CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Aylesworth Hall,1957-2019

The exterior of Aylesworth Hall with a circular drive in front of it. A stone facade following the curvature is to the right and the connecting three story building is visible to the left.

Aylesworth Hall, 1958

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 and Associates, Helen Boggs of the Physical Plant Department

Builder - R.F. Ball Construction Company, Incorporated of San Antonio, Texas

1100 Meridian Avenue

Designed by James M. Hunter, construction by the R. F. Ball Construction Company began in 1956 and the residence hall was opened for the fall quarter of 1957.  The building was named to honor Barton O. Aylesworth, Colorado Agricultural College’s president from 1899 to 1909.  This structure was originally built as a men’s dormitory.  In September 1961, it became the first dormitory on campus to house both men and women because of the large number of women enrolling that year.  This pioneered the way for the entire residence hall system to become mixed-gender housing over the next dozen years.

From September 1969 to June 1970, Aylesworth Hall was used to house 95 graduate students in single rooms.  The cafeteria and kitchen were not used, and the residents dined at the Braiden Hall Dining Center.

In June 1970, the Departments of Visual Art and Consumer Sciences began using the kitchen and cafeteria space for classrooms and a cooking laboratory to replace some of the facilities they had just lost in the fire at Old Main on May 8, 1970. From September 1970 until June 1971, 200 male students lived, two per room in two wings of the building.  This ended Aylesworth Hall’s use as a residence hall.

Using a renovation design of Helen Boggs of the Physical Plant Department, the entire building was converted into office and classroom space during the summer of 1971.  In September 1972 the State Board of Agriculture officially reassigned the building to be an office and academic building.

In the decades following, Aylesworth Hall became the home of a wide variety of campus offices. The University Relations Department, International Programs, Peace Corps, State 4-H, and the Purchasing Department were just a few of the offices that once called Aylesworth home.  The Department of Creative Services, the Department of Design and Merchandising, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Public Lands History Center, the Center for Literary Publishing and Colorado Review, and the CSU Health Network’s Counseling Services and Health, Education and Prevention Services had offices in Aylesworth Hall during its final years of use.  As new buildings were opened, the old building began to be vacated.

Aylesworth Hall’s exterior and much of its interior always appeared as they were since opening in 1957.  This made the building a very unique feature of the CSU campus during its final decade. The master plan had Aylesworth and Newsom being replaced by a new Housing and Dining Service’s residence hall complex starting in the summer of 2019.  This was able to happen after the Health and Medical Center and Nancy Richardson Design Center were completed. The Department of Design & Merchandising along with other offices using Aylesworth moved out and into other buildings during the final months of 2018.  In March 2019, structural demolition of Aylesworth Hall began to allow space to build Phase 1 of Meridian Village and was completed by the start of the 2019 fall semester. 

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

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State Board of Agriculture Minutes, July 19-20, 1955, page 534.

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Source, March 4, 2019, by Dell Rae Ciaravola, Accessed March 5, 2019.

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