducted that featured a buffet supper, dance, and tours of the building. The dance, held in Shoemaker Hall’s recreation room, featured music by the Moon Misters.

In the summer of 2011, the 1915 portion of Shoemaker Hall was renovated, costing $6 million and brought the oldest part of the building into the 21st century. The renovation included resurfaced hardwood floors, upgraded ventilation, plumbing, and electrical systems, new energy-efficient restrooms, new furnishings, and new closet storage. The renovation also included a technology center, multipurpose rooms, activity lounge, theater-style video room, card-access entry, and surveillance cameras.

While the old portion of Shoemaker Hall was renovated in 2011, the east and west wings were renovated in between 2013 and 2014, opening for occupancy in the fall of 2014. The renovation cost $17.4 million, gutting the entire 1960 addition. This included smaller and more private bathrooms, upgraded Wi-Fi, air conditioning, kitchen and lounge facilities on each floor, two laundry rooms, and a recreational game room.

The blueprints for both the 1915 construction and the 1960 addition are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Stearns Hall (1966)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Holes Hall (1965) and Stearns Hall (1966) under construction, 1966

Holes Hall and Stearns Hall, 1966

Holes Hall and Stearns Hall, 1967

Holes Hall and Stearns Hall, 1967

Stearns Hall, 1970s

Stearns Hall, 1970s

St. Cloud State continued to grow as the Baby Boomers came of age and flocked to campuses across the United States to get a college education. After the fall 1965 opening of Holes Hall, the first campus high rise residence hall, plans were underway to construct additional campus housing because of an acute shortage - housing on campus and nearby were at a premium. Nearly identical to Holes Hall, Stearns Hall attempted to alleviate that shortage.

Designed by Jackson-Hahn Associates, construction began in the fall of 1965 on recently acquired state property. With a budget of almost $1.4 million, Wahl Construction Company was the general contractor. Other contractors included Granite City Electric and Sporleder Heating and Plumbing. Construction was financed through the sale of self-liquidating revenue bonds to be repaid from room rental revenue.

Opened in September 1966, the nine story Stearns Residence Hall contained 400 beds for male students. Yet when it opened, the building was still unnamed. At the January 11, 1966, meeting of the Minnesota state college board, St. Cloud State proposed to name the yet-to-be constructed building “Albertina C. Anderson Student Residence” – and the resolution was tabled for unknown reasons. Miss Anderson was an alum of St. Cloud State as well as a faculty member, retiring in 1944 after 39 years of service. On December 16, 1966, the Minnesota state college board approved the name “Stearns Residence Hall.” According to the resolution, the name was selected for three reasons:

  • To honor Charles T. Stearns, a distinguished citizen of Minnesota
  • Because the “main” campus of St. Cloud State is located in Stearns County (which is named for Charles T. Stearns)
  • To honor the first building of St. Cloud State, Stearns House, a former hotel built by Charles T. Stearns, which entirely housed the new school from its establishment in 1869 to the fall of 1874 when Old Main opened.

Despite the opening of Stearns Residence Hall in September 1966, on and off campus housing was in high demand. According to a July 13, 1966 press release, campus housing capacity rose to 2402 beds, yet there were still 700 names on a waiting list. The rise was due to the opening of Stearns Hall as well as converting two-student rooms to three-student rooms in “old” Shoemaker Hall and Lawrence Hall. Campus leaders urged St. Cloud residents to provide more rental rooms for students.

Two more residence halls were constructed after Stearns Hall opened in September 1966 – Benton Hall in 1967 (and its north addition in 1968) and Sherburne Hall in 1969. All three buildings were dedicated on April 11, 1969.

Stearns Hall was last occupied in May 2014 and then reopened in the fall of 2018.

The blueprints for Stearns Hall as it looked when it opened in 1966 are available in the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Stearns House (1869)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Stearns House, 1869-1874
Stearns House, 1869-1874?

Old Main and Stearns House, 1977
Old Main and Stearns House, 1877

Stearns House, 1874?-1884?

Stearns House, 1874?-1885?

