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*A special thanks to Campus Facilities, University of Missouri Archives, Publications and Alumni Communications for supplying some of the following information and graphics.
The scientific study of the universe may sound futuristic, but the Laws Observatory has been a part of Mizzou’s campus for over 100 years.
Originally built in 1880 and then torn down and rebuilt in 1920, the Laws Observatory describes three separate astronomical observatories owned and operated by MU. Its signature dome, which caps the fifth floor of the Physics Building, makes the observatory a recognizable campus marker and a perfect place for aspiring astronomers to look up at the cosmos.
Despite its long history, the Laws Observatory was the third facility of its kind to appear on campus. MU built its first observatory, “The University of Missouri Observatory,” near Academic Hall in 1853. It was not only a first for Mizzou, but also the first observatory in the western United States and home to a 4.0625-inch Henry Fitz refractor telescope.
The university was ready to replace this telescope in 1879 but found that the costs of transporting and reassembling the new German refractor were too high; the current observatory was also too small to house the larger telescope. After hearing about the dilemma, Samuel S. Laws, the university president at the time, donated $2,000 of his own money to transport the new equipment and build a new observatory.
Construction on the Laws Observatory began shortly after, and several pieces of the old observatory were retained and moved to the new location. Over the next 50 years, it expanded to include office space, classrooms and an equatorial refractor. In 1919, the Laws Observatory was torn down to make room for Neff Hall, only to be rebuilt a year later in what is now the west parking lot of the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital.
The Physics Building, which was built in 1964, later became home to the Laws Observatory.
Visit the Laws Observatory Facebook page to view images taken by the facility's telescopes.
Landscape Outside of the Agriculture Building
Although the Agriculture building’s function-over-form appearance has never made it a campus beauty, the landscape around the structure has gained some attention over the last few years.
After 50 years of jokes about the building’s stark, windowless design (some students even referred to it as Sam’s Slab Lab, the Fortress or the Federal Reserve Bank), MU made plans to give its landscape a makeover. The university held a competition in 2008 and chose one landscape design student from a pool of nine competitors to revamp the Ag Building’s exterior. Justus Lancewell was declared the winner.
His design, which was completed in 2012, includes a large terrace, seating areas and a walkway that connects the sidewalk in front of the building to Conservation Hall and the School of Natural Resources. Lancewell also chose trees and other plants that would showcase the natural colors of winter, spring, summer and fall throughout the year.
Many organizations and individuals donated towards the project with the belief that Mizzou’s beautiful landscapes provide an educational resource, strengthen the university’s image and create a positive environment for the campus community.
Read more about the Agriculture Building’s landscape or learn more about the Mizzou Botanic Garden.
“Urania” by Anthony Padovano on the south end of A&S Mall.
The Lowry Mall Sculpture Project began development in 1981 and consisted of three sculptures including, "Urania" by Anthony Padovano. Since that time "Urania" has been moved to a landscaped area next to Stankowski field. Greek mythology gave birth to the inspiration for Padovano's "Urania," which is named after the muse of astronomy. The stainless steel sculpture was created in 1975 and dedicated at Mizzou in the fall of 1984. “Urania” is inventoried in the catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. More
Pedestrian Campus Marker
This marker lets visitors know that Mizzou is a pedestrian-friendly campus with heavy foot traffic on major campus thoroughfares such as Hitt Street and Lowry Mall. It is hard to imagine MU without students bustling to and from classes on foot, but Mizzou didn’t officially become a pedestrian-oriented campus until the late 1970s.
In 1978, Barbara Uehling became chancellor of MU and the first woman in U.S. history to lead a national land-grant university. The effort to make Mizzou more pedestrian-friendly was a part of Uehling’s $135 million Campus Beautification Project, which turned “Lowry Street” into “Lowry Mall.” This construction project joined red and white campus and allowed students to walk to class safely without having to dodge cars.
During her time as chancellor, Uehling also extended pedestrian areas, added green spaces and renovated parking structures and other campus buildings.
Steps towards a safer, more walkable campus continued over the next few years. In 1984, the Columbia City Council passed an ordinance to restrict vehicular traffic on certain streets within MU’s campus, at least during the day when more students walk to and from classes. With the exception of city buses and authorized vehicles, the campus is now closed to vehicles between 8:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Most recently, the city of Columbia, MU and the Missouri Department of Transportation worked together in 2013 to install two additional crosswalks and a barrier in the middle of College Avenue. The barrier, which runs from just north of Rosemary Lane to south of Bouchelle Avenue, was designed to prevent pedestrians from crossing the road anywhere other than a crosswalk. Learn more about Parking Services.
The Legacy Circle on Traditions Plaza
The Legacy Circle is a part of the Traditions Plaza, one of MU’s newest
campus landmarks. It is an area of the plaza reserved for the names of
Mizzou legacies and their families.
