CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Allison Hall, 1958-

The exterior of Allison Hall showing a corridor consisting of glassed panes to another building.

Allison Hall, 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.

Architect – James M. Hunter and Associates

Builder – Lippert Brothers Construction Company of Denver

551 West Laurel Street

Allison Hall opened to house 412 women for the start of the fall quarter of 1958.  Construction had started in February of 1957 on what was described in the Fort Collins Coloradoan as an “ultra-modern” dorm named to honor the retired Dean of Home Economics Inga M. K. Allison.  Designed by James M. Hunter, it was originally built to house female students before the residence hall system became coeducational.

Allison Hall was built on the site of the old Department of Horticulture’s “Root / Potato Cellar”.  Planning began in the spring of 1956 with the idea of naming it after the late Dean Virginia H. Corbett.  James M. Hunter was hired to design the building and by July 1956 the building site and name had been selected.

On November 1, 1958, during Homecoming, Allison Hall was formally dedicated.  Attending that Saturday morning were 350 guests to hear President Morgan, retired President Charles A. Lory and retired Dean of Home Economics Inga M. K. Allison.  Miss Allison had worked at CSU from 1908 until 1945.  She was a pioneer in Home Economics education and high-altitude cooking techniques.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan quoted her as saying about a new building being dedicated in her honor, “I supposed that such a thing only happened to the very rich or very dead.”  An alumnus donated an antique silver tea service to Colorado State University on behalf of Miss Allison.  The tray was engraved “Allison Hall”.  It was a family heirloom and considered to be quite rare and valuable.  It is stored in a glass display case inside the front door of the building along with other awards and trophies.

Allison Hall was built and furnished at a cost of $1,600,000.  It won a national award that year for its innovative interior design. The central portion of the hall had the main lounge, dining facility, kitchen, supply storage, employee lounge, central office, telephone switchboard, paging system, dry cleaning pick-up and delivery, mail room and the hall director’s office and apartment.

From 1972 to 2009, Allison Hall had a portion of the building reserved and equipped for housing engineering students.  Aspen Hall opened in 2009 and became the “Engineering” residence hall.  During the summer of 1986 the Allison Hall was updated with a remodeling project that included interior repainting, new computer study room, and renovating the dining center.

In 2015 a new Master Plan was published.  It showed new buildings on the site of Allison Hall.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, October 31, 1907, page 58.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 11, 1907, page 136.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 3, 1908, page 169.

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

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

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 11, 1956, page 615.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 22, 1956, page 39.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 26, 1956, page 60.

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The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July - August 1956, page 3, vol. 33, number 1.

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Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 2, 1956, page 4, vol. LXV, number 13.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 9, 1956, page 85.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 12, 1956, pages 104-105.

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State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, page 9.

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

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007, p. 57.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 1, 2015, pages 1 and 4, vol. 124, numb

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