Stearns House historical plaque, 1979

Stearns House historic plaque, 1970 

Purchased in early 1869 by the state of Minnesota, the Stearns House was the first building of the Third State Normal School (later becoming St. Cloud State University in 1975). Classes began on September 15, 1869.

In 1858, the first Minnesota state legislature authorized three normal schools be established within the next 15 years. The purpose of the normal schools was to educate and prepare teachers for teaching in Minnesota public schools. Preceded by normal schools in Winona and Mankato, the state authorized the city of St. Cloud to issue bonds to raise $5000, the amount needed by the state and matched to establish the Third State Normal School.

In February 1869, the state normal school selected the Stearns House for the new Third State Normal School. The property was owned by William M. Hooper and was one of the four sites considered by the board. The building and property were purchased for $3000 and the board authorized its remodeling, which cost an additional $3434.47. In July 1869, the state normal board finalized the Stearns House site as the school’s permanent home.

In 1853, the area which would become St. Cloud was being settled. The city of St. Cloud was established in 1856 that united three areas – Upper Town, Middle Town, and Lower Town. Charles T. Stearns, namesake of Stearns county, opened the Stearns House in 1856 on the banks of the Mississippi River in Lower Town section of the city.

An advertisement from the St. Cloud Visiter newspaper on May 13, 1858 described the building:

This new and beautiful Hotel is situated upon the bluff just above the Lower Ferry in the town of St. Cloud, commanding one of the most beautiful views on the Mississippi river. The Proprietor assures all who may visit this place that his table shall contain every bounty and luxury which can be obtained both at home and abroad. It is his intention to keep the above hotel as a first class one in every respect.

Tourism from wealthy Southern slaveholders was popular in Minnesota in the late 1850s until the beginning of the American Civil War in April 1861. Southerners often brought their slaves with them, who were described as “servants,” and often stayed at the Stearns House. In the summer of 1857, a Tennessee slaveholder resided at the Stearns House with a slave, who then tried to escape to freedom. The attempt failed yet received major press coverage from anti-slavery newspapers around the country.

In 1857-1858, slavery was legal in the Minnesota territory, thanks to the Dred Scott decision and the Fugitive Slave Act. Once Minnesota became a state in May 1858, slavery again was outlawed but did not stop southerners from bringing their slaves when visiting.

The building continued as a hotel until it was sold to the state of Minnesota in early 1869. Soon after the sale, an ad appeared in the March 25, 1869 edition of the St. Cloud Journal announcing the sale of hotel furniture by the wife of the now deceased hotel proprietor, Captain H. Tilden. Furniture offered included office, parlor, dining room, kitchen and bedroom, as well as bedding, carpets, and stoves. By May 1869, 10 men were working on the building to get it into shape for the Third State Normal School. The May 6, 1869 issue of the St. Cloud Journal reported that the workmen were “putting under a new foundation, building new chimneys, and repainting” while remodeling inside would begin soon.

On September 15, 1869, the building (with five acres of land), which faced south, opened for classes. 40 women and 10 men were in attendance, as well as 70 children for the model school. The first floor contained the “main normal room” measuring 26 x 30 feet as well as a smaller “normal room.” The second floor housed the model school and contained two classrooms, two cloak rooms and a library. The third floor had seven rooms and used as living quarters for students while the finished fourth floor was “a general depository for surplus articles.”

Stearns House building was never intended to be the permanent home of the Third State Normal School. Shortly after opening for classes, construction began on the foundation and basement of a new main building. It was hoped to open in time for the 1871/72 academic year but did not. Due to the lack of state appropriations to build, complete, and furnish the main building, Stearns House served as the only building for the Third State Normal School until the fall of 1874 when “Old Main” opened.

After the opening of “Old Main” in 1874, the Stearns House, now called “The Normal Home for Ladies,” was refitted to serve as a dormitory for 25 students. It served this purpose until the fall of 1885, when the new Ladies’ Home (later renamed Lawrence Hall) opened. According to the 1885/86 St. Cloud State course catalog, Stearns House was to be refitted to house male students and called “Young Men’s Hall.” Later course catalogs, nor the Normalia student journal, made any further mentions of “Young Men’s Hall.”

