CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Engineering-Physics Building, 1957-

A black and white photograph of a newly constructed two-story building made of stone and concrete. Three protruding architectural features are at the front of the building.

Engineering-Physics Building, 1958

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.

Architects – James M. Hunter and Associates (original), William George Heinzmand and Charles S. Ingalls, Jr. (1967 Math Wing addition), William C. Muchow & Associates, Inc. of Denver, H+L Architecture of Denver (1999 renovation)

Builder - Weaver Construction Company (original), Hensel - Construction Company (1999 renovation)

400 Isotope Drive

 

The “Post-World War II Era” that evolved quickly into the “Cold-war Era” had America crying out for more trained engineers in all fields.  James M. Hunter was hired to design this answer to Colorado A & M College’s need for more space to teach Engineering and Physics courses.  On June 22, 1956, the Weaver Construction Company won the bid and construction began that summer. The fall quarter of 1957 saw the institution with a new name and identity as it opened its new Engineering-Physics Building.  Colorado State University entered a new age.

The 60,000 square-foot building consisted of four wings and an auditorium connected by a long first-floor hallway.  During that fall quarter of 1957, classes started as workmen still worked each day to complete the final construction details.  The original complex provided facilities not only for the various disciplines of Engineering, but for several related departments such as Physics, Mathematics, and the rapidly emerging studies of Computer Science.  The Engineering Auditorium located in the A-wing of the building, was said to be the first tiered lecture hall built on the campus.  From 1957 until 1966 the enclosed hallway extended to the west that connected the Auditorium wing with the main building of the old Hydraulics Laboratory.

The Physics-wing (D-wing) had a “blister” room built onto the east wall to house the first nuclear reactor installed in any Colorado school.  Funding for this reactor came from the $100,000 granted by the Atomic Energy Commission.  Beginning in the fall quarter of 1958, Nuclear Engineering was offered as part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s program offering.

Over the years this building has undergone renovations and additions.  The architectural team of William George Heinzmand and Charles Stahl Ingalls, Jr. were hired to design the first addition, a new Math Wing (E-wing), which opened in early 1967. This addition was built onto the east end of the original complex and housed the University Computer Center in its basement. This was the center of all computer operations until the advent of personal computers quickly made the operation of one big computer center obsolete.  In 1979, William C. Muchow & Associates, Inc. of Denver designed an enclosed second-floor arcade that was added to the building to provide additional office space and to connect the building with the Lory Student Center.  The bridge with the Student Center’s top floor allowed access to the second-floor of the Engineering Building via the new arcade hallway.

Planning for an $18.8 million remodeling and enlarging project was started in June 1995. Construction was finished in July 1999.   This four-year project designed by H+L Architecture of Denver, gave major upgrades and additions to the 40-year-old complex.  Architects George Haller, Dayl Larson, and Jeffrey Ambrose of Haller & Larson were involved with the design work while the Hensel Phelps Construction Company was the builder.  The modernized building, along with its showcase Foucault pendulum, was formally dedicated on October 13, 2000.  Isotope Drive was now a plaza.

In June 2009, an 18.9 kW solar array that produces over 25,000 kWh each year was installed on the roof of the building and tied in with the existing electrical system.  The array is made up of 108 panels.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 25, 1955, pages 567, James M. Hunter.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, November – December 1955, pages 3 and 4, vol. 32, number 3.

Colorado A&M News, December 1955, pages 1-9, vol. 10, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 2, 1955, page 1, vol. LXV, number 11.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 14, 1955, pages 575 and 576.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 28, 1956, pages 585.

Colorado A&M News, February 1956, page 6, vol. 10, number 8.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 30, 1956, page 3, vol. LXV, number 23.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 22, 1956, pages 40-42.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 28, 1956, page 82.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 30, 1956, page 6, vol. LXV, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 16, 1956, page 7, vol. LXV, number 17.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 12, 1956, page 104.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 5, 1957, page 1, vol. LXVI, number 30.

CSU Historic Photo Collection, 6 images B6863 dated February 1957.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 1, 1957, page 12, vol. LXV, number 49.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 24, 1957, page 5, vol. LXV, number 55.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 30, 1957, page 194.

Colorado State University News, June 1957, page 5, vol. 11, number 12.

Colorado State University News, July 1957, pages 2-3 and 7, vol. 12, number 1.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July - August 1957, page 3, vol. 34, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 19, 1957, page 219.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 24, 1957, page 1, vol. LXVI, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 1, 1957, page 6, vol. LXVI, number 4.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1957, page 6, vol. 34, number 2.

