Morrill Hall: A brief
During the initial years of
the college, the only buildings on campus were those that made up the Model Farm
(including the Farm House) and Old
years after the college opened there came a need for a building to house a
library and museum. Funding was approved twenty years later and it was
decided that the building would be named for Justin
Smith Morrill, who had sponsored the bill establishing the Land-Grant
College system. A design by architects Josselyn and Taylor of Cedar Rapids
was accepted, and O.J. King of Omaha was selected as contractor.
The building was
constructed at a cost of $28,739 and dedicated on June 16th, 1891.
invitation and dedication program.
In addition to the museum,
library, and chapel, Morrill Hall housed the armory and laboratory and
classrooms for the Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Geology.
Its completion in 1891 allowed for some changes in Old
Main, including the conversion of the old chapel into a dining room.
and museum spaces were eventually remodeled into student
living quarters. Morrill Hall continued to serve its original purpose for a
number of years, but by 1910, the Zoology Department was requesting new space.
Conditions had become so crowded that the Chapel was
being used for class work, and additional laboratories had to be set up in the
In 1914, the Library was
moved to Beardshear
Hall, and the Agricultural Extension Offices and Document Room were moved to
Morrill Hall. The Zoology
Department moved out when Science Building #1 was completed in 1916. Though
Extension was the longest-term tenant in Morrill Hall, a number of other
departments also shared the building.
Music Department used the Chapel as a choir room until the new Music Hall was
completed in 1980. The Publications Office was in Morrill from 1937 until it was
closed in 1993. Information Service
(now University Relations) shared the building from 1946 until 1996, when they
moved to the Communications Building. Photo
Service, which had been housed in Morrill since 1966, also moved to the
Communications Building in 1996. Extension
was the last department to leave the building, moving out in 1998.
top photo: Old Main and Morrill Hall, ca. 1890s|
inset photo: Morrill Hall, 1979