The building stood until 1895 but its exact use is unknown. At the April 26, 1895 meeting of the state normal board, the former Stearns House building and an adjoining shed were sold to prominent St. Cloud citizen Albert G. Whitney for $51. According to the May 9, 1895 edition of the St. Cloud Journal-Press, Whitney intended "to use the lumber to build a number of cottages on his vacant lots."

As part of St. Cloud State's centennial celebration in 1969, historic plaques were placed around campus. These plaques marked historic places on the St. Cloud State campus, including for the Stearns House.

The Stearns House was a wonderful example Gothic Revival architecture. Thought to be a temperance hotel, the building’s interior was graced with red-draped curtains and elegant furnishings. Gothic Revival buildings such as the Stearns House made use of decorative gingerbread trim that literally dripped from porches and cornice lines, showing the influence of decorations found along steamboat decks. The invention of the scroll saw made this kind of ornamentation universal.

Additional Sources

  • St. Cloud Journal, February 18, 1869
  • St. Cloud Journal, August 19, 1869
  • Mitchell, William Bell (1915). History of Stearns County Minnesota. H.C. Cooper, Jr., & Co.

Stewart Hall (1948)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of Stewart Hall, early 1940s

Architect's rendering of Stewart Hall, early 1940s

Stewart Hall cornerstone ceremony, May 1948

Stearns Hall cornerstone laying ceremony, May 1948

Aerial view of Stewart Hall and Old Main, 1948

Aerial view of Stewart Hall and Old Main, September 1948

Moving equipment from Old Main to Stewart Hall, December 1948

Moving equipment from Old Main to Stewart Hall, December 1948

Aerial view of Stewart Hall, 1954

Aerial view of Stewart Hall, 1954

Stewart Hall, 1960s

Stewart Hall, 1960s

Stewart Hall auditorium, December 1977

Stewart Hall auditorium, December 1977

Stewart Hall exterior renovation, 1988-1989

Stewart Hall auditorium, December 1977 

Stewart Hall, August 1989

Stewart Hall, 1989

Stewart Hall dedication poster, November 1989

Stewart Hall dedication poster, November 1989

Warren Stewart, 1940s

Warren Stewart, 1940s

Nearly 75 years old, St. Cloud State was looking towards the future as the school continued its slow growth before World War II. The Old Main building, which opened in 1874 and included north and south wings that were constructed during the 1890s, was very much showing its age. The 1930s brought the Great Depression. The result was the state of Minnesota not investing as much as what was needed for capital improvements at all state college campuses. At St. Cloud State, a new main administrative and classroom building was needed.

Compared to today, the 1941 St. Cloud State campus was small. Campus comprised of Lawrence Hall, Old Main, Old Model School, Riverview, Eastman Hall, and Shoemaker Hall. Though there were a few classes held in Eastman Hall, Old Main contained all campus offices and provided for nearly all instruction. Administrators considered Old Main a fire trap. Speaking to the need of a new main building, St. Cloud State president George Selke said, “[t]he thing most immediately necessary is the substitution for the present main building of one where lives will not be in constant jeopardy from structural collapse or fire.” In the early 1940s, the student newspaper College Chronicle urged students not to smoke in Old Main in fear of a possible fire.

On the cusp of World War II, the 1941 Minnesota state legislative session appropriated $395,000 for a new main building at St. Cloud State. Requests for a new main building in 1937 and 1939 were rejected by the state of Minnesota. Despite the 1941 appropriation, timing would delay the construction of the new building. The January 16, 1942 issue of the College Chronicle reported that construction of the new main building would be postponed for the duration of World War II. To be ready once the war was over, Architects L.C. Pinault (who attended St. Cloud State in the early 1910s) and Frank W. Jackson Associates finished the architectural plans.

