CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

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

Rocky Mountain Research Station, 1967-

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 – Baume and Polivnick of Denver

240 West Prospect Road

In July 1935, the State Board of Agriculture actively worked with the federal government to be selected to establish a Forestry Experiment Station at Fort Collins. Several locales were competing to get the new Colorado based station established under the Forestry Research Enabling Act. At that time, federal funds were short but efforts to secure the future station were being pursued. On August 10, 1935, a formal agreement was signed establishing the Rocky Mountain Forestry and Range Experiment Station at the College.

This $1.2 million federal facility was built as a USDA Forest Service Experiment Station. It allowed them to move from offices scattered around the campus and downtown Fort Collins into one complex that was near the offices of the University’s Colorado State Forest Service. The two-acre parcel of land on the north side of West Prospect Road was purchased by the State Board of Agriculture from the Sigma Nu Fraternity. The 300 block of West Lake Street borders the property on the north. It is on a 50-year renewal lease agreement with the United States Government. If the lease is not renewed, CSU takes over the land and buildings.

Of note, the four-acre parcel just to the west of this site was offered to the State Board of Agriculture at $2 per square foot in the early 1960s. Although strongly encouraged to make the purchase by Board Secretary Charles Terrell, the State Board of Agriculture felt the price to be too high and refused. A developer bought the land and built an apartment complex on the site.  In later years, this refusal was very much regretted. In recent years, the land and apartments were said to have been purchased by the CSURF to eventually allow for more campus expansion.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, July 24, 1935, page 285.

State Board of Agriculture Executive Committee Minutes, August 10, 1935, pages 290-291.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 12, 1955, page 463.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 13, 1955, page 473.

1962 City Directory, page 509.

Colorado State University Collegian, February 21, 1964, page 1, vol. LXXII, number 70.

1966-67 and 1967-68 CSU Directories, USDA – Forest Service.

“A History of Colorado State University 1870 – 1974”, by James E. Hansen II, 1974, page 403.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, pages 4-5.

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