Campus of Iowa State University

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The medallion located in Central Campus, immediately to the west of Curtiss Hall

The Iowa State University campus contains over 160 buildings, several of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] Iowa State University's campus, specifically its Central Campus, has been recognized as one of the nation's most beautiful and was listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1999.[2]


Iowa State's main campus features 490 acres of trees, plants and classically designed buildings. The concept of an open central campus encircled by buildings, was the vision of Iowa State's first president, Adonijah Welch. The campus is dominated by a large 20 acre central lawn known as Central Campus. Along with the University of Virginia and Yale University, ISU's central campus was listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1999. It was listed as one of 25 most beautiful sites in the United States in the book The Campus as a Work of Art.[3]

Fountain of Four Seasons[edit]

The fountain was sculpted by Christian Petersen in 1941 after a request from Iowa State President Charles Friley. The previous fountain was a vertical water tower on which students would place toilet seats. President Friley hoped that with a new, beautiful fountain, students would no longer make jokes of it.

Lake LaVerne[edit]

Named for Dr. LaVerne W. Noyes, who also donated the funds to see that Alumni Hall could be completed after sitting unfinished and unused from 1905 to 1907. Dr. Noyes is an 1872 alumnus. Lake LaVerne is located west of the Memorial Union and south of Alumni Hall, Carver Hall, and Music Hall. The lake was a gift from Dr. Noyes in 1916.

Lake LaVerne is the home of two mute swans named Sir Lancelot and Elaine, donated to Iowa State by VEISHEA 1935.[4] In 1944, 1970, and 1971 cygnets (baby swans) made their home on Lake LaVerne. Previously Sir Lancelot and Elaine were Trumpeter Swans but were too aggressive and in 1999 were replaced with two mute swans. In early 2002 Sir Lancelot suffered a broken foot from chasing a campus lawnmower. Sir Lancelot underwent surgery at Iowa State's College of Veterinary Medicine, but after months of physical therapy efforts in returning him to Lake LaVerne were unsuccessful.[5] Early spring 2003 Lake LaVerne welcomed is new and current mute swan duo. However, in support of DNR efforts to re-establish the trumpeter swans in Iowa, university officials avoided bringing breeding pairs of male and female mute swans to Iowa State which means the current Sir Lancelot and Elaine are both female.[6]

Marston Water Tower[edit]

Marston Water Tower and Hoover Hall

Iowa State is the home of the first elevated steel water tank west of the Mississippi River. Named the Marston Water Tower, it was erected in 1897 under the supervision and design of Anson Marston. The water tower was constructed due to a severe water shortage in 1895 that forced cancellation of classes. In 1978, the water tower was disconnected when the university switched to municipal water. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1982 and restored in 1987.[7]

The water tower stands 168 feet (51 m) tall on an octagonal base. The tank holds 162,000 US gallons (613 m³) and is 24 feet (7 m) in diameter and 40 feet (12 m) tall. When full, the ~72,400 cubic feet (2,050 m³) of water would weigh 2,050 t.

Reiman Gardens[edit]

Main article: Reiman Gardens

Roy Reiman is a 1957 graduate of Iowa State in agriculture journalism and he is the founder of Reiman Publications. The Reiman Gardens are named for Roy and his wife Bobbi who donated $1.3 million to begin their development. Located south of Jack Trice Stadium. Opened in 1995, the gardens have grown to become the largest public garden in the state. The popular Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing was opened in November 2002.

Veenker Memorial Golf Course[edit]

Named for George F. Veenker, head football coach at Iowa State from 1931 to 1936. He was also Athletic Director from 1933 until 1945. The golf course was completed in 1938 and given its current name in 1959.

Research farm[edit]

The Western Iowa Experimental Farm is to be found in Castana.

Current buildings[edit]

This is an incomplete listing of buildings at Iowa State University. Click on the building title for additional building information.