With the end of World War II in 1945, life returned back to “normal.” Thanks to the G.I. Bill, St. Cloud State had to be ready for the influx of veterans on campus. The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the opportunity to earn a college degree paid for by the federal government. Unfortunately, the 1941 appropriation would not cover the cost of a new main classroom. Post-war saw the increased costs of construction material and labor. In the meantime, St. Cloud State would have to adjust accordingly by erecting temporary buildings and continue to use Old Main. To help get the new main building constructed, the 1945 Minnesota state legislative session appropriated an additional $265,000, adding to the $395,000 already appropriated.

With the hope of a 1946 construction start date, the project went out for bid. Unfortunately, bids far exceeded the appropriated funds awarded by the state. Yet more funds were needed to get the main building constructed. In response, the 1947 Minnesota state legislative session appropriated an additional $1.1 million for Minnesota state college buildings and specifically mentioned the new main building at St. Cloud State. Finally, St. Cloud State had enough funds in hand to build its new main building that included an auditorium.

With revised architectural plans completed, construction began in the summer of 1947. The L-shaped new main building, which measured 320 feet by 348 feet with 270 rooms, was to face west and to be constructed around the Old Main building. Old Main’s north wing was torn down and the rest of the building remained, which allowed St. Cloud State to continue to use the building as enrollment swelled. It was hoped that the building, being constructed by Hagstrom Construction Company, would be ready in time for the 1948 fall quarter.

At the May 26, 1947 Minnesota state college board meeting, the name Stewart Hall was approved for the new main building. The resolution stated that naming the building after Warren Stewart was “fitting and proper that the long service, unselfish devotion to duty, and extraordinary service beyond the call of duty be recognized…” A 1910 alum, Stewart served as St. Cloud State’s resident director on the Minnesota state college board from 1939 to 1948.

In the midst of construction, a cornerstone ceremony was held on May 4, 1948. Inside a 9 inch by 9 inch lead lined copper box, items were placed - 1944 college history, two copies of the Chronicle student newspaper, and course catalogs for 1947/48 and summer of 1948. Also included was a May 1948 letter from Warren Stewart and two lists containing the signatures of 47 St. Cloud State faculty members and 994 students from the 1948 spring quarter.

Portions of Stewart Hall opened in October 1948. Construction continued until the building was finally completed in 1949. On December 3, 1948, classes were called off and students assisted in moving furniture and equipment from Old Main to Stewart Hall.

The 1949 Minnesota state legislature appropriated another $250,000 to help equip Stewart Hall.

With the arrival of the Baby Boomer generation in the late 1950s to college campuses all over the country, academics and physical campuses rapidly grew. Functions and academics moved out of Stewart Hall into new buildings as the St. Cloud State campus grew west of 1st Avenue South.

The 1976 Minnesota state legislative session appropriated $275,000 to renovate the Stewart Hall auditorium. The renovation, designed by architects Val Michelson and Associates, began in January 1977 and lasted a year. The purpose of the renovation was to “open ceiling and stage areas to give the auditorium a ‘one space’ look.” The renovation also made the auditorium “more acoustically functional” for musical events and to better accommodate a variety of programs. In 1995, St. Cloud State raised $650,000 to further renovate the Stewart Hall auditorium again. Jan Ritsche donated $300,000 toward the campaign, resulting in the renaming of the auditorium in honor of her daughter and 1982 St. Cloud State alum Kim Ritsche. Kim died in a car accident in 1989. The renovation was done during the summer of 1995.

Many famous personalities have graced the building’s stage – author Arthur C. Clarke, singers John Denver and Reba McEntire, comedian Lily Tomlin, film director Frank Capra, actor Don Knotts, and Twin Cities rock group Trip Shakespeare.

From 1988 through 1989, Stewart Hall as a whole underwent a thorough interior and exterior renovation as designed by architect Pauly and Olsen Associates – Traynor, Hermanson and Hahn. With an $8.1 million appropriation from the 1987 Minnesota state legislature, Stewart Hall was renovated in stages by general construction contractor Donlar Construction. Phase I renovated the east wing, including a small building addition. Phase II renovated portions of the auditorium and its lobby, as well as the south wing of Stewart Hall. The renovation corrected code violations, removed asbestos, upgraded mechanical systems, overhauled heating and cooling systems including the addition of air-conditioning, and exterior renovation. The west face of Stewart Hall was completely removed and the main entrance enlarged. The auditorium entrance and its lobby were reconfigured, adding an additional entry point into Stewart Hall.

