Although Chittenden Hall is signified by a tree-limb inspired frieze that reads “Forestry,” this building was initially designed for dairy operations at the university in 1901. After dairy production moved to Farm Lane in 1913, the Department of Forestry moved into Chittenden Hall, which would be its home until 1966.
In 1969, Chittenden received its name after Professor Alfred K. Chittenden, who was the director of the university’s forestry programs for more than a decade. Now, Chittenden Hall is home to The Graduate School.
Originally built in 1857 to serve as one of four faculty homes on what was known as “Faculty Row.” Joseph R. Williams, MSU’s first president, lived in the house during his 1857-59 term, and was followed by namesake professors William James Beal, who stayed in the house for 39 years, and Ernst Bessey.
After serving as a faculty building, Cowles House transformed into a residence for women students. Now, the house is a site for important university receptions and social functions and is still the official presidential residence.
President Samuel Stanley Jr., M.D., assumed residency with his family after renovations were completed in 2020.
Etched above the entryway of Linton Hall are the words “Library-Museum,” trapped in time through the building’s brick and limestone base. When the building was erected in 1881, it was just that — the university’s first library and museum.
In 1927, when the MSU Museum was built, Linton transformed into the administration building and the president’s office for a few decades.
As the campus continued to grow in the 20th century and the new John A. Hannah Administration Building was constructed, Linton was molded yet again into its current role: offices for the College of Arts and Letters.
Once known as The Horticulture Laboratory, Eustace-Cole Hall was constructed in 1888 when MSU was still known as State Agricultural College. As the university’s agricultural roots expanded into new disciplines, Eustace-Cole Hall was reimagined for liberal arts from 1927-37 and philosophy and psychology in 1937-44. Since 1969, Eustace-Cole Hall has been the home base for the Honors College.
Like its neighbor Eustace-Cole Hall, Cook-Seevers Hall was initially used as an agricultural laboratory after it was built in 1889. Two decades later, in 1909, Cook-Seevers Hall transformed into the Entomology Building, as indicated by the concrete inscription above the building’s front door.
In 1969, the building was named Cook Hall in honor of Albert J. Cook, a pioneer of economic entomology in the United States and an MSU alumnus. Part of Laboratory Row — six buildings constructed between 1888 and 1909, the building serves as a collaborative hub for graduate students within the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.
The building underwent extensive renovations in 2018, thanks to a gift from agricultural economist Gary Seevers, restoring ceilings, walls, woodwork and period lighting to preserve the building’s historic origins.
Also situated on Laboratory Row on West Circle Drive, the original Old Botany building was constructed in 1879 and first served as Professor W.J. Beal’s botanical museum before enduring a destructive fire in 1890. Two years later, the Old Botany building as we know it today was rebuilt as a botanical laboratory.
Old Botany formerly housed the School of Journalism in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences before becoming home to one of two buildings that house the Department of Economics in the College of Social Science.
Marshall-Adams Hall was first known as the Bacteriology building and was one of the first sites in the United States dedicated to this field of research. The building was named after Charles E. Marshall, assistant professor and head of the Department of Bacteriology and Farm Hygiene.
In 2002, alumnus Randall Pittman donated $6 million to renovate the building, and dedicated the building’s namesake to Walter Adams, a guiding figure in MSU’s history.
Adams served as a professor of economics and temporary president during the tumultuous Vietnam Era when student protests were common. Adams’ leadership was so effective that he was petitioned with 20,000 signatures to hold his position. Marshall-Adams Hall now serves as the second site of the Department of Economics in addition to the Old Botany building.
The exterior of IM Sports Circle provides a peek into the past with its exterior “MAC” scrawl, which was inscribed while the university was still known as the Michigan Agricultural College. Text on the 1915 floor plans read “Gymnasium Building,” but was later known as the Women’s Gymnasium and then the Women’s IM. (The Men’s IM is now known as IM West.)
Built in 1916, IM Sports Circle wasn’t just used for physical fitness — in 1923, commencement ceremonies were held on the second floor. The facility continues to be a mainstay for recreational activities and is home to the Department for Kinesiology.
Engineering Hall was built in 1907, but on March 5, 1916, the building was ravaged in a fire. At the time, this fire hit especially hard as the building was one of the newest and most modern buildings on campus.
Under the leadership of acting president Frank S. Kedzie, a $100,000 donation was made from automotive pioneer and Oldsmobile creator Ransom Olds. Olds’ donation and advocacy for the university (at the time, Michigan Agricultural College) to the State of Michigan legislature was a turning point in MSU’s history.
The university was able to expand its curriculum through the construction of the R. E. Olds Hall of Engineering, built on the old foundation of the former Engineering building. Inside and out, it was a near replica of the original structure, with the only exception being the design of the windows near the top of the building.
Olds Hall was formally dedicated on June 1, 1917 and, today, Olds Hall is home to University Communications, the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance, and the office Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
The Human Ecology building first set down roots as Home Economics, where it provided classroom space for domestic sciences in replacement of Morrill Hall, then known as the Women’s Building. Following suit, the Home Economics building was mainly geared toward women students and served as a home base for the Division of Home Economics, which included four departments: foods and nutrition; home management and child development; institutional administration; and textile, clothing, and related arts.
Today, the Human Ecology building houses classrooms and offices for programs in the School of Planning, Design and Construction and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.