CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Veterans’ Village (1946 - 1961)

Rows of Quonset huts are divided by roads. Cars are parked on a street perpendicular to them.

Veterans' Village, 1947

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.

Architect – United States Government

Plans to build some affordable housing for military veterans and their families on the campus were well underway in the fall of 1945.  Several local citizens had spoken out against this as they felt a village of Quonset huts would create an eyesore and spoil their view of the mountains.  It would also mean they would have less competition for the rooms and basements they rented out at inflated prices to the veteran students and their families.  Despite this, the plan was enacted by college officials.  Veterans’ Village became a reality.  It was described by University Historian Dr. James E. Hansen II as “an aesthetic horror of Quonset huts and temporary buildings that provided cheap housing to married students after World War II”.

This 190-unit complex was made up of both half and full-sized Quonset Huts.  The half-Quonsets, purchased from Montgomery Ward, were 12’ x 40’ that featured a main room, bedroom, and bathroom.  They were built on their “foundations” with the flat side facing the west. The full-sized Quonsets were 30’ x 60’ and had four rooms.  These units were acquired from the United States Government.  Both styles had wooden floors and were somewhat insulated.  They were heated by small individual units using natural gas. 

On June 1, 1946, the first 30 of the original 100 units were ready for move-in.  In the fall of 1947, street names were assigned to the village.  From West Laurel Street the streets were Valley, Mesa, Forest, Woodland, and Orchard.  The street on the west was Mountain Drive and the street on the east border was College Drive.  Using the already assigned building numbers, each unit now had its own postal address and began receiving mail delivery.  On December 20, 1948, a major windstorm damaged several of the Quonset huts as well many other buildings in Fort Collins and the campus.  Two weeks later a major blizzard hit the affected area bringing deep snow and sub-zero temperatures to the region.

From the very beginning, residents developed their own village governing system that included the election of a mayor and council.  Until 1950, part of the village was operated by policies of the College and the other part by rules set forth by the Veterans Administration.

Despite its shortcomings this facility survived until the final units were removed in late 1961 to make room for Parmelee Hall and later Corbett Hall.  Many of the old buildings were sold to the public with a “you buy it, you haul it” stipulation.  Fifteen of the full-sized Quonsets were moved to the “Bay Farm” part of campus and used by the Physical Plant Department for many years.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 8, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 15, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 29, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 6, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 10.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 13, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 11.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 10, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 17, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 13.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, January 31, 1946, page 1, col. 7, “College Given 55 FHA Houses”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February7, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 16.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, February 17, 1946, page 1, col. 3, “College Given 35 More Units”.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, February 21, 1946, page 5, col. 1, “Outlook Good at Vet Village”.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, February 22, 1946, page 1, col. 1, “Huts to House 90 More Families Given College”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 28, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 19.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 7, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 20.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, March 13, 1946, page 2, col. 6, “Veterans’ Village Problems Studied”.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, April 19, 1946, page 1, col. 6, “Quonset Huts Reach College”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 25, 1946, page 1, vol. LV, number 25.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 1, 1946, page 1, col. 3, “More Housing Units Offered College Here”.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 23, 1946, page 1, col. 4, “30 Prefab Huts to be Ready for Veterans June 1”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 30, 1946, pages 1 and 2, vol. LV, number 30.

Colorado A&M News, July 1946, page 1, vol. 1, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 13-14, 1946, page 145.

Colorado A&M News, August 1946, pages 1 and 8, vol. 1, number 2.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, September – October 1946, page 2, vol. XXVI, number 9.

Colorado A&M News, September 1946, page 8, vol. 1, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 4, 1946, pages 1 and 4, vol. LVI, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 8, 1946, page 2, vol. LVI, number 6.

1946-47 Directory of Students, Faculty and Employees, inside front cover.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 28, 1947, pages 1 and 4, vol. LVI, number 18.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 2, 1947, page 6, vol. LVI, number 25.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 24, 1947, page 1, vol. LVII, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 7, 1947, page 1, vol. LVII, 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 14, 1947, page 1, col. 1-2, vol. LVII, 7.

1947-48 Directory of Students, Faculty and Employees, inside front cover.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 12, 1948, page 1, vol. LVII, 20.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 8, 1948, page 10, vol. LVIII, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 15, 1948, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 22, 1948, page 9, vol. LVIII, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 29, 1948, page 3, vol. LVIII, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 5, 1948, page 7, vol. LVIII, number 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 10, 1948, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 11.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 7, 1949, page 1, vol. LVIII, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 14, 1949, page 6, vol. LVIII, number 13.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 21, 1949, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 28, 1949, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 15.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 4, 1949, page 6, vol. LVIII, number 16.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 11, 1949, page 11, vol. LVIII, number 17.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 4, 1949, page 2, vol. LVIII, number 20.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 11, 1949, page 11, vol. LVIII, number 21.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 8, 1949, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 23.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 22, 1949, page 14, vol. LVIII, number 25.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 6, 1949, page 12, vol. LVIII, number 27.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 27, 1949, page 7, vol. LVIII, number 30.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, pages 140 and 141, vol. 45.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 5, 1951, page 14, vol. LXI, number 3.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, page 10.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 25, 1952, page 1, Vol. LXI, number 29.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 30, 1953, page 1, vol. LXII, number 16.

University Historic Photo Collection, images B6184B, B6184C, and B6184D dated May 1955.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 23, 1955, page 1, vol. LXV, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 18, 1958, page 1, vol. LXVI, number 34.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, March – April 1958, page 5, vol. 34, number 4.

Colorado State University Collegian, October 20, 1959, page 3, vol. LXVIII, number 9.

Colorado State University Collegian, October 23, 1959, page 1, vol. LXVIII, number 10.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 10, 1959, page 1, vol. LXVIII, number 15.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 24, 1959, page 1, vol. LXVIII, number 19.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, October 7-8, 1960, page 60.

Colorado State University Collegian, January 11, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 46.

Colorado State University Collegian, February 14, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 65.

Summer Session News, August 4, 1961, vol. XI, number 5, page 7.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 25, 1962 page 4, vol. LXX, number 114.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 6, 1962, pages 1 and 3, vol. LXXI, number 26.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 8, 1962, pages 1 and 3, vol. LXXI, number 28.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 15, 1962, pages 1 and 4, vol. LXXI, number 32.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 20, 1962, pages 1 and 2, vol. LXXI, number 34.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 12, 1962, page 520.

Colorado State University Collegian, January 17, 1963, page 1, vol. LXXI, number 49.

“Projections 1964”, booklet from the CSU Planning and Physical Plant, page 41.

Colorado State University Collegian, February 22, 1965, page 4, vol. LXXIII, number 69A.

CSU Collegian, October 11, 1967, page 12, vol. LXXVI, number 12.

“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, pp. 354-355, 376.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, pages 4 and 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 20, 1995, page 1, vol. 103, issue 129.

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007, p. 16.

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