CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Military Science Building/Lucas Hall/R.O.T.C. Headquarters and Classroom Building, 1929-

A light brick one-story building with a pitched roof and arch at the front entrance.

Military Science Building, 1932

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, E. G. Whitehead

Builder – C. E. Walker Construction Company of Denver

251 University Avenue

Just before Thanksgiving of 1928, United States Army Brigadier General Albert Jesse Bowley, the newly appointed temporary commander of the XIII Corps Area, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Military Science Building.  On Monday, December 10, 1928, excavation work began to prepare for pouring the footings and foundation of the new building.  The new “white brick” building would block the view of the two long metal gun sheds from the President’s House across the street.

On January 30, 1929, the cornerstone was laid for this new building.  Built at a cost of $17,000, this brick fire-proof building was opened for use in late September 1929.  Built to replace the wooden military buildings destroyed several months earlier by a raging fire, it was originally called the “R.O.T.C. Headquarters and Classroom Building”.  Designed by Eugene G. Groves, its construction created the main building of a collection of military support structures like storage sheds, the Pistol Range, stables, and garages, which over the years were built south of University Avenue and north of West Pitkin Street.  Building Superintendent E.G. Whitehead was credited with some of the design work of this building, classed as 20th Century Commercial architecture.

From 1929 until 1940, the building had one floor.  A noted feature of the original building design was two rooms with large sliding doors that allowed equipment such as a Howitzer to be moved in and out of the west end of building.  A second-story addition featuring offices and a large auditorium classroom was started in late 1940 with occupancy taking place on April 29, 1941.  Rooms on the first floor were remodeled and a stairway was added near the south entrance.  A window on the east end of the building was removed at this time.

On December 13, 1950, the State Board of Agriculture approved the renaming of the building to be “Lucas Military Hall” in honor of the late United States Army Major General John P. Lucas.  For unknown reasons, this name never has been used in any College publication regarding the building.  This building has always been used by the Military Department/Division of Armed Forces Sciences. 

In May 1967, a formal dedication took place of a small granite monument that holds a bronze plaque containing the names of the first six Colorado State University ROTC graduates who had lost their lives fighting in the Vietnam War.  Now surrounded by juniper shrubs, it still stands outside the north entrance of the building.  More CSU men would go on to give their lives as the war stretched on for eight more years.  During the 1980s, doors were added to the north and south sides of the building to give additional access to rooms 112 and 115.  Room 200 was subdivided and a door with an external stairway also added to the south side of the building.

In 1993, a tree was planted, and a memorial plaque installed to honor a freshman Army ROTC cadet who had been killed by a drunk driver.  It too can be seen near the north entrance to the building. Today, the Department of Military Science and the Department of Aerospace Studies continue to use the Military Science Building to train future officers for the Armed Forces of the United States.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

Campus Map, 1923.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, February 20, 1927, pages 418-419, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 15, 1927, page 28.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 14, 1927, page 4, vol. XXXVII, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, October 20, 1928, page 494, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Campus Map, 1928.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 14, 1928, page 1, col. 5, vol. XXXVIII, number 10.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 21, 1928, page 1, vol. XXXVIII, number 11.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, November 28, 1928.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 12, 1928, pages 1, 4, vol. XXXVIII, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 23, 1929, page 1, vol. XXXVIII, number 17.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 30, 1929, page 1, vol. XXXVIII, number 18.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, April 20, 1929, page 518.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, June 22, 1929, page 527.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 18, 1929, page 1, col. 1, vol. XXXIX, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 30, 1937, page 417.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 8, 1940, page 195.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 14, 1940, page 1, col. 5, vol. L, number 11.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, December – January 1940-1941, page 1, vol. 21.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 30, 1941, page 1, vol. L, number 20.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 27, 1941, page 1, col. 2, vol. L, number 24.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 14, 1941, page 249.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 27, 1941, page 1, col. 2, vol. L, number 28.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 1, 1941, page 1, col. 2, vol. L, number 32.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 11, 1941, page 1, vol. LI, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 5, 1942, page 1, vol. LI, number 20.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 9, 1942, page 1, col. 2, vol. LI, number 29.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 16, 1942, page 2, col.3, vol. LI, number 30.

“Colorado A & M College 33rd Annual Summer Session 1945”.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 2, 1947, page 4, col. 1-2, vol. LVI, number 25.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 8, 1949, page 3, vol. LVIII, number 23.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 13, 1950, page 558.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, page s13, 25 and campus maps.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 5, 1957, page 3, col. 3-5, vol. LXV, number 38.

“Colorado State University Directory of 1959-60”, campus map.

“Colorado State University Directory of 1960-61”, campus map.

“Colorado State University Directory of 1961-62”, campus map.

Colorado State University Collegian, April 12, 1962 page 3, vol. LXX, number 86.

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

The CSU Alumnus, May – June 1967, page12, vol. 43, number 3.

CSU Collegian, February 9, 1968, page 8, vol. LXXVI, number 65.

CSU Collegian, November 22, 1968, page 6, vol. LXXVII, number 35b.

CSU Collegian, May 10, 1970, page 9, vol. LXVIII, number 127.

CSU Collegian, April 26, 1972, page 1, vol. LXXX, number 116.

CSU Collegian, May 12, 1972, pages 1, 6 and 7, vol. LXXX, number 127.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 6, 1972, pages 1 and 6, vol. LXXXI, number 19.

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

The Collegian, September 11, 1981, page 3, vol. XC, number 16.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 27, 1984, page 6, vol. 93, number 16.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 3, 1989, page 1, vol. 98, number 63.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 11, 1996, page 1, vol. 105, issue 78.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 26, 1999, page 1, vol. 108, number 46.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 24, 2001, pages 1 and 3, vol. 110, number 46.

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