Dedicated during Homecoming
2014, Traditions Plaza was created to commemorate Mizzou’s proud
traditions and the Tigers who have helped preserve them over the years. The unveiling of the plaza coincided with the university's 175th anniversary year and 103rd Homecoming celebration.
plaza is populated by over 1,500 inscribed bricks, each bearing the
name or special message of a donor to the project. Other pavers on the
plaza’s main stage are engraved with some of the university’s cherished
traditions such as Tiger Walk and Paint the "M". This landmark is also home to a time capsule, which is
scheduled to be opened in the year 2114.
With new bricks installed
each Homecoming and May Commencement, the plaza constantly grows to
include the names of more and more alumni, friends and fans. Learn more about how to mark your name in MU history on Traditions Plaza.
As the main library of the University of Missouri System, Ellis Library is a popular study spot and meeting place for MU students. Located on Lowry Mall, Ellis Library was built in 1915 and named for Dr. Elmer Ellis in 1972. The university community remembers Dr. Ellis for his tenure as a professor in the history department, dean of the college of arts and sciences and president of the university from 1955-1956.
Today, Ellis Library is the largest research library in Missouri and the 54th largest in the nation. Visitors have access to over three million volumes and seven million microforms, not to mention a variety of special collections, rare books and city maps.
The library is also home to the State Historical Society of Missouri, Western Historical Manuscript Collection and the Bookmark Café. Along with serving as a social space for students, faculty and staff, the Bookmark Café displays student artwork.
The Power Plant
Mizzou’s power plant on Stewart Road dates back almost 100 years and represents triumphs in energy efficiency.
Constructed in 1921, the power plant stands on the corner of Stewart Road and Fifth Street. It began producing steam and electricity on January 4, 1923; the plant’s four boilers and two steam turbines were capable of producing 100,000 pounds of steam per hour (pph) and had an electric production capacity of 900 kW.
By the 1940s, the power plant had grown to include two deep wells, a warehouse, a diesel building and upgraded boilers and turbine generators. Improvements continued over the next several decades, and the plant’s control systems finally went electronic in the 1980s.
The power plant gained national recognition throughout the 1990s. It not only won MU the 1994 Green Lights University Partner of the Year award for progress in upgrading lighting and promoting energy efficiency, but also saved the university $800,000 in 1996 through energy efficiency.
The following year, MU was selected from among 1,400 participants for the first USEPA's and U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star Buildings Partner of the Year Award, an honor for excellence in using energy more efficiently, saving money and improving the environment. This recognition was only one of the first in a long list of awards that the plant would earn over the next 15 years.
Today, Mizzou’s power plant is still considered a leader in energy efficiency and combined heat and power. One of the university’s most recent projects for the plant is the construction of a bio-mass boiler, which will reduce environmental impact by using agricultural, forest, urban and industrial waste to produce heat and electricity.
Read more about Mizzou's power plant.
The Lobby Ceiling of Lee Hills Hall
Constructed in 1995, Lee Hills Hall sits on the corner of Eighth and Elm Streets and is a part of the Missouri School of Journalism; it is home to both “the Columbia Missourian” and “Vox Magazine.”
Its namesake, Lee Hills, attended the school of journalism from 1927 to 1929 before beginning his illustrious career in print media and publishing. Hills held no less than eight different newsroom positions during his time in the industry including reporter, foreign correspondent, editor, executive editor and publisher. He also worked as CEO of “the Detroit Free Press” and “the Miami Herald.”
Today, Lee Hills Hall is the primary classroom building for students pursuing degrees in print, magazine and photojournalism. It is the second newest of the “J-School’s” eight buildings and facilities, which include Jay H. Neff Hall, Walter Williams Hall, the Journalism Arch, KOMU-TV, Neff Annex, Gannett Hall and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Learn more about the J-School.
MacAlester Park (Peace Park)
The scenic area across the street from the School of Journalism was once known as MacAlester Park. After the Kent State shootings in 1970 shook the nation, however, MU students decided to rename the spot “Peace Park” and outfit it with memorial for those killed in the tragedy. In addition to creating the memorial, approximately 1,500 members of the Mizzou community marched to protest the Vietnam War on May 5, 1971; many students also boycotted classes, and an interfaith prayer service was held in the park that evening.
Today, Peace Park is a popular place to study, relax and play recreational sports in the warmer months. It has even become a part of an MU tradition; they say that if a couple walks across the park’s stone bridge together, they are destined to marry.
Where do red and white campuses meet? At none other than Lowry Hall.
Constructed 1904, Lowry Hall was acquired by the university in 1980 and renovated the following year. It originally housed MU’s religious studies department, which was then known as the Missouri School of Religion; now it is home to the Honors College and College of Arts and Science.
Most notably, the structure is a visual marker of where red campus and white campus meet. After WWI, white limestone replaced red brick as the university’s building material of choice, possibly because of a shortage of brick after the war. Thus, our black and gold university was divided into “Red Campus” and “White Campus.”
Bulletin Board East of Memorial Union
Once upon a time, bulletin boards dotted almost every corner of MU and provided the campus community the latest updates on bands playing Columbia, where to buy MU gear and who needed a ride or was selling goods.
