CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Veterinary Hospital, Related Buildings/Horticultural Barn, 1889-1920


Two buildings, one of which is a barn, with people standing in front of them. A car is parked on the road nearby.

Veterinary Buildings, 1910

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; Additional research by Gordon Hazard

Builder – John C. Davis (1889 barn)

The first of the five structures that made up the College’s original “Veterinary Hospital” was a basic barn and corral area constructed by December 1889.  John C. Davis was the contractor for this first “veterinary building”.  Located along West Laurel Street in the “Walnut Grove” west of the Mechanics Shop Building, the veterinary barn cost $1000.  Before the building could be used, the State Board of Agriculture disbanded the infant Veterinary Department when it fired the college veterinarian, Dr. George C. Faville.  The Horticultural Department was given permission to occupy the barn by the State Board of Agriculture.  Over the next seventeen years, at least one other building was constructed with a cement floor for horticulture activities.

Beginning in 1899, Dr. George Glover was hired part time to come to the campus to give weekly lectures pertaining to subjects in Veterinary Science and to monitor the health of the college owned livestock.  In the summer of 1901 Dr. George Henry Glover became a full-time member of the CAC faculty as chairman of the new Department of Veterinary Science. Starting on September 1, 1901, Dr. Glover taught courses in a limited number of Veterinary Science subjects that were offered to juniors and seniors taking Animal Husbandry.  This led up to the creation of a full course of study leading to a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1907. 

The need for a teaching hospital and laboratory to support a full course of study in Veterinary Science was evident. The State Board of Agriculture officially assigned the 1889 vintage Horticultural Barn and its neighboring building on West Laurel Street to the Department of Veterinary Science. That summer, remodeling of the buildings took place along with the addition of corrals and holding pens. The former horticulture buildings were as ready as possible for the veterinary students arriving for the first day of class on September 10, 1907.  Key buildings in the complex at that time were the Veterinary Hall, Dissection/Anatomical Laboratory, Veterinary Hospital, and the Veterinary Library Building that housed 80,000 volumes.  A building to house the Pathology Laboratory was added to the complex in 1908.

College Bulletins published in 1908 and 1909 indicate that the Veterinary Hospital was a one-and-one-half story frame building situated on Laurel Street, one of the main thoroughfares of the city.  This building had cement floors, was steam heated and had electric lighting, hot and cold water, commodious box and single stalls, and an operating room equipped with an operating table, operating stocks, a casting harness, and a well-equipped drug and instrument room.  Large and comfortable paddocks were also available.  A building with sleeping rooms with hot showers to be used by the doctors and assistants on duty also existed.

A few feet to the east of the Hospital was the Veterinary Hall.  It was a substantial two-story brick building that contained classrooms, an office, and an assembly room for the Veterinary Medical Association.  Laboratories were located in the basement of the building with the library on the upper floor.  The north room was used for the Bacteriological Laboratory in conjunction with the Experiment Station.  It was very well equipped with high power microscopes, sterilizers, incubators, a microtome, and everything necessary for instruction in this branch of work as well as for scientific research. 

The Pathology Building built in 1908 was west of the Veterinary Hospital and was fitted for a pathological laboratory and museum.  This building also contained the main office of the department and two additional classrooms.

Another building was the Dissection/Anatomical Laboratory which was constructed exclusively for the work in the dissection and the study of the anatomy of horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs, and cats.  Sanitation here was very important; it had a cement floor and was supplied with hot and cold water, tables, sinks, injection apparatus, and everything needed to facilitate the work being done there.  In November 1909, this building was destroyed by a late-night fire.  After racing to the scene through slush and snow-filled streets, firefighters found the water pressure at that end of the city’s water main system so low that they had little chance to save the campus structure.  This problem would recur over the following years.  Despite this, most of the instruments and specimens managed to be saved. 

Enrollment in the Department of Veterinary Medicine nearly doubled after World War I when men began returning from their military service.  New and improved veterinary teaching facilities were recognized as being badly needed at the college. 

