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University Hall (West Lafayette, Ind.)



  • Existence: 1877-

Historical Information

Construction on University Hall began in the mid 1870s. Construction plans were halted in 1875 due the Indiana legislature intervening in Purdue operations. The legislature was concerned with the disorganization of the university, poor record keeping, and high construction costs. Construction began again in 1876 once the building's plans were reviewed and, in 1877, the building was completed. The central portion of the building was five stories high with a basement and each end of the building was four stories high with an attic. The basement was made of stone and the other stories were made of brick with stone trimmings. The building also contained a chapel, assembly hall, galleries, academy hall, two society halls, a library, three cabinet rooms, eight recitation rooms, two well lit basement rooms, and two suites with lunch and toilet rooms. In 1923 the building was completely redecorated, the heating system was improved, and gas lights were replaced with electrical lights in two-thirds of the building. The building was also heavily renovated in 1960. This building is the oldest remaining building on campus.


University Hall. Purdue Campus Facilities and Buildings Historic Database. Access September 13, 2019

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

William Chester Halstead photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSA 262
Scope and Contents The William Chester Halstead photographs document Purdue University, students, faculty, and staff during the 1890s, featuring buildings, student groups, such as the cyclists, drum corps, and artillery. Photographs of note include the burned-out structure of Heavilon Hall and President Smart in his office. The collection also documents the Lafayette area.
Dates: circa 1890s

University Hall records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 151
Scope and Contents The University Hall records contain 1877 dedication ceremony invitations, blueprints for the historical marker erected in 1984, and an information pamphlet sent out to alumni requesting donations to the University.
Dates: 1877 - 1984