The bulletin board in the courtyard east of Memorial Student Union is one of the last outdoor bulletin boards of its kind on campus. While there are many designated areas for students and organizations to hang flyers at Mizzou, bulletin boards inside of buildings have stricter posting criteria and may require approval from the building’s coordinator. Some general rules for posting on campus include referencing the sponsoring organization somewhere on the posting, never attaching materials on the exterior of a building or a light post and leaving sidewalks chalk-free.
Read more about the university’s advertising policies or check out this list of places to hang posters at Mizzou.
American War Mothers Memorial (relocated to the sidewalk between Stanley Hall and Steward Hall).
On October 25, 1930, a stone memorial was placed on the Mizzou campus by the American War Mothers, honoring the 117 MU students who were killed in The Great War. After years in storage, this monument has been placed in a prominent spot, just east of Memorial Student Union. On Veterans' Day, November 11, 2011, a ceremony was held to rededicate this memorial. Learn more
Construction of Tiger Plaza began May 2002 and the project was completed and dedicated Homecoming Weekend of the same year.
Located at the southern edge of Carnahan Quadrangle, Tiger Plaza is populated by a 6-by-11-foot Tiger statue, fountain featuring Mizzou’s alma mater and contributor plaques bearing the names of more than 2,200 proud Mizzou alumni that contributed to the project. The statue was designed by sculptor Forest Hart and weighs 1,200 pounds. It was cast in a foundry in Colorado and incorporated into the project as a symbol of Tiger pride that alumni, fans and friends feel when they visit the MU campus. Each of the six pillars surrounding the plaza include a bronze plaque honoring one of the Mizzou Alumni Association's guideposts: Discovery, Diversity, Pride, Respect, Responsibility and Tradition. Learn more
Arts and Science Mall between Strickland Hall and the law school (Hulston Hall).
Formerly known as the General Classroom Building, Strickland Hall was constructed in 1969 to house classrooms for the social sciences. In 2007, it was renamed “Arvarh E. Strickland Hall” in honor of professor emeritus and former interim Director of the Black Studies Program Arvarh E. Strickland.
Dr. Strickland served the university in several capacities but is best remembered as an internationally recognized historian and MU’s first tenure-track, black professor. Coincidentally, Strickland joined the MU faculty as a history professor the same year that the General Classroom Building was constructed: in 1969. The first course he taught, “History 392: The Negro in Twentieth Century America,” was designed to help students rethink the role and importance of African Americans in U.S. history. With almost 100 students enrolled for the class, it immediately became one of the most popular upper-level history courses on campus.
Thanks to the work of this trailblazing professor, MU added the black studies minor in 1971. Strickland worked with and advised both graduate and undergraduate students in the program. Outside of his teaching role, Strickland wrote two books, co-wrote a secondary school textbook and was a contributing author to Encyclopedia Britannica. He was also the recipient of a number of honors: the Byler Distinguished Professor Award, the St. Louis American’s Educator of the Year Award and the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award to name a few. Strickland died on April 30, 2013 at the age of 82. His contributions and love of the university will forever be remembered in MU history. Learn more
Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Reynolds Journalism Institute is a state-of-the-art, 50,000 square-foot research facility that includes The Journalism Futures Lab and Technology Testing Center, the Frank Lee Martin Journalism Library as well as several lecture and meeting rooms.
Launched in 2004 with the help of a $31 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, RJI was created to help the Journalism School and its students hone their craft. The facility houses cutting edge media and computer technology and hosts conferences that can be live-streamed worldwide. Above all, the institute is dedicated to nurturing innovation in the media industry.
Their mission is to “[engage] media professionals, scholars and other citizens in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy. RJI generates and tests new techniques and new thinking that promise to improve journalism .” Many journalism students also use the RJI headquarters as a place to study, eat lunch or put the finishing touches on an assignment between classes. Learn more
Switzler Hall was completed in 1872 and is recognized as the oldest academic building at Mizzou, not to mention the second oldest structure on campus.
Named after Colonel William Franklin Switzler, an editor, publisher and university patron, the building sits on the historic Francis Quadrangle and was known as “the Scientific Building.” It is also home to the famous Switzler Hall bell tower, which was gifted to the university by Major James S. Rollins. Its inscription reads "Nunc occasion est et tempus," which translated is, "Now is the occasion and the time." From the time it arrived on campus until 1936, the bell tower rang every hour that classes were in session; it was a popular student prank to steal the bell’s clapper and thus, prevent it from signaling the beginning of a class. Today, the bell only rings on Tap Day and to honor the death of a member of the Mizzou community.
The building itself is used differently today as well; no longer the scientific building, Switzler Hall is now home to the Department of Communication, Women's and Gender Studies and the Special Degrees Program. Learn more
Abstract Variation No. 5, outside Pickard Hall
Until this year, Pickard Hall was home to one of the largest collections of classical art on campus, so it’s no wonder that there is art displayed outside of the building as well as within. The large, orange sculpture, entitled Abstract Variation No. 5, is only one of the many pieces displayed in or around the building.
The sculpture was constructed by St. Louis sculptor Ernest Trova in 1977 out of painted Cor-Ten steel. When it was first built, the colors were actually red and midnight blue, but these faded and changed over time. Trova was well known for creating geometric, abstract sculptures throughout the 1970s. He enjoyed playing with curved and straight lines to create interesting patterns when the light hit his works.
