‘A spot we love full well:’ The history of Anderson Hall

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The sun gradually sets on Manhattan and the campus on August 9, 2016. (Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

Its bell tower peeks over the Manhattan skyline and rings out the time on the hour. Anderson Hall has greeted generations of Wildcats and visitors alike and been the backdrop to thousands of photographs over the decades. Its history tells the story of the Kansas State Agricultural College and the changes that have made it the university it is today.

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The morning light reflects off the limestone of Anderson Hall on October 2, 2015. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

A quick timeline:
– March 27, 1878: Excavation begins on north wing of Kansas State Agriculture College main building. Design was by E.T. Carr. William Ulrich, 1877 KSAC graduate, who cut the stone.
– March 1879: Building is complete at two stories high. The north wing contained English, drawing, mathematics and practical agriculture classrooms, as well as the Office of the President, cloakrooms and the college library until 1894. It was originally known as the Practical Agriculture building.
“The new building is very convenient for the purpose for which is was erected, and is a handsome structure of which, as a State, we may be proud,” said The Industrialist (the college newspaper at the time) on May 24, 1879.
– 1880: The central portion of the building containing the tower is appropriated by request through the Board of Regents.
– 1884: South wing is completed and porches on the east were built. At the time, it was the first building on campus with steam heat.

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Library inside Practical Agriculture Building c.a. 1890. (Photo Courtesy Hale Library)

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Practical Agriculture Building chapel c.a. 1888. (Photo Courtesy Special Collections)

– 1902: Anderson Hall was formally named in honor of KSAC President John A. Anderson, who served from 1873-79.
– 1908: The chapel, originally designed by then-professor of architecture John Walters, is divided to make a second floor for architecture rooms.
– 1919: A canteen and barber shop were installed in the basement and served faculty until 1924.
– 1920: A recreation center was created in the chapel area.
– 1945: Offices were constructed, with help from German prisoners of war, on the east side the porches used to occupy.
– 1965: An electronically operated 98-bell carillon installed in the tower as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Ralf Hockens of Arrington, Kansas.

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The electronically operated 98 bell-carillon still bellows out the time on the hour and melodies when instructed to from the tower of Anderson Hall on August 10, 2016. (Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

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A collection of names painted in white, engraved into the wood and even custom pieces of wood add character to the bell tower inside Anderson Hall on October 10, 2016. Some names date back to the 1920s and 30's while some show more recent dates. (Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

– 1989: The central tower is repaired
– Aug. 20, 1993: A lightning strike to the south tower results in $1.25 million in fire and water damage.
– 2013: Repairs were made to the roof and new copper edging was added.

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Flying high above Anderson Hall lawn, Trenton Heinen, sophomore in english (left), rides down a zipline with Becca Fugara, 5th year in csd. The zipline was one of the activies at this years UPC Expo on August 23, 2012. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)
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A patriotic hot air balloon glows from within as it lifts a group of students into the sky over the front lawn of Anderson Hall on May 6, 2013. Hundreds of people lined up in front of the hall to take a ride. The event was organized by the Union Program Council and was originally scheduled to take place last August, but poor weather forced the UPC to reschedule the rides. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

Currently there are 35 offices listed as housed in Anderson Hall, including the Vice President for Student Life, Women of K-State, Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Evert Nelson graduated in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2016. He worked as Photo Editor for the Summer 2016 Collegian and 2012 Royal Purple Yearbook. He also worked as staff photojournalist and reporter during his time as student.