CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Louis Weber Building/Old Chemistry Building/Chemistry Building, 1923-

A two-storied brick structure with tiled roof. A concrete path is leading up to the front entrance.

Chemistry Building, 1923

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 - Eugene G. Groves (original building), Sidney G. Frazier (1949 addition), Ralph T. Virtur (1971 remodeling)

Builder – C. E. Walker Construction Company of Denver (original building), Anderson Construction Company of Denver (1949 addition), Lang-Murphy Construction Company (1982 stairway addition)

841 Oval Drive

The devastating fire on December 22, 1921 that destroyed the 1898-vintage Chemical Building southeast of Old Main necessitated the building of a new chemistry building as soon as possible.  Located on the west side of the Oval, this building was designed by architect Eugene G. Groves. Approval was granted and construction was started in the summer of 1922.  The formal laying of the cornerstone took place on August 30, 1922 with Colorado Governor Oliver H. Shoup attending and doing the honors.  The Chemistry Building was ready for use on March 5, 1923.

In April 1923, the new building was described in that year’s Summer Session Catalog as “The new Chemistry building is a thoroughly modern, two-story, fireproof structure, 158’ x 55 ½’ with annex 15’ x 40’.  On the first floor are the Inorganic, Organic and Analytical Laboratories all supplied from a large central stock room.  These laboratories have a total capacity of 1152 students.  On the second floor are four classrooms with seating capacity of 54 each, a large amphitheater seating 180, offices, geology room, private laboratory and water analysis laboratory.  The amphitheater is connected with a preparation room and this and all of the classrooms are fitted with lecture desks completely equipped for demonstration work.”

Later, at the end of World War II, enrollment at the College soared.  During the summer of 1946 the basement of the building was heavily remodeled to accommodate additional laboratory and storage space.  Excavation work was needed to complete this project.

A windstorm in 1949 removed a portion of the red-tile roof that resulted in a major repair job. In January 1950, the large addition on the west side of the building was completed and opened for use.  This addition had been designed by Architect Sidney G. Frazier.  When the next new Chemistry Building was opened in 1971, this building became known as the “Old Chemistry Building”.  The Department of Visual Arts had lost most of its space from the fire that destroyed Old Main on May 8, 1970.  They moved classes into this building as well as parts of Aylesworth Hall as they awaited the construction of the first phase of the Visual Arts Building.  They were able to move out in late 1973.  Classes for the Department of Economics and the Department of Mathematics began using the building.

In 1976, a $1.2 million remodeling project designed by Architect Ralph T. Virtur was done.  On February 29, 1980 it was officially renamed the “Louis Weber Building” by the State Board of Agriculture.  Professor of Physics Louis Russell Weber (1901-1989) was credited with developing the current Physics program at the University.  In 1982, a stairway and elevator addition were added to the north end of the building by the Lang-Murphy Construction Company to give better access to the building.

In September 1983, the digital age had dawned with the first Micro Services Organization (MSO) Computer Lab being opened in Room 221.  This lab featured the early desktop computers like Apple II, Apple III, Atari 880, IBM-PC, HP-9845, Franklin ACE 1000, Radio Shack, and Control Data 110.  Over the next 25 years the space grew, new equipment was added as this evolved into the home of Academic Computing Network Services (ACNS).  In 2010, ACNS was moved to the Morgan Library.

The Department of Mathematics continues to use the Weber Building which includes the Math Testing Center where thousands of students have struggled to test out of their assigned math modules over the years.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

C.A.C. Alumnus, May 1919, pages 1and 4, vol. 1, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 8, 1920, pages 375 and 376, vol. 3.

Fort Collins Morning Express, December 10, 1920, page 1, col. 3, “Two New Buildings to be Built on College Campus”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 16, 1920, page 1, vol. XXX, number 14.

Fort Collins Morning Express, January 27, 1921, page 1, col. 5, “Executive Committee Calls for Bids on 2 Buildings”.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, January 27, 1921, page 133, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

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

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, March 25, 1921, page 145.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, April 25-26, 1921, page 148.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, August 23, 1921, page 158.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, February 3, 1922, page 171, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Fort Collins Morning Express, February 4, 1922, page 1, col. 1-2, “Decision to Build New Chemistry Hall is Made at Meeting”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 9, 1922, pages 1 and 5, vol. XXXI, number 19.

C.A.C. Alumnus, February 1922, pages 1 and 4, vol. 3, number 4.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, March 4, 1922, pages 184-185, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 7, 1922, page 386, vol. 3.