Abstract Variation No. 5 was gifted to the university by Mr. and Mrs. Adam Aronson. And Trova’s other works are featured in such prominent collections as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Tate Gallery in London.
Pickard Hall, where the sculpture stands was named for John Pickard, whobecame the first chair of MU’s department of art and archaeology in 1891. Pickard began collecting art and artifacts for the university with the help of his colleague, Walter Miller; the pieces were initially kept in the university’s library and included photographs, oil copies of famous paintings and plaster casts of famous sculptures. The collection, originally named the Museum of Classical Archaeology and History of Art, was later renamed the Museum of Art and Archaeology.
Although Pickard’s collection has since expanded and will move to Mizzou North this spring, the museum still contains over 150 pieces from its early years and his legacy will live on. Campus visitors still enjoy the Museum of Art and Archaeology, which showcases hundreds of artifacts and works of art including ancient coins, African masks, contemporary paintings and an impressive gallery of casts of Greek and Roman sculptures.
MU Student Center
Today, the MU Student Center (formerly Brady Commons) is one of Mizzou’s most popular student hangouts and study spots, but the building itself dates back about 50 years. Originally constructed in 1963, the first version of the building included a photo studio, poster shop and soda fountain along with the bookstore, conference rooms and offices one would expect to find in a student union. There was even a bowling alley in the basement.
The space got its first makeover in 1981 at which point the browsing lounge and dining area was updated and part of the building was designated as a dancing area. Five years later, the university built an addition to Brady Commons; in the process added a food court and renovated the bowling alley and game room, which included a variety of arcade-style machines. The 1997 renovation brought a new bookstore closer to the one that students now recognize.
The 2009 renovation repurposed the building as more of a student activity center for seating, conference rooms and student lounges. Today, students enjoy the MU Student Center as a place to study or grab lunch with friends between classes. Learn more
Fine Arts Annex
You may recognize the Fine Arts Annex as the home of the Corner Playhouse and the intimate setting for numerous MU theater productions over the past two decades. Before its theatrical debut, however, this building began as a family home. It was given a holier purpose in the 1950s when the Baptist Student Union purchased it for use as a Baptist Student Center. The building’s religious destiny seemed sealed after it was bought by a Jewish fraternity in the early 1980s, but in 1987, the university added the annex as a part of its facilities and converted it into a performance venue for the MU Theater department. The Corner Playhouse hosted its first production in 1989 and continues to accommodate a variety of stage configurations and performances each year. Learn more
Hulston Hall, School of Law
The new home of the School of Law (formerly located in Tate Hall) was authorized by the 83rd General Assembly, erected 1986-1988 and dedicated Sept. 24, 1988. The building was named after John K. Hulston, JD '41, an attorney, banker, historian, author and civic community leader. Founded in 1872 as the first public law school west of the Mississippi, it has over 6,638 living alumni. Learn more
This is the Wildlife Pond between Lefevre and Stephens Halls, located on the corner of University and College Avenues. It was created in the 1920s from a spring to the north of the buildings. It originally included a Japanese garden and a Pagoda gate, as well as an arched bridge, which has since been removed. The "kissing bridge" was a favorite hangout of students, and the pond now includes a waterfall to maintain water levels and freshness, as well as native plants such as water lilies, copper iris and meadowsweet. Learn more
Lowry Mall Fountain
This photo is of a piece of the fountain on Lowry Mall, which was built in the final phase of construction on the pedestrian-only avenue in 1984. The fountain is made of concrete and features plaques recognizing the Board of Curators, University President James C. Olson and Chancellor Barbara S. Uehling, who oversaw the completion of the project. The mall was constructed by Austin Tao & Associates and Landscape Architects, who are also included on the plaque. Learn more
World War II Memorial, Memorial Union North
This memorial plaque hangs on the main floor of the north tower of Memorial Union and bears the following Shakespearean quotation:“I do love my country’s good with a respect more tender, more holy and profound, than mine own life.” It was added in 1952, when the north tower was completed in the second phase of construction and was dedicated to the 328 students who lost their lives in World War II. The north tower was built 26 years after the original bell tower was completed, which contains the inscriptions of the 117 students who died in World War I. Since then, other remembrances have been added in Memorial Union to honor the students who sacrificed their lives in conflicts from 1945-1996 and since the 1990s. Learn more
Richard H. Jesse Monument, west of Jesse Hall's front entrance
To commemorate the centennial of Francis Quadrangle, a monument in memory of Richard H. Jesse was placed to the west of Jesse Hall’s front entrance. President of the university from 1891 to 1908, Jesse was instrumental in rebuilding the university after the fire of 1892.
The monument's West-side inscription reads: “‘the University itself — its learning, its skill, its zeal, its enthusiasm — remains untouched, and its work will go on without interruption.’ Richard Henry Jesse, 1892, After the Fire.
North side: “Richard Henry Jesse, President, University of Missouri, 1891-1908 Honored for rebuilding the University which created Francis Quadrangle in 1895 after Academic Hall burned. Centennial Celebration of Francis Quadrangle May 1995.