Colorado State University News, October 1957, page 2, vol. 12, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 5, 1957, page 3, vol. LXVI, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 22, 1957, page 1, vol. LXVI, number 19.

Colorado State University News, April 1958, page 3, vol. 12, number 10.

1958 Silver Spruce yearbook, pages 96-97.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 3, 1958, page 1, col. 4-5, vol. LXVII, number 3.

University Historic Photo Collection, image B8147D, dated March 1960.

University Historic Photo Collection, image B8318D, dated September 1960.

University Historic Photo Collection, image B8499, dated April 1961.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 7, 1963, page 1, vol. LXXI, number 102.

The CSU Alumnus, November – December 1963, page 8, vol. 38, number 5.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 21, 1964, page 1, vol. LXXII, number 112.

“Projections 1964”, booklet from the CSU Planning and Physical Plant, page 16.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 18, 1965, page 380.

Colorado State University Collegian, October 27, 1965, page 1, vol. LXXIV, number 33.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 21, 1966, page 517.

Colorado State University Collegian, April 7, 1966, page 1, col. 1, vol. LXXIV, number 112.

CSU Collegian, September 15, 1966, pages 22-23, vol. LXXV, number 1.

CSU Collegian, January 20, 1967, page 12, vol. LXXV, number 51.

CSU Collegian, February 5, 1968, page 3, vol. LXXVI, number 62.

CSU Collegian, February 12, 1968, page 8, vol. LXXVI, number 66.

CSU Collegian, February 15, 1968, page 1, vol. LXVI, number 68.

CSU Collegian, February 22, 1968, page 5, vol. LXXVI, number 72.

CSU Collegian, February 29, 1968, page 5, vol. LXXVI, number 76.

“1968 Silver Spruce”, pages 62-69, 106.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 26, 1968, page 587.

CSU Collegian, September 25, 1968, page 5, vol. LXXVII, number 3.

CSU Collegian, September 27, 1968, pages 1 and 7, vol. LXXVII, number 5.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, October 18, 1968, pages 37 and 38.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 21, 1969, page 113.

The CSU Alumnus, September – October 1969, page 9, vol. 45, number 4.

CSU Collegian, September 29, 1969, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 10.

CSU Collegian, April 6, 1970, pages 4 and 7, vol. LXXVIII, number 103.

CSU Collegian, July 14, 1970, pages1 and 4, vol. LXXVIII, number 149.

CSU Collegian, September 24, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXIX, number 3.

CSU Collegian, September 25, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXIX, number 4.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 25, 1970, page 418.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 7, 1971, page 59.

CSU Collegian, February 11, 1971, page 7, vol. LXXIX, number 77.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 4, 1972, page 5, vol. LXXXI, number 17.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 9, 1972, page 1, vol. LXXXI, number 43.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 13, 1972, page 1, vol. LXXXI, number 45.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 8, 1973, page 3, vol. LXXXI, number 56.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 24, 1973, pages 276- 277.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 22, 1974, page 3, vol. LXXXII, number 65.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 23, 1974, page 3, vol. LXXXII, number 119.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 2, 1974, page 15, vol. LXXXII, number 126.

CSU Comments, May 23, 1974, page 2, vol. 4, number 37.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 6, 1975, pages 9-10, vol. LXXXIII, number 96.

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Fort Collins Journal, October 6, 1976, page 4, vol. LXXXV.

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“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, p. 387.

CSU Comments, March 27, 1975, Special Section pages 1A-4A, vol. 5, number 27.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 21, 1975, pages 88-89.

CSU Comments, November 18, 1976, page 3, vol. 7, number 14.

CSU Comments, January 20, 1977, page 4, vol. 7, number 18.

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Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 1, 1984, page 8, vol. XCII, number 114.

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CSU Collegian, January 28, 1987, pages 1, 10, vol. 95, number 93.

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Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 3, 1987, page 1, vol. 96, number 75.

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“One Hundred Years of Engineering at Colorado State University:  Fulfilling the Land-Grant Mission” by Ann Hilfinger, 1989, pages 49-50.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 24, 1990, page 5, vol. 98, number 146.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 26, 1990, page 1, vol. 98, number 148.

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Colorado State University Alumni, fall 2000, August 10, 2000, number 26, page 2.

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Ram Page, fall 2000, page 1.

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Board of Governors Minutes, May 7, 2002.

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Board of Governors Minutes, August 24, 2004.

“Visionary Leadership, the Memoirs of William E. Morgan”, page 94, by Connie Pheiffenberger, 2005.

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