CAC Alumnus, July 1922, pages 1 and 4, vol. 3, number 8.

CAC Alumnus, August 1922, pages 1 - 2, vol. 3, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 15, 1922, page 1, col. 5, vol. XXXII, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 29, 1922, page 1, col. 4-5, vol. XXXII, number 5.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, December 23, 1922, pages 222-223, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 12, 1923, page 1, col. 2-3, vol. XXXII, number 29.

CAC Alumnus, January 1923, pages 1-2, 4, vol. 3, number 10.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, January 27, 1923, page 226.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 23, 1923, page 1, col. 5-6, vol. XXXII, number 41.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 9, 1923, page 1, vol. XXXII, number 45.

Colorado Agricultural College Bulletin Catalog Summer Session June 18th to July 25th, July 26th to August 31st, Series XXII, number 5, April 1923, page 26.

Colorado Agricultural College Bulletin, “Building Conditions at the Colorado State Institutions of Higher Learning”, series XXV, number 8, December 1926, page 28.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 27, 1929, page 7, vol. XXXVIII, number 26.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 2, 1931, page 72.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 4, 1933, page 124.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 26, 1936, page 317.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 22, 1941, page 1, col. 6, vol. L, number 35.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, December 1943 – January 1944, page 2, vol. XXV, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 6, 1944, page 4, col. 3, vol. LIII, number 17.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 16, 1944, pages 1 and 3, vol. LIII, number 27.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, June – July 1944, page 3, vol. XXV, number 8.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 9, 1944, page 4, col. 4, vol. LIV, number 10.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 1, 1945, page 1, vol. LV, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 21, 1945, page 1, col. 4, vol. LV, number 8.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, April 14, 1946, page 1, col. 2, “College Gets Commission OK to Complete Laboratory”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 18, 1946, page 3, vol. LV, number 24.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 24, 1946.

Colorado A&M News, October 1946, page 1, vol. 1, number 4.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 21, 1949, page 411.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 11, 1949, pages 433 and 435.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 23, 1949, page 3, vol. LIX, number 1.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, January – February 1950, pages 1 and 3, vol. XXVII, number 13.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, page 107, vol. 45.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, page 199, vol. 45.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 13, 14, 18, 23, 30 and campus maps, LD1145.8, A452 ARCHIVE, 1952.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 8, 1957, pages 121-122.

Colorado State University News, July 1957, page 6, vol. 12, number 1.

Colorado State University Collegian, October 9, 1962, page 1, vol. LXXI, number 10.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 17, 1965, page 1, col. 4-5, vol. LXXIV, number 48.

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

CSU Collegian, January 12, 1968, page 1, vol. LXXVI, number 49.

CSU Collegian, August 22, 1968, page 7, vol. LXXVI, number 130.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 25, 1970, page 417.

CSU Collegian, March 25, 1971, page 19, vol. LXXIX, number 94.

CSU Collegian, March 24, 1972, page 8, vol. LXXX, number 93.

CSU Collegian, March 28, 1972, page 5, vol. LXXX, number 95.

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CSU Comments, November 16, 1972, page 2, vol. 3, number 10.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 19, 1975, page 3, vol. LXXXIV, number 23.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 6, 1975, page 15, vol. LXXXIV, number 56.

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

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, p. 356.

Fort Collins Journal, October 27, 1978, pages 1 and 5, vol. LXXXVII, number 52.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 29, 1980, page 5-2.

Colorado State University Alumni Association Alumnus, June 1982, page 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 7, 1982, page 7, vol. XCI, number 41.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 3, 1982, page 8, vol. XCI, number 71.

Colorado State University Comment, September 22, 1983, page 3, vol. 14, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 2, 1983, page 5, vol. XCII, number 66.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 30, 1983, page 3, vol. XCII, number 82.

Colorado State University Comment, June 14, 1984, page 6, vol. 14, number 33.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 10, 1988, page 8, vol. 97, number 94.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 29, 1991, page 1, vol. 99, issue 86.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 7, 1991, page 1, vol. 99, issue 93.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 16, 1992, page 3, vol. 101, number 69.

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.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 26, 1995, page 1, vol. 104, number 32.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 18, 1996, page 3, vol. 104, issue 141.

“Silver Spruce, 1996-97”, vol. 92, page 105.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 14, 2003, page 5, vol. 112, number 37.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 6, 2006, pages 1 and 3, vol. 114, number 117.

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007, pp. 125, 230.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 14, 2016, page 8, vol. 125, number 47.

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