East side: “Buildings erected from 1892 to 1895 that form the Quadrangle Law, Chemical, Biology and Geology, Mechanic Arts, Physics and Engineering, Academic Hall, Power House.
South side: “Richard Henry Jesse (1853-1921), Seventh University President who added the departments of economics, history, political science, sociology and education. ‘Father of the modern University.’” Learn more abourt Richard Jesse.
Designed in 1904 and constructed in 1906, the building was named after Gideon F. Rothwell (1836-1894), President of Board of Curators. On May 20, 1904 the M.S.U. Independent (Mizzou’s campus paper) reported: “The architects have finished the plans for the new gymnasium at Missouri University. The building will cost $70,000 and will be built of grey stone. The front three story portion of the building will be devoted to the various offices, trophy rooms and team rooms. Each varsity team will have a room for meetings and lectures and each will open directly out on Rollins field. The gymnasium will be fitted with every modern convenience and the apparatus will be the best that can be purchased. Preparations will be made for all kinds of routine class work and wands and dumb bells and Indian clubs will be provided for class drills.
Gideon Rothwell, was a Missouri congressman who, in 1892 as president of the MU Board of Curators after the Academic Hall fire, led the charge to save the Columns from being torn down. The 1893 biennial report of the MU board of curators reflected Rothwell's sentiment: "The magnificent and imposing columns of the old building stand in the center of the court (Francis Quadrangle) and will be left standing - a sacred ruin and sad monument to the lives of the old students, a monument of progress to the new. When the Legislature shall provide the means, the court will be cleared and graded and put in tasteful harmony with all the surroundings, new and old."
Following the 1893 proclamation, engineers were brought in to assess the condition of the fire-branded ruins. According to MU archives, sub-soil work showed that the Columns rested upon a "rubble masonry wall" and were separated by inverted archways filled in with the brick. The rubble masonry foundation was coated with cement and bricks were removed from the archways between the Columns. By removing the bricks, the elevation between the Columns was lowered four feet, improving the line of sight across the Quadrangle to the present view generations of visitors to the university have come to know.
Learn more about Rothwell Gymnasium. Learn more about Gideon Rothwell.
Fine Arts Walkway
This welded stainless steel sculpture is located in the garden along the edge of the Fine Arts building and University Ave. Though the building was constructed in 1958, it wasn’t until the mid-80s that the Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee set out to transition the area along the road from a workspace into a walkway and art display. They beautified the area, and graduate students and professors contributed their sculptures and artwork. The creator of this particular sculpture is unknown, but it is believed to be the work of a visiting artist to the MU campus. Learn more about the Fine Arts building.
The extensive Lowry Mall project was completed and dedicated in October of 1984 by Chancellor Barbara Uehling. Since then, it has served as the central gathering and pedestrian plaza on campus, as well as host to performances, organization fundraisers and even farmers markets.
Lowry Mall was built over the existing block-long Lowry Street to make it a more dynamic area befitting the center of campus. As far back as the 1960s, students and faculty called for this kind of plaza to replace the busy street, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that discussions began to make Lowry Mall a reality. Several workshops with more than 50 attendees, including students, university officials, city departments and owners of adjacent property were held to receive input before construction began.
The project was completed in four phases, with most construction taking place in the summer session. When it was completed in 1984 by landscape architect Austin Tao & Associates, Inc., it consisted of 53,600 square feet of red brick, as well as a large central gathering area and stage area for outdoor performances, gardens, a sculpture and a fountain. The mix of red brick and sandblasted concrete were chosen to make a more subtle transition from the white limestone Science campus to the east and the red brick Engineering campus to the west. Learn more
Constructed in 1958 and dedicated on May 4, 1961, the Agriculture Building stands at the corner of Hitt and Rollins. When constructed, the building had 90,000 square feet of floor spaced to accommodate 32 laboratories, five classrooms and 125 individual offices. The structure originally housed the School of Forestry, the Department of Horticulture, Entomology, Fertilizer Control, the offices of the staff of the Agriculture Editor and administrative offices. The exterior of the building is constructed of shot-sawn Indiana limestone with a Texolite interior. It was windowless and fully air-conditioned (the windowless exterior was a trade-off for including air-conditioning to the building).
Included in the building's dedication program was an essay named "The Philosophy of Abundance" which began with the following introduction: This building is one of Agriculture's cradles in its world-wide fight against hunger and want. The architect, the bricklayer, the hewers of stone and "the carriers of water," had you asked them what they were erecting as this structure took form, no doubt would have answered honestly, "A place to study Agriculture." Their reply would have been only a half-truth. The President of this university, its Board of Curators, deans and planners, when they sat down and discussed how to best spend money for an agriculture building did not think of just so many classrooms, laboratories, offices, desks, so much research equipment. They saw in their planning what this building when completed would mean to Missouri, and, of course, to the world. They saw a structure, not so much wherein test tubes would rattle in laboratories, nor where professors would counsel ambitious youth, nor where theories in research would be proved or disproved. They saw beyond those things to a hungry world. More
On February 2, 1987, university officials designated this newly designed space (then called "Conley Plaza") to be a "speaker's corner," allowing anyone to speak there without a permit. The spaces created by and between campus buildings contribute as much to MU’s “sense of place” as the buildings themselves. Since the early 1980s, MU has taken bold steps in developing its open spaces and creating more green space on the campus. The South Quadrangle, Kuhlman Court, Speakers Circle and Lowry Mall are dramatic examples of both effective planning and taking advantage of opportunities. See a free speech event.
