CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Andrew G. Clark Building/Social Sciences Building, 1967-

A black and white photograph of the Andrew Clark Building with a plaza and bed of flowers in the foreground and a grouping of trees to the side. The building is three stories tall with “sun-screens,” concrete horizontal tubes making up huge grids over the second and third floor windows.

Social Sciences Building, 1969

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, SLATERPAULL Architects of Denver

Builder - The F. R. Orr Construction Company

1200 Center Avenue Mall

Architect James M. Hunter designed this massive classroom and office building on the sites of the original landmark College Farm Horse and Dairy Barns.  It is made up of three wings that house the College of Liberal Arts and includes offices of several of its departments such as Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Journalism and Technical Communication, History, Economics, Sociology, and Political Science in its elevated B-wing and 34 classrooms, laboratories, and offices in its C-wing.

Built at a cost of $5,102,000, work began on B and C-wings during the summer of 1966.  On July 5, 1966, Center Avenue that ran along the west side of the construction site was permanently closed to traffic south to West Pitkin Street.  This action began the long process to convert this developing core area of the campus into a pedestrian mall.  This phase I of the new Social Sciences Building was completed and opened for the fall quarter 1967.

Phase II, the final portion known as the A-wing, was opened for the fall quarter of 1968.  A-wing had two floors of large auditoria built around a central service core and equipped with the latest educational media facilities.  Ranging in size from 110 seats to 400 seats, these rooms were called “Learning Center Auditoriums” when the building opened.  The opening of this building allowed the closing of the badly aging Old Main Auditorium to classroom use.

In the summer of 1975, the plaza on the south side of the A-wing began its three-decade run of hosting the Outdoor Café Theatre each summer.  Students in the Theatre Department selected and performed three plays in evening performances to enthusiastic audiences who enjoyed the “Theatre Under the Stars” on warm Colorado evenings.  Seating was at café-style tables that accommodated four people per table.  Theatregoers gathered at twilight and enjoyed drinks and snacks before the evening’s performance commenced.  The popular and intimate venue was sold-out for each performance.

On May 11, 1977, the Social Sciences Building was rededicated and renamed the “Andrew G. Clark Building”.  Dr. Clark spoke at the ceremony.  He had worked at the school from 1923 until retiring in 1964.

In the fall of 1992, the “Liberal Arts Lounge” was opened on the south side of the first floor of the A-wing.  It is now known as the “Clark Study Lounge”.  In the summer of 2006, $95,000 was spent to repaint the exterior of the building in buff and red-brick colors.  Beginning that same year and continuing for the next four years, $6 million was spent to upgrade fire alarm systems, elevators, lighting, seating, wall finishes, acoustics and audiovisual equipment in the A and C wings.  SLATERPAULL Architects of Denver designed these changes to modernize the 40-year-old building.

In 2022 the Colorado Legislature approved 38 million dollars to be used on the extension and renovation of the Clark Building.  This is the first installment in what is expected to be a three-phase partnership with the state.  It is estimated that the transformation will be accomplished at the cost of up to 135 million dollars.  Private support is expected to provide 11 to 12 million dollars.  CSU has selected Haselden Construction and the Hord Coplan Macht as the design-build firm for the project.  The project is expected to break ground in late 2023.              

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, August 22, 1923, page 254.

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

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 10, 1963, page 90.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 19-20, 1964, page 207.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 25-26, 1964, page 268.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, January 22-23, 1965, page 311.

Colorado State University Collegian, February 22, 1965, page 8, vol. LXXIII, number 69A.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 18, 1965, page 381.

The CSU Alumnus, November – December 1965, page 3, vol. 41, number 5.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 9, 1965, page 489.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, February 26, 1966, page 557.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 2, 1966, page 17.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 17, 1966, pages 65-66.

CSU Collegian, September 15, 1966, pages 22 and 23, vol. LXXV, number 1.

CSU Collegian, November 14, 1966, page 1, vol. LXXV, number 36.

CSU Collegian, March 10, 1967, page 3, vol. LXXV, number 79.

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State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 25, 1967, pages 389-391.

CSU Collegian, September 28, 1967, pages 1 and 7, vol. LXXVI, number 5.

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“1968 Silver Spruce”, pages 49, 92.

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The CSU Alumnus, March – April 1969, pages 1, 10-11, vol. 45, number 2.

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CSU Collegian, May 27, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXVIII, number 140.

CSU Collegian, May 29, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXVIII, number 142.

CSU Collegian, June 23, 1970, page 5, vol. LXXVIII, number 144.

CSU Collegian, August 18, 1970, page 5, vol. LXXVIII, number 159.

CSU Collegian, September 23, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXIX, number 2.

CSU Collegian, September 24, 1970, page 11, vol. LXXIX, number 3.

CSU Collegian, September 30, 1970, page 1, vol. LXXIX, number 7.

CSU Collegian, October 29, 1970, page 14, vol. LXXIX, number 28.

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Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 29, 1972, page 14, vol. LXXXI, number 14.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 25, 1972, page 5, vol. LXXXI, number 32.

CSU Comments, November 9, 1972, page 3, vol. 3, number 9.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 10, 1974, pages 1 and 4, vol. LXXXII, number 57.

“A History of Colorado State University 1870 – 1974”, by James E. Hansen II, 1974.

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Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

Fort Collins Journal, December 8, 1976, page 6, vol. LXXXV.

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State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 22, 1977, page 55.

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CSU Comments, May 19, 1977, page 1, vol. 7, number 35.

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Fort Collins Journal, October 19, 1977, page 1, vol. LXXXVI, number 51.

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, p. 451.

Fort Collins Journal, March 2, 1978, page 1, vol. LXXXVI, number 110.

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1979-1980 Silver Spruce yearbook, page 73, vol. 75.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, June 2, 1982, page 5, vol. XCI, number 3.

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Comment, March 25, 1999, page 1, vol. 29, number 24.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 29, 1999, pages 1 and 3, vol. 107, number 120.

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“Democracy's University” by James E. Hansen, II, page 103.

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“Visionary Leadership, the Memoirs of William E. Morgan”, page 97, by Connie Pheiffenberger, 2005.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, September 6, 2006, page 2, vol. 115, number 21.

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Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 10, 2015, page 5, vol. 123, number 121.

CSU Architects Alpha List, March 17, 2015, by James E. Hansen II, architect James M. Hunter.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 29, 2016, pages 3-4.

“CSU Chooses General Contractor, Design Firm for Clark Building Expansion and Transformation”, Source, December 7, 2022. https://libarts.source.colostate.edu/clark-renovation-update/.

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