CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Industrial Sciences Laboratories/Industrial Arts Shops/Mechanical Engineering Shops, 1918-

Industrial Science Laboratories, 1939

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 – United States Army (original buildings), Austin Company of Engineers of Cleveland, Ohio (1925 and 1926 building construction and1938 remodel into one building)

Builders - Austin Company of Engineers of Cleveland, Ohio (1925 and 1926 building construction and 1938 remodel into one building), WPA (1938 remodeling)

201 West Laurel Street

The contract signed on April 26, 1918, to train 250 United States Army soldiers meant facilities were needed to hold classes for the men.  Two basic wood-framed buildings were placed under construction in May 1918.  A 25’ X 100’ auto shop building that cost $1,142.54 was built along with a 30’ x 100’ horse shoeing shop that cost $1,946.17.  Construction workers hired directly by the College working under the direction of the Building Superintendent built the structures.  The labor unions to which they belonged waived the union rules regarding holidays and Sundays so that the project could be completed in the shortest amount of time.  By fall, farrier training was held in one building and automotive mechanics in the second.  

A total of 723 active-duty U.S. Army soldiers received training during the short time they were on the campus.  Most were trained as mechanics in a six-week course.  They arrived and departed in three groups of 206, 273 and 244.  An additional auto repair shop measuring 30’ x 97’ was built for $1,628.14. 

Following the war, the auto-mechanics facilities stayed busy as more classes were offered in automotive mechanics throughout the year including the summer sessions.  During the summer of 1925, a large 40’ x 80’ building called the “Mechanical Engineering Shop” was built.  It featured a “Monitor or raised roof” and a large expanse of windows to provide a great deal of natural light.   In the summer of 1926, the center building constructed for war training was demolished and an addition was made to this one-year-old Mechanical Engineering Shop.  It was now 60’ x 80’ and was to be used for the Farm Machinery Laboratory until other facilities could be built.  In the fall of 1931, all the welding classes were moved over to this building.

One of the smaller units served as the Carpenter Shop while the other functioned mainly as a headquarters for the Building Superintendent.  In 1938, after a sizeable remodeling effort supported by the WPA, a single “Mechanical Engineering Shops” structure emerged. The Austin Company of Engineers of Cleveland, Ohio did design work and construction supervision on this building.

In 1959, it was officially renamed the “Industrial Arts Shops” and in 1972, it acquired the name “Industrial Sciences Laboratories”.  The underpinnings of this building running parallel to the railroad tracks holds the distinction of the being the only remaining structure built on campus to support the World War I war effort.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, April 30, 1918, pages 50-51, vol. Jan. 1917 – Aug. 1930.

Rocky Mountain Collegian October 3, 1918, pages 1 and 6, vol. XXVIII, number 2.

Colorado Agricultural College Bulletin, Catalog Summer School June 23 to August 1, 1919, Series XIX, number 5.

“The Colorado Agricultural College, Its Functions, The Service it is Rendering”, 1919, pages 82-84.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 7, 1923, page 3, vol. XXXIII, number 1.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 8, 1925, page 413.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 28, 1925, page 1, vol. XXXV, number 3.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, November 21, 1925, page 359.

Colorado Agricultural College Bulletin Catalog Summer Session Catalog, Series 25, number 2, April 1926, page 4.

C.A.C. Alumnus, July 1926, page 6, vol. 7, number 3.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, September 18, 1926, page 401.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 11, 1931, page 2, vol. XLI, number 10.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, August 9, 1938, page 310, vol. Sept. 1930 – Aug. 1940.

The Colorado State College Alumnus, July – August 1938, pages 1-2, vol. 19, numbers 1 and 2.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 15, 1938, pages 1, 5, vol. XLVIII, number 2.

Building dedication plaque at north entrance.

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952, pages 12, 13, 26.

The Colorado Aggie Alumnus, May - June 1959, page 9, vol. 35, number 3.

CSU Collegian, April 29, 1968, page 7, vol. LXXVI, number 101.

“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. 274-275.

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.

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