Built in 1920-1921, John Q. Imholte Hall was originally named Agricultural Hall and served as a classroom building for agricultural-based courses during the West Central School of Agriculture period. Designed by Clarence Johnston, its design closely matched that of Blakely Hall (Senior Hall), each building standing on the opposite sides of Behmler Hall and lending a strong sense of symmetry to the east end of the historic campus. According to Stephen Granger in his history of campus buildings, “Ag Hall” held classrooms, offices, laboratories, and meat cutting and cold storage facilities” (Granger).
An addition, designed by the architectural firm of Hein and Fugelso of Albert Lea, was built in 1949-1950. The addition was “one of first expressions of modern design on campus” and it contained new classrooms and a large lecture hall (University of Minnesota, Morris Historic Preservation Plan). Nicknamed by WCSA students, the “Livestock Pavilion,” and then relabeled the “Cow Palace” by collegians, the hall also provided space for exhibiting livestock. A one-story, concrete passageway along the north wall, still extant, allowed show animals to be walked to the exhibit space.
Upon the initiation of college courses in the fall of 1960 classes in both the Humanities and the Social Sciences were held in “Ag Hall,” and in the second year of the college program the name of the building was changed to “Humanities.” Throughout that decade the building underwent a number of other name changes before “Social Science” was settled on in 1966. The campus bookstore and post office were situated in the building’s basement during the same time period before being relocated in 1969 (Granger). In 1975 the interior of the building underwent a significant remodeling and two stair towers and an elevator were added. Twenty years later an even more extensive remodeling took place and at that time the building was renamed in honor of the long-time dean, provost and chancellor John Q. Imholte.
This building was known as Agricultural (Ag) Hall during the WCSA years, as it served as a classroom building for agricultural-based courses.
With the initiation of the University of Minnesota Morris, the building name changed from Agricultural Hall to Humanities briefly from 1961-1962.
Humanities and Social Sciences
The name changed again in 1962 to Humanities and Social Sciences to represent that the building held classes for both divisions.
Humanities and Education
In 1965 the name changed again to Humanities and Education for a brief stint until 1967.
In 1967, Social Science was finally decided upon for the building name. The building remained Social Science until it was renamed after Chancellor Jack Imholte in 2005.