CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

A history of CSU's building and grounds from 1870 to the present.

Potting Shed, 1891-

 

From CSU's Sense of Place:  A Campus History of Colorado's Land-Grant University, by James E. Hansen, Gordon A. Hazard, and Linda M. Meyer.  Fort Collins, CO:  Colorado State University, 2018.

Builder – Mr. Buckley installed the hot water heating system in 1895

191 West Laurel Street

The original use of this small building was as the potting shed that supported the growing complex of horticulture greenhouses.  It is believed that much of the material used to build this structure came from the original “Claim Shanty” building that had just been demolished along with its attached greenhouse.  The Potting Shed is not the oldest building on the campus but likely built from the oldest materials.

Its simple design is classed as “Vernacular Folk Victorian”.  In December 1894, the State Board of Agriculture hired Mr. Buckley to install a coal-fired hot water heating system to allow the use of the greenhouse during the cold winter months.  A deep basement had to be dug below the Potting Shed to accommodate the furnace and boiler equipment as well as a very tall smokestack that was needed to direct the smoke away from the neighboring Horticultural Hall.  Once the old “Physical Plant Greenhouses” that extended south off the building were removed in 1996, the two doorways on the south wall were converted into windows.

During the 1960s it appears the little building was used for general storage as horticultural operations had moved over to the new University Greenhouse complex and the Plant Science Building.  During the early 1970s, Bill Wrage of the Physical Plant Department used the small building as his sign shop.  Anthropology Professor, Dr. Michael Charney made the Potting Shed his Skeleton Identification Laboratory from 1978 to May 1998 when he died at the age of 87.  Today, the Potting Shed still stands and is quietly being used for general storage.

 

Sources by Gordon Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 17, 1891, page 230.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 1891, page 6, col. 1, vol. 1, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 11, 1891, page 257.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 11, 1892, pages 282-283.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 15, 1893, pages 377, 382.

City of Fort Collins Map, 1894.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 13, 1894, page 444.

“1895 Silver Spruce Yearbook”, vol. 1, Department of Horticulture.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 6, 1895, pages 477-478.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 7, 1895, page 482.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 5, 1896, page 523.

“Map of the College Grounds – 1904”, by Ralph L. Parshall.

“The State Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, Catalogue and Prospectus – 1905-06”, pp. 25-26, LD1146, .C6, 1903/04-1907/08, Archive.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 19, 1918, page 1, vol. XXVIII, number 11.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 3, 1922, page 1, col. 3, vol. XXXII, number 6.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 31, 1935, page 206.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 10, 17 and campus maps, LD1145.8, A452, 1952, Archive.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1962, page 7, vol. 37, number 9.

“Historic Campus Spots of Colorado State University”, pages 1-6, by James R. Miller, 1963, https://dspace.library.colostate.edu/bitstream/handle/10217/76845/Miller_HistoricCampusSpots.pdf?sequence=1 , accessed October 7, 2016.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, Sunday, February 8, 1970, page 20A, “Colorado State University Centennial Issue”.

“A History of Colorado State University 1870 – 1974”, by James E. Hansen II, 1974.

Fort Collins Journal, November 1, 1976, page 1, vol. LXXXV.

Fort Collins Journal, April 1, 1977, pages 1 and 10, vol. LXXXV.

Fort Collins Journal, October 26, 1977, page 1, vol. LXXXVI, number 56.

Colorado State University Alumnus, October - December 1979, vol. 55, number 4, LH1.C68, v.55-61, Archive.

Fort Collins Journal, May 7, 1980, page 14, vol. LXXXVIII, number 140.

Alumnus, September 1981, vol. 57, number 3, page 7, LH1.C68m v. 55-61, Archive.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 9, 1981.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 31, 1985, page 3, vol. 94, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 10, 1985, page 2, vol. 94, number 13.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 5, 1985, pages 1 and 3, vol. 94, number 65.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 26, 1988, page 1, vol. 97, number 16.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 26, 1990, pages 10 and 11, vol. 99, number 32.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 3, 1990, page 4, vol. 99, number 37.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 21, 1991, page 1, vol. 99, issue 103.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 26, 1991, pages 1, 3, and 16, vol. 99, issue 106.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 4, 1992, page 2, vol. 100, issue 86.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 27, 1994, pages 1 and 3, vol. 103, number 42.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, October 11, 1994, 1-8a-z 1-1u-w.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 2, 1995, 1-12a-aa,1-1u-v.  Note:  this includes a colored campus map indicating structures proposed for historic designation.

 Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 5, 1995, page 1, vol. 103, number 161.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 25, 1996, page 1, vol. 104, issue 86.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 28, 1997, pages 1 and 2, vol. 105, issue 104.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 5, 1998, page 1, vol. 106, issue 146.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 6, 1998, page 5, vol. 106, issue 147.

Steven N. Byers, “In Memoriam: Michael Charney (1911-1998),” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 107:143-144.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 1, 1998, page 3, vol. 107, number 29.

 CSU Facilities Management building spreadsheet of March 17, 2015.

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