Coinciding with the 1989 homecoming celebration, the newly renovated Stewart Hall was rededicated on November 3, 1989. Mary Stewart Beckman, daughter of Warren Stewart, attended the festivities. Warren Stewart passed away in 1959.

Yet the 1948 time capsule was still missing after the 1988-1989 renovation. Despite knowing the general area of where the time capsule was, it still was not found. In September 1992, the stone that was on Stewart Hall's exterior was being crushed by a local St. Cloud company. Workers noticed a small metal object on a conveyer belt carrying crushed stone and stopped the machinery to investigate - it was the Stewart Hall time capsule. The company returned the time capsule to St. Cloud State in the fall of 1992 and was subsequently placed in University Archives.

Today, the building is home to many academic departments, School of Health and Human Services, School of Public Affairs, KVSC radio, UTVS, and other campus units.

The blueprints for Stewart Hall, as completed in 1948, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Webster Hall (1968)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of the School of Business building
Architect's rendering, 1967

School of Business building construction, 1968
Construction, 1968

Dedication of School of Business building, 1969
Jim Marmas and Robert Wick prepare cornerstone, 1969

School of Business building, 1970s

South facade, 1970s

As the 1960s came to close, so did St. Cloud State’s rapid physical expansion of campus. The School of Business building, constructed to house the fast growing School of Business, was one of the last campus buildings to open before 1970. After the Business moved out in 2007 for the newly renovated Centennial Hall, the building was renamed 51 Building. In 2018, the building was named Webster Hall.

Designed by architects Traynor and Hermanson, construction for the School of Business building began in September 1967 and on the site where the Old Main building stood. Costing $1.026 million, the majority of the funds for the project ($825,000) was provided for by the 1965 Minnesota state legislation. The remaining funds were provided for by the federal government. Construction contracts were awarded to Gunnar I. Johnson and Son (general) for $719,000, St. Cloud Plumbing and Heating (mechanical) for $130,740, Sporleders Plumbing and Heating (ventilating) for $77,390, and M-J-B (electrical) for $99,652.

According to a press release dated August 18, 1967, the three story building was to house four Business school departments – Accounting, Management and Finance, Marketing and General Business, and Business Education and Office Administration. It would also be the home to the Bureau of Business Research. Measuring 78 feet by 166 feet, the building would include classrooms, seminar rooms, and offices. The Business building also included “provisions for educational television transmittal and reception and dial information access to the campus library, computer center, and secretarial service,” as well as a climate control system, entrance ramp and elevator for handicapped students, and flexible construction that allowed interior walls to be moved easily and economically to change room sizes. Just as important, the building design would allow an addition to be added when needed.

In the end, the 48,174 square foot building contained 39 faculty offices, offices for the Business dean, and space for the Bureau of Business Research. Five carpeted riser-type classrooms with capacities for 31 to 100 students were included, as were nine general purpose classrooms, five special purpose classrooms, and three seminar rooms.

On November 20, 1967, the Minnesota state college board named the building “School of Business”. The suggestion for the building's name came from the Business faculty themselves. As with other campus buildings completed in the 1960s, the Business building was to be named something else. At the Jan. 11, 1966, meeting of the Minnesota state college board, St. Cloud State proposed to name the yet-to-be constructed building “L.K. McLeland Hall” in honor of former St. Cloud State resident director and St. Cloud businessman Lyle K. McLeland. The resolution was tabled for unknown reasons.

Opening in the fall of 1968, the School of Business building was dedicated on May 14, 1969.

A movement began in the early 1990s to construct an addition to the School of Business building. According to a Feb. 15, 1991 press release, the two story addition to the southwest side of the Business building would provide an additional 5,000 square feet for 25 to 30 offices. The addition was to be designed by Wemlinger Architecture.  To cost around $465,000, the addition would be funded by a loan from the St. Cloud State Foundation. Construction work began in May 1993 and was scheduled to be completed in 1994.  A general contractor built the shell of the addition and St. Cloud State facilities personnel completed the interior. According to an article that appeared in the May 2, 1995 edition of the Chronicle, the addition was designed by students of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. The addition was dedicated on April 29, 1995.

