CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Centennial Hall/Administration Annex/Student Union Annex, 1951-

The Student Union Annex on sunny day with shadows from trees on the lawn and sidewalks in front of the building. The building has two floors with mostly paned windows.

Student Union Annex, 1951-

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 (original), Architectural Resource Group, Mike Kinzer of the Physical Plant Department

Builder - Abrahamson Builders Company of Colorado Springs

1000 East Drive

On January 12, 1950, the State Board of Agriculture approved the funds to build an annex building for the Student Union.  Designed by Eugene G. Groves, construction began by the Abrahamson Builders Company of Colorado Springs the spring of 1950.  This “Art Moderne style” building just a few feet south of Johnson Hall was opened in September 1951 and marked the end of the era of Eugene G. Groves’ designed buildings on the campus.

This new annex to the existing Johnson Hall Student Union contained office space for six student organizations, an expanded dining room, additional banquet rooms, a small ballroom, and a specifically designed campus self-service bookstore.  The new bookstore replaced the makeshift “Student Union Bookstore” that was opened in a few remodeled rooms of the Johnson Hall Student Union in August 1950.  Lyle Peterson was a local bookstore professional hired to be its manager.  He worked with Mr. Groves on its design.  Mr. Peterson had started the self-service concept for bookstore customers that many incorrectly thought would never be successful.

The top floor had separate offices for the Silver Spruce staff, the Rocky Mountain Collegian staff, the Associated Students, the “A” Club, the Independent Students Association, and the Associated Women Students.  Additionally, a completely equipped darkroom was available to facilitate the processing of photographs for the yearbook and newspaper.

The new ballroom was one-third the size of the large ballroom in Johnson Hall.  The Annex was physically connected to the Student Union by a main floor hallway and a basement tunnel, creating a sprawling Student Union complex.  The main floor hallway was equipped with trash chute that allowed custodians to drop bags of trash down to a trash trailer.  This new space allowed for a variety of conferences and large meetings to be held on the campus.  The Office of Special Services was created to manage this new business.

The basement of the Annex housed a game room with pool and ping pong tables and a six-lane bowling alley.  The bowling alley would not open for another year due to a shortage of funds.  Soundproof windows separated the game room from the bowling alley.

The slope of the site allowed the east side of the building to have a walkout basement and thus the lower level was well-lit by six large windows.  The basement of the new Annex also housed large storage refrigerators for the meat shop and the food preparation areas.  An elevator was now available to be used to move the prepared food up to the kitchen servicing the dining room, ballroom, and meeting rooms. The east side had a large doorway at the south end to give access to the basement.  The students living in Braiden and South Halls now ate their meals in the new cafeteria.  The old Braiden kitchen building became a storage area.  The Student Union Annex allowed for some remodeling of rooms in Johnson Hall.  The old coffee shop became the faculty club, and the old cafeteria dining room became the new coffee shop with plenty of space for customers to dance in the evening.

Following the opening of the new CSU Student Center in 1962, this building was “sold” to the University, renovated, and became known as the “Administration Annex” as it became home the Office of Admissions and Records.  The kitchens became the centralized bake shop and meat shop for the residence hall dining centers operated by the Department of Housing and Food Service.  The old bowling alley became their central storeroom.  In the 1970s, a loading dock with ramp to the ground level was constructed on the east side of the building and was accessed by a service drive next to the railroad tracks.  The five windows on the east wall of the old game room were blocked off as they now sat behind the newly constructed freestanding loading dock.  The sixth window on the far north end was made into a doorway. Additionally, delivery trucks supplying the food preparation area could back up to the Annex for unloading at a small loading dock on the west side of the building using the narrow driveway between the south side of Johnson Hall and the Annex.  This loading dock and double-wide doorway appears to have been added in the 1970s.

In the fall of 1978, the architectural designs of architect Mike Kinzer of CSU and the Architectural Resource Group were used to do the renovations needed that added an elevator and connective wing to serve both the Student Services Building and the Administration Annex.  This was one of the first projects around campus to give better access to wheelchair bound users.  This now made the three buildings from the Oval to University Avenue connected.

Used to house the Registrar’s Office, the Student Financial Services office, and the Student Employment Services office, it was renamed “Centennial Hall” in May 2009.  Around 2010, the Department of Housing and Dining Services moved out of Centennial Hall when the bake shop was moved into the kitchen at Edwards Hall, the central storeroom was moved to the Housing Services Center at University Village and the meat shop was eliminated.  In 2017, the old “Central Storeroom – Food Services” sign still hung over the old loading dock along with the faded painted signs warning to drivers to shut down their engines while using the loading dock.  A careful observation of the different types of bricks tells the viewer when add-on features were built.

