Humanities Building

The Home Economics Building under construction in 1955.
The Home Economics Building, ca. 1956
The Hasselmo Language Lab in the Humanities Building, 1998
Humanities Building Exterior
Language Lab in the newly remodeled Humanities Building in 2019

Built in 1954 during the last decade of the West Central School of Agriculture, the Humanities Building was originally named Home Economics and is the only complete campus structure that dates to the 1950s. Although the building is noteworthy as the first structure on campus built with a modern design, the use of brick, the building’s southern orientation and its horizontality all work to directly connect the Humanities Building to the historic campus (University of Minnesota Morris Historic Preservation Plan).

Work on the Home Economics Building began in the summer of 1954 but was not completed until the following year. It replaced the American Indian Boarding School’s Girls’ Dormitory which had been built in 1898 and mirrored the Boys’ Dormitory located across the mall. Both buildings in the early 1920s had been remodeled and reoriented to face the mall or "square" as it was sometimes known. During Home Economics’ construction, classes were taught in Agricultural Hall (now Imholte) and in the basement of the Girls’ Dormitory (Camden). Designed by Bernard Hein, who was also the architect for Edson Hall and the 1950 auditorium addition to Imholte Hall, the building was intended to house classes in “home nursing, first aid, foods, sewing, childcare, home finance, and home management” (University of Minnesota Morris Historic Preservation Plan). Winston Close, the University’s consulting architect, collaborated in the design, and construction costs came to around $200,000. Originally, the building had four classrooms, two craft rooms, four laboratories, a home economics parlor, a dining room, and offices (Granger). 

The building continued to host home economics classes as the campus transitioned from the WCSA to UMN Morris. But beginning in the 1960-1961 academic year college-level biology classes were also taught in the building. By 1962, with the expansion of college courses, the Home Economics Building had been renamed the Science Building and classrooms were being used for math and science classes, as well as the occasional art class. The building also housed science and math faculty though the Science and Math Division Office seems to have been housed in the old Home Management Cottage directly north of the building. In 1967 with science classes moving to the new Science Building, the structure experienced yet another name change and was renamed Humanities (Granger). Since that date it has served as a classroom and office building for that division. In 1997 an elevator tower was added and in 2018 Humanities underwent an extensive remodeling of its classrooms and offices.

Home Economics Building

This building was known as Home Economics throughout the 1950s.

Science Building

With the creation of the University of Minnesota Morris, the Home Economics Building changed to the Science Building as it held college-level science courses, rather than the previous WCSA home economics courses.

Humanities Building

In 1967 science classrooms moved to the new Science Building and the building was renamed Humanities, reflecting the shift to Humanities classes and offices in the building.

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