CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

South Hall, 1946-1973

Three wooden two-story buildings.

South Hall, 1962

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 – United States Government

During the summer of 1946, arrangements were made with the United States Government to acquire the structure to be known as South Hall.  This was a large, H-shaped, two-story wood-framed barracks building at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant near Parsons, Kansas.  It would have the distinction of being the first men’s dorm on the Aggie campus according to Vice President Harry L. Dotson in 1953.

It was built in Kansas as a WAC barracks during World War II, but never had any occupants.  The building was dismantled, shipped in pieces to Fort Collins and reassembled by the end of November 1946.  Featuring hardwood floors, its 160 rooms housed 320 male students.  Since it lacked any kitchen or dining room, the residents ate their meals at Braiden Hall beginning in the fall of 1948.  It was quickly nicknamed “Hazard Hall” by the first residents, some say because of “H” shape of the building.  Later nicknames included “South Hole” and “South Hell”.  Most of these first residents were military veterans who had resided in similar buildings before enrolling at the College.

While awaiting the opening of South Hall, 224 single male students lived in the Field House where temporary walls and floors had been installed.  The State Armory across the street on South College Avenue was home to about 45 men.  The 1918 vintage “Biltmore” near the Oval housed 26 men.  Even the third floor of the Civil and Irrigation Engineering Building on the Oval was set up to house 32 men.  The Housing Office purchased at a low price military surplus beds, mattresses, and pillows to use for the extra residents.

The Housing Office asked the Fort Collins community to identify rooms that returning military veterans could rent at an affordable price.  They had hoped to get 550 rooms but only got 50.  It was rumored that many local landlords were looking to charge as much as they could get knowing that housing was so scarce in town.  Somehow everyone found a place to live when the fall 1946 registration took place.  Some students got very creative such as coming to town with small vacation house trailers in tow, living in remodeled barns on outlaying farms, and even renting tourist cabins at the Sylvan Dale Ranch outside of Loveland.  A trailer court for veterans was established on the campus in short order.

During the spring and summer of 1954, a utility tunnel was built to provide steam heat to the building from the Central Heating Plant.  According to an article in the October 29, 1954 issue of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, South Hall was being remodeled into classrooms and office space.  Now that the modern new Green Hall was open, it was decided to no longer use old South Hall as a residence hall.  The Department of Forest and Range Management as well as the History, Government and Sociology departments had offices created for their faculty and staff in South Hall.  Business classes in typing, business machines and stenography were also held in South Hall.  This “temporary” WWII building was now ready for two more decades of service to the Institution.

South Hall was demolished during the last two weeks of November 1973. The site was cleared by the first week of December.  The December 6, 1973, issue of CSU Comments shows a photograph of the demolition in progress.  The site was used as a lawn area until the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building was constructed on the site in 1994.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 8, 1946, page 111, Project COLO-V-5138.

Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 14, 1946, page 1, col. 4, “Dorm Building Offered School".

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 26, 1946, page 1, col. 3, vol. LV, number 28.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, May – June 1946, page 2, vol. XXVI, number 1.

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

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 13-14, 1946, page 145.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 1, 1946, page 2, vol. LVI, number 5.

1946-47 Directory of Students, Faculty and Employees, inside front cover.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 15, 1946, page 1, vol. LVI, number 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 10, 1947, page 2, vol. LVI, number 11.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 28, 1947, page 1, vol. LVI, number 18.

Colorado A&M News, February 1947, page 8, vol. 1, number 8.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 7, 1947, page 4, vol. LVII, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, April 29, 1949, page 3, vol. LVIII, number 26.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, pages 140 and 141, vol. 45.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 14, 28-29.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, March-April 1953, pages 6-7, 11, vol. 29, number 5, article by Vice President H. L. Dotson about the “Building on Campus – Past, Present and Future”.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 12, 1954, page 322.

University Historic Photo Collection, images B5785 F, G, and B5822 H, I, J, K dated July-August 1954.

University Historic Photo Collection, images B5916 and B5916 A, dated October 1954.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 29, 1954, page 11, vol. LXIV, number 7.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, March – April 1956, page 3, vol. 32, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 18, 1957, page 3, vol. LXVI, number 9.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 30, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 116.

Colorado State University Collegian, Jun 2, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 119.

Colorado State University Collegian, April 24, 1963, page 1, col. 1, vol. LXXI, number 96.

Colorado State University Collegian, March 29, 1967, page 5, vol. LXXV, number 80.

Colorado State University Collegian, September 22, 1964, page 1, vol. LXXIII, number 2.

“Projections 1964”, booklet from the CSU Planning and Physical Plant, page 17.

Colorado State University Collegian, April 14, 1965, page 1, vol. LXXIII, number 89.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 23, 1966, page 135.

CSU Collegian, February 16, 1967, page 3, col. 1-3, vol. LXXV, number 66.

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

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 15, 1970, page 408.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 9, 1973, page 356.

“History of Zoology and Entomology at Colorado State University 1877 – 1972” by O. Wilford Olsen, page 19, October 1973.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 19, 1973, page 1, vol. LXXXII, number 47.

CSU Comments, December 6, 1973, page 4, vol. 4, number 15.

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

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, pp. 355, 376.

Agricultural Frontier to Electronic Frontier – A History of Colorado State University Libraries 1870-1994, page 87, by Douglas J. Ernest, published 1996.

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