The idea of a Union originated on the campus during the 1915-16 school year. In 1916 the constitution of the Union was approved and temporary headquarters were set up in the Columbia Club building at Ninth and Elm Street where it remained until after W.W.I.
After the war, the idea of a Union was revived as a memorial to those who had given their lives in the war. The plans included the Memorial Union Tower as it stands today, with the Union Facilities on either side. One side was meant to be a women’s Union and the other side a men’s. Included in the plans were lounge facilities, conference rooms and sleeping quarters for guests of the university. The approximate cost of the facility was $725,000.
The Memorial campaign for funds was started in 1921. In 1923, the project was expanded to include a new football stadium. The work on the tower began in 1923 and was completed in 1926 at a cost of $288,000. The Memorial Stadium was also completed in 1926 and dedicated on Nov. 20.
Lack of funds and materials plagued the project after completion of the tower and stadium. In an effort to create new interest, ground was broken for the north wing of the Union on Homecoming Day 1930. However, construction was again slowed by the advent of the depression and the Second World War.
After W.W.II plans were revived for the North Wing and it was completed and occupied in September of 1952. The South Wing was completed in August of 1963, thirty-three years after the ground breaking ceremonies.
he idea of a Union was originated on the campus during the 1915-16 school year. The work on the tower began in 1923 and was completed in 1926. The North Wing was completed in 1952 and the South Wing in 1963, thirty-three years after the ground breaking ceremonies. More
Walkway between Curtis and Schlundt Halls
Designed and constructed in 1939, Curtis Hall was named after Winterton C. Curtis, Professor of Zoology and expert witness called to the Scopes "Monkey" Trial in 1925. Today several offices are housed in Curtis Hall including the Department of Plant Sciences.
Schlundt Hall was designed and constructed in 1922. The building was named after Herman Schlundt, Professor and Chemistry Department Chairman. Historical/alternate names include Chemical Laboratory and Chemistry Building.
Located off Lowry Mall, the Fine Arts building houses the Departments of Art, Music and Theater. Constructed in 1958, the building's historical/alternative name was the Arts Building. Facilities inside the building include the Bingham Gallery and Rhynsburger Theater, named after long-time professor Donovan Rhynsburger. During his forty-three year tenure as director of the University Theater, Rhynsburger also served as Chairman of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art and taught undergraduate and graduate classes as well as founding and directing the celebrated "Missouri Workshop Theater." Take in a show at the Rhynsburger for a chance to catch a rising star, such as Jon Hamm, who preformed there when he attended MU.
Beetle Bailey Statue Beer Mug
Located near the front entrance of the Reynolds Alumni Building is the statue of cartoon character Beetle Bailey and the surrounding gardens, which pay tribute to The Shack, a student hangout located nearby which burned to the ground in the late 80's. It is supposed that Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey and one of MU's distinguished alums, hung out there and used this as a model for Beetle Bailey's hangout. While visiting the garden, check out the names and graffiti carved on the table. More
MU Power Plant
The MU Power Plant has been providing steam and electricity for the MU campus from its current location since 1923. The plant originally was equipped with four small coal-fired boilers and two steam turbines. Today the plant is equipped with six boilers, four steam turbine generators, two gas turbine generators with steam heat recovery and five deep wells providing steam, electricity and water to the MU campus. Learn more
A.P. Green Chapel
Dedicated on October 11, 1959, AP Green Chapel was built as part of the growing Memorial Student Union. Uses of the chapel were included in the dedication ceremony program and included: 1: For meditation and prayer by individuals. 2: For programs during Religion-in-Life Week. 3: For devotional services of a special and occasional nature by any group with university affiliations, with the understanding that such services by any one group may not be regularly recurring. 4: For memorial services, funerals, or weddings of persons with university affiliations. Learn more.
Reserve AP Green Chapel.
Tiger Grotto, Student Rec Complex
With aspirations to make the Student Recreation Complex experience more memorable, 100-years worth of buildings were combined and transformed into one community. Several different leisure neighborhoods give the Recreation Complex a distinct personality. The much-anticipated Mizzou Aquatic Center was just one of the additions that make MizzouRec a great place to practice a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about Tiger Grotto. Learn more about the Student Recreation Center.