Building Year Square footage Named for Occupied by Picture
Administrative Services Building 1998 47,861 IT Services
Agronomy Hall 1952 262,568 Agronomy, Environmental Science, Meteorology Isu Agronomy Hall.jpg Agronomy Hall southeast.jpg
2008 34,500 Alumni Association Alumni center Iowa State University.jpg
1956 8,811 Ellen H. Richards
Benjamin R. Andrews
Human Services Andrew richard house Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science I 1965 49,704 Microelectronics Research Center Applied1 Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science II 1990 48,145 Center for Nondestructive Evaluation Applied2 Iowa State University.jpg
Applied Science III 1994 12,374 Center for Nondestructive Evaluation Applied3 Iowa State University.jpg
1924 89,563 Public Safety, Military Science, Art/Design Gigantic American Flag.jpg
1969 39,451 John Vincent Atanasoff Computer Science Atanasoff Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year Square-
Named for Occupied by Picture
1918 23,769 Clara Barton Residency
1906 104,209 William Miller Beardshear University Administration Isubeardshear2008.jpg
2004 88,195 Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Athletics Bergstrom Iowa State University.jpg Bergstrom2 Iowa State University.jpg
1967 167,867 Charles E. Bessey Botany, Ecology Besseyhall.jpg Bessey Hall north.jpg
1964 122,504 Athletics, Recreational Services
Biorenewables Research Center 2010 72,979 Biorenewables Research
Birch Hall 1923 40,574 Residency
1985 117,941 Henry M. Black Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Black Hall Courtyard (Iowa State University).jpg Black Engineering Building northeast.jpg
Buchanan Hall 1964 94,573 Residency Buchanan Hall north.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1898 755 Music ISU campanile.jpg ISU campanile up.jpg ISU campanile inside.jpg
1969 133,454 George Washington Carver Mathematics Carverhall.jpg
1893 29,432 Carrie Chapman Catt Liberal Arts and Sciences ISU Catt Hall.jpg
1964 59,713 Iowa Public Radio, University Relations, ISU News Service Communications Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Crop Genome Informatics Laboratory 1961 8,032 Agronomy Administration
1950 107,858 Electrical & Computer Engineering CooverHalladdition Iowa State University.JPG
Curtiss Hall 1909 102,338 Charles F. Curtiss Agriculture/ Economics/ Anthropology Curtiss Hall west steps.jpg Curtiss Hall sign.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1922 39,359 J. Brownlee Davidson Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering Davidson Hall south.jpg
1978 163,028 Architecture, Art and Design, Community and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture Isu design building.jpg Design Building Iowa State University.jpg ISU Design Center.jpg
1989 108,200 Charles W. and Marge Henningson Durham Electrical and Computer Engineering Durham Center east.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1906 29,888 Anthropology, Sociology
1907 26,162 Admissions, Orientation, Records and registration Studentenrollment.jpg ISU Alumni Hall.jpg
2002 86,380 Gordon Pryor Eaton Residency Eaton Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Environmental Health and Safety Building 2005 35,110 Environmental Health and Safety
Extension 4-H Building 2003 23,356 4-H Extension
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1865 7,020 University Museums Farm House Museum south sign.jpg
1973 22,404 J. W. Fisher Iowa State Center Fisher theater Iowa State University.JPG
Food Sciences Building 1928 137,478 Food Sciences Food Sciences Building, Iowa State University (2005).jpg Foodscience.jpg
1940 138,703 Barbara E. Forker Kinesiology, Athletics Forker Hall south entrance.jpg
Frederiksen Court 2000 21,130 x 23 buildings Residency Frederiksen Court building.jpg
1916 27,594 Alice Freeman Residency
1985 363,963 Charles Edwin Friley Residency Friley Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
2003 113,800 Russell and Ann Gerdin Business College Westgerdin.jpg Gerdin.jpg
1914 259,293 Henry Gilman Chemistry Gillman Hall, exterior view.jpg
General Services Building 1933 135,154 Facilities Planning & Maintenance Generalservices.jpg
Genetics Lab 1933 15,948 Entomology
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1940 40,031 Carl Hamilton Greenlee School of Journalism, Iowa State Daily Hamilton Hall east.jpg
Hach Hall 2008 136,287 Clifford Hach ('47 chemical technology) and Kathryn Hach Darrow Chemistry Hach Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
1970 61,448 Economics, Sociology Heady Hall.jpg
1958 151,250 Maurice D. Helser Residency Helser Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
1971 241,671 James H. Hilton Iowa State Center, Athletics Hilton Coliseum.jpg Hilton basketball.jpg
2007 40,528 Christina Hixson Dean of Students, Athletics Hixson-Lied Academic center.jpg
2004 81,817 Gary Hoover Engineering admin, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Hoover Hall sign.jpg
Horticulture Hall 1915 68,830 Horticulture Horticulture Hall ISU A.JPG Horticulture Hall ISU B.JPG
1999 192,944 Stanley Howe Engineering admin, Aerospace Engineering, Virtual Reality Applications Center Howe Hall east.jpg Howe Hall southeast.jpg
1892 5,978 Dining The Hub.jpg