In mid-2007, the now Herberger College of Business moved out of the building to the newly renovated Centennial Hall. The former School of Business building was then renovated to become home for the departments of English, Political Science, and Ethnic and Women's Studies. 

An unsuccessful effort was made in 2007 to rename the building after former St. Cloud State president George Budd. Sometime late during the 2007-08 academic year, the structure was dubbed 51 Building. In 2018, the building was named in honor of Ruby Cora Webster, a 1909 St. Cloud State graduate who is the first documented African-American to attend and/or graduate from the university.

The blueprints for the Webster Hall, as completed in 1968, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

Whitney House (1956)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Alice Whitney and Edith Campbell at the dedication of the Whitney Memorial Airport, 1935
Alice Whitney and Edith Campbell at the dedication of the Whitney Memorial Airport, 1935

Whitney House, ca. 1918
Whitney House, ca. 1918

Whitney House, 1968
Whitney House, 1968

St. Cloud State president Charles Graham in his Whitney House office, 1971

St. Cloud State president Charles Graham in his Whitney House office, 1971

First floor main foyer of Whitney House, 1987

First floor main foyer of Whitney House, 1987

Completed ca. 1917, Whitney House has survived the transformation of the neighborhood from residential homes to a modern college campus.

In the fall of 1955, St. Cloud State acquired the home. The campus was still along 1st Avenue South while its physical growth westward was a few years away. With the death of Alice Wheelock Whitney, wife of Albert Whitney, on December 5, 1954, the home was willed to her grandchildren. The November 2, 1955 issue of the Chronicle reported that the former Whitney home, 524 1st Avenue South, was to be purchased by St. Cloud State using funds donated by Albert and Alice’s three children: Wheelock (Sr.), Pauline, and Lois, as well as $30,000 appropriated by the 1955 Minnesota state legislature. St. Cloud State took possession of the home on July 1, 1956.

The Whitney family were some of the earliest settlers in Stearns County, Minnesota, and produced several generations of Minnesota businessmen, philanthropists, civic leaders, lawyers, and Republican politicians. Ephriam and Elizabeth Whitney grew up in Maine before moving to Minnesota shortly after their 1854 marriage. They farmed in various parts of Stearns County.

From Moscow, New York, Alice Wheelock came to St. Cloud in 1885 to attend the Normal School at St. Cloud. She lived with her sister Mary, who taught at the Normal School. A younger sister, (Martha) Lucille, entered St. Cloud State in November 1895 but did not graduate.

Ephriam and Elizabeth Whitney’s son, Albert G. Whitney, married Alice Wheelock in 1891. Albert engaged in the real estate and loan insurance business in St. Cloud as well as building a railway that linked the downtown areas of Waite Park, St. Cloud, and Sauk Rapids. He was also involved with the creation of public utilities in St. Cloud and throughout Stearns County. Albert passed away on January 11, 1922. Alice was a well-known and prominent citizen of St. Cloud, active in community social programs, civic projects, and a leading socialite.

Whitney House stood on the site of the former Whitney home, which was completed in 1891. That home was moved to 3rd Avenue South and a new home was built in its place. Using architectural plans completed by Tyrie and Chapman with C.A. Gage in September 1916, it was reported that the west facing home was under construction and “nearing completion” by very early January 1917. At the June 14, 1917 meeting of the Minnesota State Normal School board, Albert made a request to purchase “certain” grounds in the rear of his residence east to the Mississippi River, now part of the normal school grounds. A committee of three was appointed to study the issue. At the August 14, 1917, meeting, the three-person committee made its report to the normal school board. A law (Chapter 55) recently passed by the 1917 Minnesota state legislature allowed specific property near the home to be sold on the authority of the governor. The committee reported that after their visit to St. Cloud on August 2, that the property should not be sold. They felt the property was useful and essential to the school. The minutes reported that the “grounds furnish a beautiful and retired park for the use of the students of the school, especially those domiciled in Lawrence Hall, both for purpose of recreation and study.”

