CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

“The Biltmore”/Forestry Packing House/Commissary Storage/Cafeteria Annex/Dining Hall Storage Building, 1918-1960

A view of the exterior of the Biltmore Building. Two sides of the two-story building are visible and a car is parked in front of the short side. The windows are long and narrow on the second story and large doors are on the lower story of the long side.

The Biltmore, 1954

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 Army

Builder – United States Army Soldiers training under contract at the College

This structure was built in October 1918 as a frost-proof vegetable storage facility for the new military dining hall.  It was 50’ x 21’ x 12’ in size and was designed to have two concrete walls with a four-inch air space to provide the needed insulation for the food being stored.  It had a door leading directly into the Dining Hall kitchen and doors on the east and west side for easy access.  Atop the 12’ concrete walls, a wood-framed building was constructed as a second floor of the structure. It was constructed as a training project by the thirty U.S. Army soldiers being trained in cement work at the College.

Standing just a few feet west of the railroad tracks, the building served the College for forty-two years.  It saw various uses as a storage facility, a dormitory, a clubhouse, a classroom area and even a parking garage in its final weeks. The 1922-23 Directory lists students living in the “Cafeteria Annex”.  A 1925 Sanford Fire Insurance map shows this building as the “Commissary Storage” for the College Cafeteria. In 1940, when the College Cafeteria was razed, this sturdy little building was saved and stood for another twenty years.

In October 1939, the Collegian ran a story about the nine young men occupying this building.  They erected a green and white sign on the building’s east end that said, “The Biltmore”.  The article said it had been used as a barracks and forestry building for some time.  Between 1940 and 1949 campus maps listed the building as the “Forestry Packing House”. The upstairs area housed 26 men for a couple of years following World War II.  The nickname “Biltmore” was used by these residents.

In the fall of 1949, there was an increase in the enrollment in the Department of Home Economics.  From early 1950 until 1957, classrooms and crafts labs occupied the building that was now being called on campus maps “Temporary Home Economics Classroom – Biltmore”.

The 1958 – 1960 campus maps simply called it “Biltmore”. The wooden structure portion of the Biltmore was torn down in the fall of 1960.  The cover of the November–December 1960 issue of The Colorado Aggie Alumnus shows a picture of the partially demolished building.  An article about its history is also included in that same magazine. Its concrete foundation walls were removed on January 24, 1961.  A small parking lot now occupies the site southeast of the Occupational Therapy Building.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, April 30, 1918, pages 50-52, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Rocky Mountain Collegian October 10, 1918, page 5, vol. XXVIII, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian December 19, 1918, pages 1 and 6, vol. XXVIII, number 11.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 11, 1919, page 368, vol. 3.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, May 26, 1920, page 114.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, September 27, 1920, page 122.

1922-23 Directory, pages 17 and 18.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 23, 1923, page 1, col. 1, vol. XXXIII, number 15.

1925 Sanford Fire Insurance map.

Colorado Agricultural College Bulletin, “Building Conditions at the Colorado State Institutions of Higher Learning”, series XXV, number 8, December 1926, page 23.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 11, 1936, page 1, col. 1, vol. XLVI, number 1.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 26, 1939, page 1, col. 3-4, vol. XLIX, number 8.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 3, 1940, page 116.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 14, 1940, page 139.

Summer Session Bulletins – Campus Maps 1940 through 1957.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, May 1940, page 1, vol. 20, number 7.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, June 1940, page 3, vol. 20, number 8.

“Colorado A & M College 33rd Annual Summer Session 1945”, map shows building as the “Forestry Packing House”.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 13, 1946, page 102.

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

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 10, 1950, page 13, col. 3-5, vol. LIX, number 21.

“1950 Silver Spruce”, page 101, vol. 45.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, page 10 and campus maps.

University Historic Photo Collection, images B5916B and B5916C dated October 1954.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, March – April 1955, pages 6-7, vol. 31, number 5.

1958 Silver Spruce yearbook, page 105.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 5, 1959, page 5, vol. LXVII, number 46.

1960 Silver Spruce yearbook, pages 14-15.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, November – December 1960, pages1 and 2, vol. 36, number 5.

Colorado State University Collegian, January 25, 1961, page 1, vol. LXIX, number 54.

“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, p. 274.

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