CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Shepardson Building/Agriculture Building, 1940-

Multi-level building, three stories at the highest. A sign reads "Shepardson Building College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Agriculture".

Shepardson Building, 1970s

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.

In June 1938, architect Earl C. Morris of the architectural firm of Frank W. Frewen and Earl C. Morris was hired to design this building partly funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Excavation of the site was started in December 1938 by Frank H. Jesser of Fort Collins. Construction started in early 1939 by the Brown-Schrepferman Construction Company of Englewood, Colorado.

On April 18, 1940, the new Agriculture Building was formally dedicated.  President Charles A. Lory and President-elect Roy M. Green both were featured speakers at the evening ceremony.  This facility represented a vast improvement over the old Agricultural Hall and Soils Laboratory Building where much work in agricultural education had been confined for some years.  Primarily a classroom building, it also housed the office headquarters of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station.  A Wool Laboratory was established by the State Board of Agriculture in the fall of 1940. By the spring of 1941, it was equipped and ready for use.  As the building was put into use it was discovered the acoustical properties of the building were very poor and sound proofing would need to be added over the coming years.

In the early 1960s, the first volunteers for the newly created Peace Corps were trained in this building.  The State Board of Agriculture authorized renaming the building “C. N. Shepardson Building” at their June 1974 meeting.  On October 19, 1974, the dedication ceremony was held during Homecoming as it was officially renamed to honor alumnus Dr. Charles N. Shepardson.  “Shep” taught and coached at CAC following his Army service in World War I, distinguished himself as the Dean of Agriculture at Texas A & M University as well as serving on the Federal Reserve Board during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.

The Shepardson Building serves as home to the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, the Experiment Station administrative offices, and the Colorado Seed Laboratory. This facility features a variety of university classrooms, student computer laboratories and teaching laboratories. 

On September 23, 2005, a large bronze sculpture called “Twenty Percent Chance of Flurries” was dedicated on the lawn of south of the Shepardson Building that overlooks the Monfort Quadrangle.  In 2015, a new Master Plan was published which showed a large addition on the north side of the Shepardson Building.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, April 30, 1938, pages 300-301.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 10, 1938, pages 494-495F.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 30, 1938, page 501.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, July – August 1938, pages 1-2, vol. 19, numbers 1 and 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 15, 1938, page 1, vol. XLVIII, number 2.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 29, 1938, page 506.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 23, 1938, page 512.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 20, 1938, pages 1 and 6, vol. XLVIII, number 7.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 2, 1938, page 546.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 19, 1938, pages 547-550, 555.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 14, 1938, pages 17-18.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 9, 1939, page 1, vol. XLVIII, number 24.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, September 15, 1939, page 339, vol. Sept. 1930 – Aug. 1940.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 19, 1939, page 1, col. 4, vol. XLIX, number 7.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 6, 1940, page 110.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 3, 1940, pages 114, 115 and 119.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 15, 1939, pages 21-24.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 7, 1940, page 1, vol. XLIX, number 24.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 15, 1940, pages 133 and 135.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, March 1940, page 1, vol. 20, number 5.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 14, 1940, page 143.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, April 1940, pages 1-2, vol. 20, number 6.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 27, 1940, page 190.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 3, 1940, pages 1 and 2, vol. L, number 5.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 8, 1940, page 196.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, March 1941, page 5, vol. 21, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 10, 1941, page 1, col. 7, vol. L, number 29.

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.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 14, 1942, page 3, col. 3, vol. LI, number 34.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 6, 1944, page 1, col. 1, vol. LIII, number 17.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, July – August 1947, page 5, vol. XXVI, number 13.

Colorado A & M News, August 1947, page 8, vol. 2, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 28, 1949, page 16, vol. LIX, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 13, 1950, page 1, vol. LIX, number 13.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 3, 1950, page 6, vol. LIX, number 16.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 14, 27-28, 35 and campus maps, LD1145.8, A452, 1952.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 31, 1952, page 5, col. 4, vol. LXII, number 8.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July – August 1955, page 3, vol. 32, number 1.

Colorado State University Collegian, October 13, 1960, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 12.

Colorado State University Collegian, November 30, 1960, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 36.

Colorado State University Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 26, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 115.

“1968 Silver Spruce”, pages 52-53.

CSU Collegian, November 15, 1968, pages 1 and 3, vol. LXXVII, number 33.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 26, 1974, page 512.

CSU Comments, July 25, 1974, page 4, vol. 5, number 1.

“C.N. Shepardson Building” dedication booklet, October 19, 1974, LD1155, S48C6.

CSU Comments, October 31, 1974, page 5, vol. 5, number 11.

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

The CSU Alumnus, September - October, 1974, vol. 50, number 4, page 7, Oversize, LH1.C68, v. 46-54.

CSU Comments, September 4, 1975, page 3, col. 3- 4, vol. 6, number 4.

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, pp. 454-455, 457.

The CSU Alumnus, July – September 1978, page 5, vol. 54, number 3.

Fort Collins Journal, October 11, 1979, page 8, vol. LXXXVIII, number 28.

The Collegian, October 3, 1980, page 5, vol. LXXXIX, number 19.

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.

“Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University - A Century of Service to the Livestock Industry 1903 – 2003” by Dr. John Matsushima and Animal Department Staff, 2004, page 4.

Comment, September 22, 2005, page 1, vol. 36, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 29, 2005, page 2, vol. 114, number 36.

Board of Governors Minutes, June 22, 2006, page 7.

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007, pp. 73, 88, 99.

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

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