While on the visit to St. Cloud, the committee chided Whitney for building an unauthorized sewer directly across school property that emptied into the Mississippi River. The path, they wrote, “is piled high in some places with the filling material and in other places the filling has sunk below the surface.” A motion was passed that the St. Cloud State resident director and president request Whitney to “procure a license” for the sewer. The license was still an issue at the February 13, 1918 meeting. This was the last mention of a license from Whitney from the state college board.

The home saw at least three famous visitors. In January 1940, African-American singer Roland Hayes had dinner at Whitney House, while in October 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the home. In April 1942, African-American vocalist Marian Anderson was a guest of Alice Whitney.

Once St. Cloud State took possession of the home in July 1956, a committee was formed to decide how to use it. Headed by St. Cloud State president George Budd, other members of the committee were administrators and students. The September 25, 1956 Chronicle reported that the committee recommended that the home be used as a dormitory. Uses rejected were for a student union (the rooms were not suitable for “satisfactory” eating arrangements and the space was not as large as Stewart Hall lounge) and for Health Services (space was simply not suitable). The Minnesota State College board, at their July 24, 1956, meeting, approved a proposal to use Whitney House as a dormitory and to spend up to $12,000 for equipment, repair, and minor remodeling.

From 1956 to 1965, Whitney House, which was never officially named, served as a dormitory for 30 women. In the spring of 1964, President Budd planned to turn the building into a home for St. Cloud State’s president. The May 30, 1964, Chronicle reported that the state college board had approved the action, including a request by the Whitney family for that use. Budd came under fire for using $1500 of dormitory funds to redecorate the home as a residence. The president argued that the money was going to be spent regardless, since nothing, he claimed, had been done to the home since its acquisition in 1955. The matter was dropped.

During the 1965/66 academic year, Whitney House was a sorority house for Alpha Phi. In 1966, administrative offices moved out of Stewart Hall, including the president’s office, Campus Planning, and Information Services and into Whitney House. The 1969 Minnesota state legislature appropriated $500,000 to “convert Kiehle Library and Whitney House to administration and central service facilities.” Administrators soon realized that Kiehle and Whitney House were too far from the west edge of campus, which stood at 3rd Avenue South, to be the front door of St. Cloud State. With the completion of Administrative Services in the summer of 1975, campus units moved out of Whitney House, including the president’s office. Offices moved into Whitney House including the Central Minnesota Public Service Consortium, Continuing Education, External Studies, International Studies, Traffic Safety, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

A garage/carriage house that sat just behind the home was demolished in 1974.

Other units to occupy Whitney House were the College of Social Sciences, the School of Public Affairs, and, lastly, the Department of Psychology. In January 2020, Psychology, the building’s final tenant, moved to Stewart Hall in space formerly occupied by Counseling, who moved to Eastman Hall in the summer of 2019. Whitney House is now empty.

According to architectural historian Bill Morgan, Whitney House is a handsome example of Georgian Revival using more elaborate elements of that style than either Lawrence Hall or Riverview. The house is built of hollow tile blocks veneered with Oriental autumn-leaf brick. The house has a distinctive eastern U.S. feel to it like 18th century plantation houses found in Tidewater Virginia. The Whitney family was likely influenced by homes they saw in their travels.

The 1916 blueprints for Whitney House are available in the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources

  • St. Cloud Daily Times, July 16, 1916
  • St. Cloud Journal-Press, January 2, 1917
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, November 2, 1955
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, May 27, 1964
  • St. Cloud Daily Times, June 15, 1964
  • St. Cloud DailyTimes, June 27, 1964
  • Ames, Alexander (2012). Mansions of Memories. Preservation, Destruction and the Construction of Place in Central Minnesota. Thesis

Wick Science Building (1973)

Images

Images available to download from the University Archives' Archon portal:

Architect's rendering of the Wick Science Building
Architect's rendering of Wick Science Building, 1971

Wick Science Building ground breaking, September 1971
Wick Science Building ground breaking, 1971

Wick Science Building construction, 1972
Wick Science Building construction, 1972

Wick Science Building dedication, April 1974

Robert Wick presiding over dedication, April 1974

Wick Science Building, 1977

Wick Science Building, 1977

By the early 1970s, the growth of the physical campus and academics slowed down. Much of the Baby Boomer generation was growing up and moving on. Yet there were still real needs to campus, which included the expansion of the sciences. Thus, the Wick Science building was born.