Stanley Hall was designed in 1958 and dedicated March 24, 1961. The building was named after Louise Stanley, former Dean of Home Economics. Stanley Hall’s historical/alternate name was the Home Economics Building. Today Stanley Hall houses the Child Development Lab and HES Departments of Architectural Studies and Textile and Apparel Management. More
The Sanford F. Conley House in Columbia, Missouri is an ornate eighteenth century residence in the Italianate architectural style. Built in 1868 as a residence for the Conley family, the house was near the University of Missouri campus. After being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 the house was purchased by the university. More
Tiger Plaza Tiger
Acclaimed wildlife sculptor Forest Hart was selected as the sculptor of the plaza's tiger statue after a national search. Construction of Tiger Plaza began in May 2002 and was dedicated on Homecoming Weekend, October 25, 2002. The 6 x 11 foot bronze tiger statue is the focal point of the plaza. More than 2,225 proud MAA life member alumni and friends of the university contributed to the funding of Tiger Plaza. More
Donald W. Reynolds Alumni Center
The building was dedicated in 1992 and named after Donald W. Reynolds, BJ1927, founder and chairman of the Donrey Media Group. Reynolds provided the largest donation ($9 million) in MU's history (at the time) for the construction of the Alumni Center. More
John Brough Miller's Sculpture on Lowry Mall, "Yielding Spire"
Miller's Yielding Spire was part of the revitalization of Lowry Street into Lowry Mall in the mid-80's. More
South Staircase, Jesse Hall
The new Academic Hall (or Jesse Hall as we now call it) was dedicated in 1895 and replaced the original Academic Hall, which burnt to the ground and left only columns in 1892. At the time, the new Academic Hall was located at the extreme south end of the campus. The original layout of the building included a 1,500 seat chapel, library and suites of rooms "for the young women". The central portion of the building was devoted to lecture rooms and offices. Read more
School of Journalism Archway, Walter Williams Hall
The University of Missouri is widely known as the world's first school of journalism in 1908. Williams, first dean of the school, believed that journalism education should be professionalized and provided at a university. Toward that end, with the blessing of the University of Missouri and the state legislature as well as financial help from the Missouri Press Association, Williams started the school in September of that year. More
Engineering Marker, Francis Quadrangle
The stone Shamrock was a campus stunt by MU engineering students during the annual celebration in 1920. The shamrock is a derivative of St. Patrick. It has been associated with MU Engineering for over 100 years. Learn more
Lafferre Hall (main east entrance)
Built in 1892 with architectural consultant MF Bell, the building has also been referred to as Engineering East. A fixture of Francis Quadrangle, Laffere Hall has had more than six additions since 1892. Learn more
David R. Francis Memorial, North Side Francis Quadrangle
As a tribute to former governor of Missouri, David R. Francis, a statue stands at the north entrance of Jesse Hall, honoring his successful fight to keep the University of Missouri campus in Columbia after the burning of Academic Hall. More about Francis.
Statue for Tau Beta Pi, the honors engineering fraternity
The statue (located on the Quad outside Engineering) is called the "bent" of Tau Beta Pi and it is "in honor of all outstanding future engineers," or so the description says. It is the nation's second oldest honor society and only one to encompass the entire engineering profession. Learn more about Tau Beta Pi and the history of the College of Engineering.
Constructed in 1892, Swallow Hall was originally known as the as the School of Commerce building. Swallow Hall is currently the home of the Museum of Anthropology - including a permanent exhibition gallery which focuses on Native American cultures from across North America and Missouri history from 11,200 years
ago to the present. More about the history of Swallow Hall.
Hulston Hall (School of Law)
After Academic Hall was destroyed by fire in 1892, plans for a law building went into the works. The “Law Barn,” as it was called, was completed in 1893. Due to increasing success of the School, it quickly outgrew these facilities. Today, it houses the Sociology Department. A new building, Tate Hall, was completed in 1927 to accommodate the growth. It remained the School's home for six decades. In 1988, John K. Hulston Hall was constructed and the school became one of the most state-of-the-art law schools in the nation. Learn more about the history of the School of Law.
The official University gates at Elm Street
The etching is part of the pillars that flank the entrance. Until 2010, the cornerstone of Academic Hall was part of one of the pillars. In the fall of 2010 the cornerstone found a new home on the main floor of Jesse Hall. Learn more.
Mizzou Legacy Walk
During the Mizzou Alumni Association’s 150th anniversary the organization searched for a project to generate additional revenue for student scholarships. They found the opportunity right outside its door. The walkway leading up to the Reynolds Alumni Center was transformed into the Mizzou Legacy Walk, dedicated during Homecoming Weekend October 19, 2007. 2,576 bricks donated by alumni and Tiger fans are featured in the Mizzou Legacy Walk project. More
Memorial Union Tower
Original construction plans, approved by the Alumni Association in 1916, called for a tower flanked by north and south wings. The underlying concept of a student union was a Campus location for alumni and undergraduates to interact. The tower, finished in 1926, became a memorial when the names of 116 students killed in World War I were engraved in its stone arch. Construction of the south wing began in 1930, but soon after the foundation was laid, work was halted by the Depression. Read more
The Residence on Francis Quadrangle
As the oldest building on the oldest public university campus west of the Mississippi River, the Residence on Francis Quadrangle reflects the rich history of the University of Missouri. It is the cornerstone of the 18 red-brick buildings that comprise the Quadrangle's nationally recognized historic district.
