CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation/National Seed Storage Laboratory, 1958-

Two-story building with no windows on the second level and a row of windows on part of the first level.

National Seed Storage Laboratory, 1961

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 (original building)

1111 South Mason Street

On December 5, 1958, the USDA National Seed Storage Laboratory was dedicated. It was designed by James M. Hunter.  An open house was held that day for the public to see parts of the new facility before being totally closed except for extremely limited access to cleared government workers.  Built of pre-cast concrete panels, the 17,000 square-foot building cost $406,000 and construction took one year.

A product of the “Cold War”, this vital facility was built by the USDA to consolidate its seed collections into a single and highly secure facility.  Scientists working there used state-of-the-art practices to maintain seed viability and the data associated with sample provenance.  It was said this was the known bunker in which the survivors of a nuclear holocaust might still have seed stock to restart the food supply for mankind.

In May 1988, the State Board of Agriculture transferred 1.4 acres of land to the United States Government so that an addition could be made to the existing building.  The National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL) was updated and enlarged with construction starting in the summer of 1991 and finished in 1993.

In 2002, it officially became known as the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation as it now preserves plant and animal genetic resources as well as having a plant germplasm preservation unit.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

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

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1956, page 2, vol. 33, number 2.

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

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 12, 1956, page 103.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July – August 1957, page 6, vol. 34, number 1.

Colorado State University News, September 1958, page 7, vol. 13, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 5, 1958, page 2, col. 3, vol. LXVII, number 18.

Colorado State University News, December 1958, pages 4 and 5, vol. 13, number 6.

CSU Collegian, October 17, 1968, page 6, vol. LXXVII, number 16.

CSU Collegian, February 28, 1972, page 3, vol. LXXX, number 85.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 7, 1973, page 11, vol. LXXXI, number 97.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 28, 1975, page 1, vol. LXXXIII, number 70.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 14, 1980, page 6-1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 4, 1986, pages 1 and 2, vol. 94, number 98.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, page 7.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 6, 1987.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 10, 1988.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 12, 1988, page 1, vol. 97, number 54.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 13, 1989, pages 1 and 9, vol. 98, number 48.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 19, 1990, page 3, vol. 99, issue 49.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 3, 1991, page 1, vol. 99, issue 149.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, June 11, 1991, page 3, vol. 99, issue 152.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 11, 1991, page 1, vol. 100, issue 22.

Comment, August 6, 1992, page 1, vol. 22, number 32.

Ram Page, November 1992, page 2, vol. 11, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 7, 1995, page 1, vol. 103, number 106.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 27, 1995, page 1, vol. 104, issue 69.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 26, 1999, page 1, vol. 107, number 104.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 4, 2000, page 1, vol. 108, number 146.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 15, 2002, page 1, vol. 110, number 74.

Comment, January 31, 2002, page 2, vol. 32, number 18.

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