In October 1920, a newly built Veterinary Hospital specifically designed for work in veterinary medicine was opened a few yards southwest of the Civil and Irrigation Engineering Building.  This allowed most of these now vacated buildings to be razed to make way for the new Women’s Building (Ammons Hall).  Materials from the buildings and paddocks were recycled to be used to build sheds on the College Farm. The small wood-framed building which had been used as the living quarters for the resident veterinary doctor was moved over to the site just north of the Poultry Department and west of the Civil Building to be used as a “bee house” by Dr. Gillette and his students.  

The Pathology Laboratory building, built in 1908 at the west end of the complex, was kept intact and was given to the Botany Department for a laboratory.  It was later used by the Entomology Department as an Apiary, the Home Economics Department as a “Practice House”, and then a Preschool Laboratory facility.  It was razed in 1973.

Sources by Gordon Hazard

SBA (State Board of Agriculture) Minutes, June 7, 1889, page 117.

SBA Minutes, December 13, 1889, pages 140,146.

SBA Minutes, April 16, 1891, page 201.

City of Fort Collins Map, 1894.

SBA Minutes, April 30, 1901, page 648.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 12, 1901, pages 2 and 3, vol. XI, number 3.

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

SBA Minutes, April 11, 1907, pages 101-102.

SBA Minutes, June 5, 1907, page 113.

“Colorado State Agricultural College Bulletin”, published April 1908, Series VII, Number 4, pp. 11-12, LD1146, A3, ser 7-13 inc. Archive.

“The State Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, Catalogue and Prospectus – 1908-09.

“1909 Silver Spruce” yearbook, vol. IV, pages 86-87, published in 1908.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, June 30, 1909, page 110.

Bulletin of the State Agricultural College, Colorado, Series IX, number 2, pages 12-13. LD1146.A3, series 9, number 2, Archive.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, July 24, 1909, page 113.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, July 31, 1909, page 122.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 20, 1909, page 6, vol. XIX, number 8.

1913 Silver Spruce yearbook, published 1912.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 22, 1912, page 4, vol. 22, number 11.

1914 Silver Spruce yearbook, published 1913.

“34th Annual Register of the Officers and Students of the Colorado Agricultural College Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Prospectus for 1913-1914”, Series XIII, Number 1, page 18.

“Silver Spruce – 1915”, page 16, vol. 4, published 1914.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 9, 1914, page 1, col. 4, vol. XXIV, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 7, 1916, pages 1, 5, vol. XXVI, number 1.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, July 1, 1916, page 377, Dec. 1905 - Dec. 1916.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, February 27, 1920, page 102.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 16, 1920, page 1, vol. XXX, number 1.

SBA Executive Committee Minutes, September 27, 1920, page 122.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 24, 1921, page 1, vol. XXX, number 22.

“51st Annual Catalog of Colorado Agricultural College, 1930-31”, January 1930, series 28, number 7, page 93.

SBA Minutes, June 4, 1930, page 62.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 11, 1936, page 3, col. 6-7, vol. XLVI, number 1.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, March 1938, page 3, vol. 18, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 28, 1949, page 20, col. 1-4, vol. LIX, number 6.

Colorado A&M News, February 1950, page 10, col. 3, vol. 4, number 8.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, page 50, LD1145.8, A452, 1952, Archive.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September - October 1960, page 8, vol. 36, number 4.

CSU Collegian, August 29, 1968, page 14, vol. LXXVII, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 9, 1972, page 4, vol. LXXXI, number 43.

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

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977.

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

Fort Collins Journal, October 5, 1978, page 1, vol. LXXXVII, number 37.

CSU Comments, May 3, 1979, Special Section pages A- 1 through A-4, vol. 9, number 33.

Chiron’s Time: A History of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University”, 1983, by J. Dennis McGuire and James E. Hansen II, SF777 .M38 1983 Archive.

Comment, April 13, 2000, pages 1-2, vol. 30, number 27.

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007.

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