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Mechanic Arts Hall (Stout)

Vital Statistics






Grace and Kelly



Also Known As:

Stout Hall

In the 1890's few programs of study were as successful as the emerging fields in Engineering. Housed in Nebraska Hall and other small buildings on the north side of the original campus, these programs saw ever increasing enrollments with each new semester. Mechanic Arts Hall was built to house these burgeoning programs.

The north wing of the Mechanical Arts Hall was dedicated on October 28, 1898. It was situated on the north edge of the original campus, just west of the original Nebraska Hall, on the current site of Manter Hall. The building was designed as a wing of what was to become a much larger structure, however, only the north wing was constructed. The style was described by the architect, R. W. Grant, as Romanesque. The north façade, which was fully designed, employed a large central pediment and rows of arched windows. The south façade, which was designed to connect to the eventual addition, lacked any decorative elements and presented a blank face to the campus.

Mechanical Arts Hall was sited in close proximity to other engineering buildings in the area at that time, including the shops and power house, as well as Nebraska Hall. Building dimensions were 65 feet (north to south), by 125 feet (east to west). In addition to a lecture room there was a shop, a photometry laboratory, civil engineering testing laboratory, electrical laboratory, a battery room, a standardizing room, a small museum, a library, various engineering offices, the original Experiment Station office (prior to 1900), and domestic science laboratories and classrooms from 1898-1908. The building contained 28 rooms in all.

Mechanical Arts Hall was damaged by fire on several occasions, including a serious fire in 1910. The building was remodeled in 1918 and plans for the eventual addition were abandoned for good. In the early 1950's the building was remodeled once more and the old pitched roof was replaced with a flat roof. Mechanic Arts Hall was renamed in honor of Oscar Van Pelt Stout, Dean of the College of Engineering from 1912-1920.

Source Information:
Biennial report, Bd of Regents, 1895/96; Minutes; Annual rpt of the Building Committee