The Residence has played host to many national and international figures. In 1902, Mark Twain dined there while on campus to receive an honorary degree. President Harry S Truman stayed in the Residence during a visit in 1950, and Eleanor Roosevelt rested and changed for dinner in an upstairs bedroom in 1959. More
Designed in 1935 and constructed in 1936, the building was dedicated on November 21, 1936. It was originally built as a K-12 laboratory school, and the university adapted the building for use by the College of Education in the early 1970s. In 1986, the building was named after Loran G. Townsend, Dean of the College of Education from 1946-1963. In the past, the building has been called the Education Building, Practice School, University High and the University Laboratory School. More
New Student Center
In April 2005, MU students voted to renovate and expand the existing Brady Commons building. Phase I of the project opened January 5, 2009. The new student center project is a multi-phase project involving new construction at Hitt and Rollins and the demolition and renovation of what was once Brady Commons. New construction built on the original footprint merges with the expanded structure to create a student center twice the size of the former building. Read more about the New Student Center.
Archway between Mumford Hall and Waters Hall
Mumford Hall was built in 1922 and was named after Dean F.B. Mumford, Dean of Agriculture and Federal Foods Administration for Missouri during WW1. Waters Hall was built in 1908 and was named after Henry J. Waters, dean of Agriculture. More on Mumford Hall. More on Waters Hall.
Dan Devine Pavilion, Indoor Practice Facility
Standing on the southwest corner of the Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road intersection, the pavilion is the indoor home for the football, baseball, softball and soccer teams. A 69,876 gross-square foot structure, the pavilion stands some five-stories tall and with a playing area large enough for the football team to hold full-scale practices and the baseball and softball teams to lay out regulation infields. Architects and planners borrowed design ideas from the practice facilities used by Notre Dame and the St. Louis Rams, including the incorporation of a raised-barrel roof allowing a "clear punting and kicking zone." More
South-facing doors to Neff Hall
Neff Hall is one of four buildings associated with the School of Journalism. It was also the first building donated to the university by one of its alumnus, Jay Neff's son, Ward. In addition to Neff Hall, the journalism school is comprised of Walter Williams Hall, Gannett Hall and Lee Hills Hall.
Ceiling of North/South Jesse Hall Porticos
Jesse Hall, completed in 1895, was built as a replacement to Academic Hall, which was destroyed by fire in 1892. Originally named "New Academic Hall," it was renamed in 1922 after University President Richard Jesse. While the two porticos, the ceiling of one pictured, are located at the north and south entrances to the building, Jesse Hall's most notable feature is its dome, which stands nine stories tall and is actually taller than the building itself.
MO-AG Plaza, so named in honor of the MO-AG
(Missouri Agribusiness Association) Committee of 100.
The MO-AG Plaza, outside the Bond Life Sciences Center, was dedicated in September 2004. One hundred individual contributors combined their donations under the MO-AG umbrella to get the project underway.
The Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the corner of College Avenue and Rollins Road was named for Missouri Senator Christopher S. Bond. It was constructed in 2004 and houses researchers from twelve departments and representing six different schools and colleges, including the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the School of Medicine and the College of Human and Environmental Sciences. The building’s award-winning design is also home to state-of-the-art laboratories, meeting areas and even a popular student café. Read more about the Bond Life Sciences Center.
Spires of Memorial Union Tower
The four spires adorning the top of Memorial Union tower are commonly found on Gothic structures, associated with martial power, piety and wealth. Each wall of Memorial Union is also decorated with four inverted torches, which are both an ancient Greek symbol of life and truth as well as a common funerary motif. Read more about the Memorial Union.
Jesse Hall Dome (inside view)
Jesse Hall, first called the new Academic Hall as provided by the 37th General Assembly, was dedicated on Tuesday, June 4, 1895. Various dome designs were proposed (see plans). The final dome stands 180 feet above the level of the ground.
Thomas Jefferson Statue on the Quad
Located near Jefferson’s original tombstone on Francis Quadrangle, MU’s Thomas Jefferson statue, created by Colorado sculptor George Lundeen, was a gift from the trustees of the Jefferson Club.
School of Journalism Chinese Lion
This is one of two stone lions, which once guarded a Confucian temple in Nanking, China. The pair was given to the School of Journalism by the Chinese government as an act of international goodwill May 7, 1931, during the 22nd annual Journalism Week.
Memorial Union Tower
Original construction plans, approved by the Alumni Association in 1916, called for a tower flanked by north and south wings. The underlying concept of a student union was a Campus location for alumni and undergraduates to interact. The tower, finished in 1926, became a memorial when the names of 116 students killed in World War I were engraved in its stone arch. Construction of the south wing began in 1930, but soon after the foundation was laid, work was halted by the Depression.
MU Cast Gallery in Pickard Hall
MU's Department of Art History and Archaeology owns about 150 plaster casts, mainly of famed Greek and Roman works. John Pickard, founder of the department in 1892, chose several of the casts while traveling through Europe in 1895, then purchased the rest of the collection in 1902. Four of the casts were also gifts from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 1973. The collection was put into storage during the Depression, but the Museum of Art and Archaeology was re-established in 1957 and the casts were unveiled once again. They are currently on long-term loan from the Department to the Museum.