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UNL East Campus 1896 »

Home Economics Building (Old)

Vital Statistics






W. L. Campbell



Also Known As:

Woman's Building

In 1905 the Board of Regents elected to construct a new building on the Farm Campus to house laboratories and classrooms needed by the School of Domestic Science, an independent department started by Professor Rosa Bouton, a chemistry professor, in 1898. Originally begun as a nutrition course in "domestic chemistry", the program quickly developed into what would shortly become the Department of Home Economics. After starting out in the Mechanic Arts building on city campus, Univerisity administrators elected to merge the independent school into the Industrial College in 1906, and with the completion of the new Home Economics building at the farm, moved it into the College of Agriculture in 1909. The Woman's Building, as it was called during its planning and construction period, provided dormitory rooms for 40 women and included laboratories and classrooms for Home Economics instruction.

The Home Economics building was constructed of Omaha gray pressed brick with limestone trimmings, and a slate roof. Initially planned by Ferdinand Fiske and Rosa Bouton as a slightly more elegant builidng, many high cost details were converted to less expensive materials"”specifications for maple floors and oak finishing were converted to pine on the upper floors to keep costs down, and a copper cornice was converted to galvanized steel.

Initially the upper levels provided living quarters for students and even some faculty. The main floor included a public cafeteria, as well as labs and instructional space. As Home Economics expanded its course offerings to include child development, education, interior decorating, and research programs, the dormitory rooms were converted to classes, offices and laboratories. Finally, after years of working in inadequate quarters, the Legislature appropriated funds for a modern Home Economics building to be constructed on the same site. The old building was in disrepair and seriously damaged by termites. It was razed in 1973 to make way for the new facility.

Source Information:
Biennial rpt. 19th, 20th. Regents minutes, 1905-8