Campus planners originally discussed an addition to Brown Hall, which opened in January 1960 to house the campus science departments. The idea was to close 8th Street South between 1st and 2nd Avenues South and the addition was to be connected with Brown Hall. In the end, the plan was to construct a new building in Parking Lot H to “supplement” Brown Hall.

The 1971 Minnesota state legislature appropriated $6.6 million to construct and equip the new mathematics and science building, including an additional $75,000 for site work. The architect was Bissell, Belair, and Green.

According to a September 2, 1971 press release, the contractors for the building were: Gunnar I. Johnson and Son (general contractor), $2.96 million, Gorham’s Construction of Mora (mechanical), $728,000, Cold Spring Electric (electrical), $697,443, McDowall Company (HVAC), $428,900, and Hauenstein and Burmeister (science equipment), $898,000. Construction began shortly in October 1971.

The Wick Science Building was constructed with concrete columns and a brick veneer with interior space totaling 150,000 square feet. In addition, a moat was to surround the building that resulted in the ground floor, which was below normal earth level, to have windows. Also planned for the building was an auditorium and museum on the ground floor, a greenhouse, laboratories, and faculty offices. The building included an aquarium room, plant growth chambers, small student research laboratories, and a walk-in freezer to store biology specimens. A connection to Brown Hall was fulfilled with a two story skyway across 8th Street South.

The Wick Science Building also had a 62 seat planetarium built inside and equipped with a Spitz 512C Space System. The building's roof included an observatory that contained seven stationary telescopes, the largest being a 12.5 inch reflector telescope, all costing $35,000.

The original name approved by the Minnesota State College board on May 9, 1972 was “Mathematics and Science Center.” On September 2, 2005, the Mathematics and Science Center was renamed and rededicated as the Robert H. Wick Science Building in honor of retired faculty member and former St. Cloud State president Robert Wick. Wick served as president from 1965 to 1971.

Scheduled to open in early 1973, the four story building partially opened in the first summer session of 1973. Due to a strike of construction workers, construction stopped and delayed an on-time opening. Construction work continued in the summer of 1973 while campus units moved into the building. Wick Science Building fully opened in time for the fall 1973 academic term.

In April 1974, a two-day Energy and Society symposium marked the official opening of the building. The keynote symposium speaker was former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, who served during the Kennedy and Johnson presidential administrations. A dedication ceremony took place during the symposium.

In late 1991, the glass domed greenhouse that stood on top of the building's south auditorium was removed and a new one was built nearby. The 1987 Minnesota state legislature appropriated $927,000 to "construct and relocate" the building's greenhouse. The greenhouse leaked water, was drafty, hard to heat, and could only accommodate potted plants. The auditorium below was often damaged by leaking water. The delay in the project was due to bids not coming within budget. The new greenhouse was built just west of the auditoirum and attached to the southside of the Wick Science Center.

In the spring of 2006, the Minnesota state legislature appropriated $14 million to “design, construct, furnish, and equip an addition to and renovation of the Wick Building for classrooms, science laboratories, and related offices…” Built just west of the Wick Science Building, the addition provided for 35,000 square feet for new laboratories and classrooms. One reason cited for the need was the successful nursing program at St. Cloud State. Nursing students dramatically increased the enrollment for entry-level biology and chemistry classes. Construction began in May 2007 and opened for use in time for the 2009 spring semester. A grand opening was held on January 30, 2009.

The blueprints for the Wick Science Building, as completed in 1973, are available on the University Archives’ Archon portal.

Additional Sources