CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Corbett Hall, 1965-

A color photograph of tennis courts with several multi-story buildings in the background. The closest building is four-stories tall and the front is lined with windows.

Tennis Courts with Corbett Hall in the background, 1981

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 – James M. Hunter, Floyd Lamar Kelsey of Bunts and Kelsey Associates, Michael L. Aller, David Lingle and Bradley Massey architectural firm (2000 dish room), Architecture Plus, P. C. of Fort Collins (2004 dining center renovation), KSQ Design of Denver (2018 Lounge, Dining Room – Kitchen Renovation)

Builders – F. R. Orr Construction Company, Rus-Den Construction Company, Inc. of Berthoud (2000 dish room renovation), Whiting – Turner Construction Company (2018 Lounge, Dining Center and Kitchen renovation)

801 West Laurel Street

Co-designed by Architects James M. Hunter and Floyd Lamar Kelsey of Bunts and Kelsey Associates, on July 30, 1964, a drawing of the new Corbett Hall was featured on the front page of the Fort Collins Coloradoan.  The foundation for the new building had just been completed.  The $4.1 million residence hall was scheduled to be completed and ready for students in the fall of 1965. 

Corbett Hall was designed to house about 900 students on the same land area as a hall now housing 400.  This multi-building “Luxury Dorm” was built around a courtyard.  It was built on schedule and opened to residents for the fall quarter of 1965.  The building was formally dedicated on Sunday, April 1966.  It was named for Professor of History and Literature Virginia H. Corbett who came to the Institution in 1900.  She was Dean of Women for several years until she died of cancer in 1932.

This suite-style residence hall became the largest residence hall on campus.  It had its own dining room but shared its kitchen and dish room with Parmelee Hall. It featured a large lounge with fireplaces at each end of the room.  Like other residence halls, the fireplaces had limited use in the early years and were soon eliminated.

From the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, Corbett Hall held a weekend dance and activity night called the “Red Garter Nights”.  It was designed to mimic a 1920s-styled speakeasy.  “Red Garter Nights” took place in mid-February a couple of weeks after Ingersoll Hall’s “Playboy Club”.  In 1978, a large metal sculpture created by Michael A. Molliconi was installed in the courtyard.

In the summer of 1982, D-wing became the home of the Ram Football players.  Newly hired Head Football Coach Leon Fuller requested this arrangement.  Separate “Athletic Dorms” were being used by several NCAA Division 1 schools around the country including the University of Texas where he just coached.  This “football wing” was used during his tenure and then eliminated.

In 2000, the Corbett-Parmelee dish room was enlarged and modernized by the Rus-Den Construction Company, Inc. of Berthoud, Colorado.  In March 2004, the project to renovate the Corbett Dining Center into a “Marketplace Serving Style” dining facility was authorized.  The architectural firm of Michael L. Aller, David Lingle and Bradley Massey designed this project.

During the summers of 2011 and 2012, new energy efficient windows were installed. The exterior was insulated and had red brick veneer installed to replace the green panels.  A new roofline was constructed to better match the design of Parmelee Hall.  A remodeling of the “Corbett Marketplace” dining center took place. The enclosed hallway between C and D wings was removed allowing for easier access to the Corbett Courtyard from the east. Architecture Plus, P.C. of Fort Collins designed these renovations.  During the summer of 2014, the Corbett Courtyard received a new landscape design as the neighboring Laurel Village was being finished.  The old basketball and sand volleyball courts were removed as part of this design.

In March 2018, work began to combine the Corbett and Parmelee Dining Centers.  This was completed in August 2018.  The new dining center, The Foundry, combined the dining centers into a single food-hall-inspired dining center with eight micro-restaurants. In May 2018 work began to renovate the Corbett lobby into one large space as it was originally constructed.  It also opened in August 2018.  Using the architectural plans of KSQ Design of Denver, the Whiting – Turner Construction Company was the General Contractor for this project.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

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Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

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