Human Nutrition Building 1992 34,374 Food Science
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Industrial Education II 1926 44,234 Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering Industrail Education Building II, Iowa State University.JPG
Insectary Lab 1928 18,572 Entomology Insectary, Iowa State University.JPG
Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion 1918 11,011 Animal Science Iowa farm pavillion.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1996 45,499 Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Department
2002 8,880 Martin C. Jischke Honors Program Jishcke Honors North.JPG Jishcke Honros South.JPG
1973 64,439 Jack Trice Athletic Department JTcomplex.jpg Jack Trice Stadium, daytime.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Kildee Hall 1965 49,193 Animal Science Kildeehall.jpg Kildee Hall south.jpg
Knapp-Storms Dining Complex 1966 183,973 Dining Knapp Storms Dining ISU.JPG
1901 13,342 President's Residency Knoll.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1983 16,336 Faculty Senate Labofmech.jpg
1912 115,893 Virgil S. Lagomarcino Psychology, Education
Landscape Architecture Building 1901 11,494 English Landscapearch.jpg Landscape Architecture west.jpg
1990 236,201 Recreational Services, Athletics LiedRecreation.jpg
1915 24,042 Mary B. Lyon Residency
Larch Hall 1971 101,228 Residency
LeBaron Hall 1958 61,547 Helen LeBaron Hilton Family and Consumer Science LeBaron.jpg
Linden Hall 1957 103,829 Residency
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
MacKay Hall 1911 86,386 Family and Consumer Science, Human Development & Family Studies
1967 101,229 Residency
1903 59,769 Anson Marston Engineering administration Marston Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
2004 88,777 Archie and Nancy Martin Residency Martin Residence Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
2007 316,713 Memorial Union, Dining ISU Memorial Union.jpg Memorial Union east.jpg Memorial Union north.jpg
1992 206,086 Molecular Biology Molecular Biology Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg
1891 27,172 Justin Smith Morrill Museum Morrillhall.jpg
1980 62,005 Music Music Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1934 17,453 Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering ISU Nuclear Engineering Laboratory.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1950 29,155 Baker Center, Library, Psychology Office and Lab south.jpg
1975 38,850 Athletics Olsentxoffice.jpg
1938 137,120 Residency
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Palmer Building 2000 34,352 Human Development
1925 325,488 W. Robert Parks Library Parks Library.jpg Isu parks library.jpg
1962 79,848 Raymond A. Pearson Human Development, World Languages Pearson Hall, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Power Plant Facilities Planning & Maintenance Isupowerplant.jpg Power Plant south.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Complex Complex Anna E. Richardson Residency Complex
Roberts Hall 1936 40,574 Residency Roberts Residence Hall Iowa State University.jpg
1973 85,861 Earle D. Ross English, Political Science, History Ross Hall south.jpg
2004 Roy J. Carver
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1975 123,392 Carl Scheman Iowa State Center Schemanbuilding.jpg
Schilletter/University Village complex complex Residency apartments
Science I 1916 95,086 Geology Science Hall south.jpg
Science II 1972 123,487 Natural Resources Management, Entomology Science Hall II, Iowa State University A.JPG Science Hall II, Iowa State University B.JPG
Seed Science 1977 40,794 Seed Science Seedscience.jpg
1883 3,840 Margaret Sloss Women's Studies Sloss House sign.jpg
1939 39,176 George W. Snedecor Statistics Snedecor Hall north.jpg
1953 107,630 Frank H. Spedding Statistics
1913 66,595 Recreational Services
1969 66,595 Clifford Y. Stephens Iowa State Center Stephensauditorium.jpg
Student Services Building 1918 34,311 Dean of Students Studentservice.jpg Isustudentservices.jpg Student Services Building southeast.jpg
Sukup Basketball Complex 2009 38,589 Sukup family[26] Athletics
1927 109,540 Orland Russell Sweeney Chemical Engineering Sweeney Hall.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Thielen Student Health Center 1997 33,238 Student Health Student Health Center.jpg
Complex Complex Residency Complex ISU Towers.jpg
1971 110,452 George R. Town Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Town Engineering Building, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Transit Hub 2002 463 Public Safety Transithub.jpg
Troxel Hall 2012 21,175 Douglas Troxel, '64 All departments Troxel Hall.JPG
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
2003 Residency Union Drive Community Center, Iowa State Campus.jpg
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1976 347,613 Veterinary Medicine
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
1967 103,778 Henry A. Wallace Residency Wallace Hall ISU.JPG
1929 40,574 Mary B. Welch Residency
1949 56,541 Harley A. Wilhelm IPRT
Willow Hall 1969 101,229 Residency
1967 103,778 James Wilson Residency Wilson Hall, Iowa State University.JPG
Building Year
Named for Occupied by Picture
Zaffarano Physics Addition 1968 79,268 Daniel J. Zaffarano Physics