In April and May 2018, remodeling took place in the areas used by offices of Financial Aid, Registrar and the Veterans Educational Benefits.  They temporarily relocated to the Student Services Building during this time.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

The Colorado State College Alumnus, January – February 1949, page 6, vol. XXVII, number 7.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, May 11, 1949, page 436.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 28, 1949, page 7, vol. LIX, number 6.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, November - December 1949, page 9, vol. XXVII, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 2, 1949, pages 1 and 13, vol. LIX, number 10.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 14, 1950, pages 489-495.

Colorado A&M News, February 1950, page 5, vol. 4, number 8.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 20, 1950, pages 503-504.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 24, 1950, page 12, vol. LIX, number 19.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 3, 1950, page 1, vol. LIX, number 20.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, pages 198, 199, vol. 45.

Colorado A&M News, July 1950, page 3, vol. 5, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 6, 1950, page 1, vol. LX, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 26, 1951, page 1, vol. LX, number 15.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July – August 1951, page 6, vol. XXVIII, number 1.

Colorado A&M News, August 1951, page 2, vol. 6, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 21, 1951, pages 1-2, vol. LXI, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 28, 1951, page 1, vol. LXI, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 19, 1951, page 18, vol. LXI, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 19, 1951, page 4 of pictorial supplement, vol. LXI, number 5.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, January - February 1952, cover, vol. XXVIII, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 25, 1952, page 2, vol. LXI, number 15.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 14, 26, 31 and campus maps, LD1145.8, A452, 1952.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 1, 1952, page 35.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 7, 1952, page 1, col. 3, vol. LXII, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 5, 1952, page 1, col. 4, vol. LXII, number 12.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 16, 1953, pages 1 and 3, vol. LXII, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 25, 1953, page 1, vol. LXIII, number 3.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1953, page 5, vol. 30, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 1, 1954, page 8, vol. LXIV, number 3.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1954, page 5, vol. 31, number 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 9, 1956, page 4, vol. LXV, number 6.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 15, 1957, page 6, vol. LXV, number 24.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 18, 1957, pages 1-2, vol. LXV, number 25.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, January-February 1957, page 3, vol. 33, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 15, 1957, page 8, vol. LXVI, number 8.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 19, 1957, page 6, vol. LXVI, number 18.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 10, 1958, page 3, vol. LXVI, number 24.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 21, 1958, page 5, vol. LXVI, number 27.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, July - August 1958, page 5, vol. 34, number 5.

Colorado State University Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 6, 1959, page 5, vol. LXVII, number 27.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, September – October 1959, page 1, vol. 35, number 5.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, January – February 1961, page 2, vol. 37, number 1.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, March – April 1962, page 6, vol. 37, number 7.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 18, 1962, page 8, vol. LXX, number 110.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 23, 1962, page 4, vol. LXX, number 112.

CSU Collegian, September 22, 1967, page 1, vol. LXXVI, number 2.

CSU Collegian, September 24, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXIX, number 3.

“Space Inventory Building Floor Plans”, 111 – Administration Annex, LD1155.A1, C6, 1970.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 10, 1974, pages 1 and 4, vol. LXXXII, number 57.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 30, 1975, page 14, vol. LXXXIII, number 143.

CSU Comments, December 11, 1975, pages 1 and 4, vol. 6, number 17.

CSU Comments, July 15, 1976, page 6, Vol. 7, number 1.

The CSU Alumnus, July - September 1976, vol. 52, number 3, page 7.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 14, 1977, page 125.

Fort Collins Journal, February 10, 1978, page 8, vol. LXXXVI, number 97.

Fort Collins Journal, April 11, 1978, page 4, vol. LXXXVI, number 133.

Fort Collins Journal, September 11, 1978, page 3, vol. LXXXVII, number 19.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 21, 1990, pages 1 and 9, vol. 98, number 107.

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. 

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 29, 1995, page 1, vol. 104, issue 71.

Comment, April 15, 1999, pages 1-2, vol. 29, number 27.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, August 25, 1999, page 2, vol. 108, number 3.

Comment, November 18, 1999, page 3, vol. 30, number 13.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 3, 2004, pages 1 and 3, vol. 112, number 112.

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

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