CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Industrial Arts Annex/Horticulture Hall/Horticultural Hall/Botanical-Horticulture Laboratory Building, 1895-1970

A large three-story stone building with trees surrounding it.

Horticultural Hall, 1917

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 – Harlan Thomas

Builders – John C. Davis and E. H. Wills

Within two years of opening, the original Botanical and Horticultural Laboratory was overcrowded.  In December 1892, there were discussions be held about constructing a new and larger building.  Using the popular “Richardsonian Romanesque” style it was designed by engineering student and budding architect Harlan Thomas.  He had a budget of $9000 for this new building.

The plans for the new “Botanical - Horticultural Lab Building” on West Laurel Street were approved in June 1894. John C. Davis and E. H. Wills were hired to construct the new home for the Department of Botany and Horticulture.  The new building was ready for use by the late spring of 1895. The 52’ x 64’ building had a basement, two floors and an attic. Boulder pressed brick and red sandstone from the Pleasant Valley quarry at Stout, Colorado was used in its construction.  Slate was used for its roof. It featured a Palladian window in the central gable that was often a part of Harlan Thomas’ designs of that era.  For most of its existence, this structure was known as the “Horticultural Building” or “Horticulture Hall”.

In 1917, the attic of the building was remodeled into what became the nationally recognized “Colorado Seed Laboratory”.  Considered only second to the Minnesota Seed Laboratory, $1500 worth of apparatus was installed in the two well-lit and ventilated rooms of the lab.  By the 1950s, the school’s work in maintaining seed purity helped make the campus the site selected for the USDA’s National Seed Storage Laboratory that opened in 1958.

Hands-on instruction and experimentation with plants took place in its greenhouses until early 1949 when these functions were moved over to the new greenhouse complex on West Lake Street.  This was what was later known as the W. D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center.  In 1949, the basement was put into use as shop for the “campus foreman” as well as offices for the seed certification staff.  A major remodeling of the upstairs took place in 1951.

It was renamed the “Industrial Arts Annex” in late 1959 following the opening of the Plant Science Building and the University Greenhouse Complex.  It got some use during the 1960s for some classes and as graduate student offices.  A University planning document in 1964 stated the old building was one of several on a list to be razed.  Little was done to maintain the structure during the 1960s and its condition deteriorated. 

In 1969 and 1970, its final use was by a group of students who had created an alternative “Free University”.  They later called their enterprise the “Institute of Experimental Learning”.  They also created a student-oriented gathering space in the old building called “The Phoenix Coffeehouse”.  By the spring of 1970, the building was in such bad shape that it was declared a safety hazard and could no longer be occupied.  This, along with the administration’s plan to “modernize the look” of the older portion of campus, resulted in the building being demolished in late June 1970.  The site is now a lawn area just west of the Potting Shed.

 

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 16, 1892, pages 313-314.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 10, 1893, page 345.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 2, 1893, page 348.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 3, 1893, pages 353, 354, 355.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 14, 1893, page 368.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 9, 1894, pages 420, 421.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 28, 1894, page 426.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, October 31, 1894, page 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 1894, page 30, col. 1, vol. IV, number 3.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, November 27, 1894, page 12.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 13, 1894, pages 444-445, 447.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 14, 1894, pages 454, 455.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 15, 1894, page 458.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, January 31, 1895, page 25.

“1895 Silver Spruce”, vol. 1, Department of Horticulture.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 5, 1895, page 477.

“Register of the Officers and Students of The State Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, Courses of Study and General Information.  1894-1895”, pp. 73-74, published 1895.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 1896, page 47, col. 2, vol. V, number 4.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, June 1896, page 110, vol. V, number 9.

Register of the Officers and Students of the State Agricultural College, 1899-1900, published in 1900, pages 82-83.

“24th Annual Register of the Officers and Students of the State Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado 1902-1903”, pp. 21- 22.

“Map of the College Grounds – 1904”, by Ralph L. Parshall.

“The State Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, Catalogue and Prospectus – 1905-06”, published May 1905, pp. 24-25.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 1, 1917, page 1, col. 3-4, vol. XXVII, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 17, 1918, page 1, vol. XXVII, number 18.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, January 27, page 226, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 18, 1924, page 4, col. 4-5, vol. XXXIII, number 32.

C.A.C. Alumnus, July – August 1928, page 12, vol. 9, numbers 3 – 4.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 2, 1931, page 72.

“Colorado A & M College Program and Chronology, 75th Anniversary”, Fort Collins, Colorado, February 10, 1945, page 7.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 11, 17.

Colorado State University Collegian, May 5, 1960, page 5, vol. LXVIII, number 50.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, May - June 1960, page 5, vol. 36, number 3.

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

Colorado State University Collegian, February 11, 1966, page 1, vol. LXXIV, number 85.

CSU Collegian, September 22, 1969, page 36, vol. LXXVIII, number 5.

CSU Collegian, September 26, 1969, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 9.

CSU Collegian, September 29, 1969, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 10.

CSU Collegian, January 15, 1970, page 9, vol. LXXVIII, number 55.

CSU Collegian, January 16, 1970, pages 6 and 8, vol. LXXVIII, number 56.

CSU Collegian, January 19, 1970, page 5, vol. LXXVIII, number 57.

CSU Collegian, January 23, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXVIII, number 61.

CSU Collegian, January 26, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXVIII, number 62.

CSU Collegian, April 3, 1970, page 13, vol. LXXVIII, number 102.

CSU Collegian, April 14, 1970, pages 1 and 12, vol. LXXVIII, number 109.

CSU Collegian, April 24, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 117.

CSU Collegian, June 19, 1970, page 13, vol. LXXVIII, number 143.

CSU Collegian, June 23, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 144.

CSU Collegian, July 17, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 150.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 25, 1970, pages 417-418.

“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. 132, page 132.

Colorado State University Alumni Association Alumnus, June 1982, pages 4-5.

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