Past buildings[edit]

Past buildings
Building Year
Cause Named for Occupied by Picture
1884 2004 Demolished English/ Business
Old Main 1874 1902 Burnt down Administration
1966 2005 Imploded Albert Boynton Storms Residency
1966 2005 Imploded Seaman Asahal Knapp Residency


Year Event
1860 Construction starts on Farm House
1884 Construction of English Office Building finished
1891 Construction of Morrill Hall finished
1891 First run of Dinkey on July 4
1892 Addition made to the English Office Building
1892 Construction of The Hub
1895 Severe water shortage; classes cancelled; spurred construction of the Marston Water Tower
1897 Construction for the Campanile was started on Central Campus
1897 Construction of the Marston Water Tower
1903 Construction of Marston Hall finished
1904 Construction first started on what would be the Alumni Hall
1897 End of operation of Dinkey; start of operation of an electric streetcar
1908 Construction of Central Building finished
1908 President's, Vice President's, and Treasurer's offices moved from Office Building to Beardshear Hall
1920 Edgar W. Stanton dies and 26 bells are added to the carillon in the Campanile (36 bells total)
1929 Construction of the Memorial Union finished
1938 Central Building renamed to Beardshear Hall
1940 English department moves into Office Building and is renamed to English Office Building
1941 The Fountain of Four Seasons is sculpted by Christian Petersen.
1954 13 more bells were added to the carillon in the Campanile (49 bells total)
1967 Bessey Hall opens for use
1967 1 more bell was added to the carillon in the Campanile (50 bells total)
1969 Construction of Stephens Auditorium finished
1973 English and speech departments relocate from English Office Building to Ross Hall & Pearson Hall, respectively.
1978 Alumni Hall placed on the National Register of Historic Places
1978 The Marston Water Tower is disconnected from use
1982 The Marston Water Tower is added to the National Register of Historic Places
1983 Marston Hall placed on the National Register of Historic Places
1984 Library named the W. Robert and Ellen Sorge Parks Library
1996 Morrill Hall determined unsafe for occupancy
1997 Restoration of the Marston Water Tower
1999 Central Campus is listed as a "medallion site" by the American Society of Landscape Architects
2003 Control of the Memorial Union was transferred to ISU
2004 English Office Building demolished
2004 The Gerdin Business Building, a new high-tech 111,000 square foot (10,000 m²) building equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, opens to provide more space for the collage which was previously located in Carver Hall.
2005 Two of the Towers residence halls, Knapp and Storms, demolished by implosion
2007 Newly renovated Morill Hall holds grand opening; houses Christian Petersen Art Museum[31]
2009 Renovations of Snedecor Hall are to be completed and the building is to be opened in May
2013 Renovations of MacKay Hall and Lagomarcino Hall begin[32][33]


  1. ^ It's a Fact: Iowa State University. Iowa State University website.
  2. ^ Gaines, Thomas (1991). The Campus as a Work of Art. New York: Praeger Publishers. p. 155. 
  3. ^ "History of Campus Buildings at Iowa State University". Iowa State University. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  4. ^ Swans from the Iowa State Library’s special exhibits section
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Christian, Michele. "From Prairie Sod to Campus Cornerstones: WATER TOWER". Iowa State University Special Collections Department. Retrieved October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Iowa State Alumni Association". Iowa State Foundation. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Bergstrom Indoor Facility". Iowa State University. 
  11. ^ "Beyer gymnastics facility". Iowa State University. 
  12. ^ "Beyer Pool". Iowa State University. 
  13. ^ Iowa State University Library. "History of the Campanile"
  14. ^ Iowa State University Alumni Association. "Ring Symbolism"
  15. ^ Iowa State University Alumni Association. "Official University Mace"
  16. ^ Iowa State Daily
  17. ^ ISU Facility Planning & Maintenance
  18. ^ "College of Engineering Virtual Tour: Coover Hall". Iowa State University. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  19. ^ "Coover Building Renovation". Iowa State University. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  20. ^ "Alumni Hall". Iowa State University. 
  21. ^ a b c "Center Facts" (PDF). Iowa State Center. Retrieved 2009-04-01. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Hixson-Lied". Iowa State University. 
  23. ^ "Jacobson Athletic Building". Iowa State University. 
  24. ^ ISU only I-A school to honor African-American in stadium name
  25. ^ "Lied Recreation Center". Iowa State University. 
  26. ^ Gieseke, Dave (October 19, 2009). "Iowa State University basketball complex dedication ceremonies held; lead gift announced". Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^,235
  30. ^ a b Lund, Eric. "Towers demolition goes smoothly in front of 10,000 viewers." Iowa State Daily, November 13, 2003.
  31. ^ "Morill Hall to reopen." Iowa State Daily, March 7, 2007.
  32. ^ Campbell, Lynn (February 14, 2013). "School of Education leaders look to Lagomarcino remodel to improve visibility". Iowa State University. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  33. ^ Campbell, Lynn (March 25, 2013). "MacKay Hall remodel to bring better learning environment". Iowa State University. 


Coordinates: 42°01′35″N 93°38′47″W / 42.02639°N 93.64639°W / 42.02639; -93.64639 (Iowa State University)