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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

Marvin Hall
Dedicated to James and F.O. Marvin

Engineering classes were taught at KU since 1869, first in Fraser Hall, then the Powerhouse, then Fowler Shops, and finally in old Blake Hall. In 1908 four University buildings were under construction to meet the needs of 2,000 students, and this engineering building was Marvin Hallone of them. It was designed so that floors were supported on the load-bearing walls of the main corridor. Room partitions could thus be changed as needed, making every cubic foot of the floor space usable. The new Collegiate Gothic structure was immediately named Marvin Hall to honor F.O. Marvin, son of Chancellor James Marvin and dean of the School of Engineering since its founding in 1891.

After the engineering school moved to Learned Hall in 1963, the newly organized School of Architecture resided in Marvin Hall, but the building was unsuited to its needs. The building was totally renovated and reopened in 1982 at two-thirds the cost of a new building, a notably successful adaptive re-use venture for students, professors, and architects. In 1981 Marvin Hall was rededicated to both James and F.O. Marvin.

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Kansas Union
Location: West end of Jayhawk Boulevard

Occupied : 1908

Architect: John F. Stanton, State Architect; interior arrangement by Dean F.O. Marvin

Contractor: Manhattan Construction Co., George E. Hopper and Sons, Manhattan, KS

Levels: Four

Exterior walls: Oread limestone quarried near site, squared; trim of Silverdale stone

Structure: Oread limestone, squared

Roof: Red composition tile behind parapet; gable, cross gables and finials at ends

Window surrounds: Cut and tooled limestone lintels and pointed arches, sides and lugsills; belt course over lower-level windows

Door surrounds: Flat arch, brick; decorative panels

Entry:Three stories; four fluted Ionic columns surrounded by cast-iron architrave and decorated pediment

Renovation Architects: Gould & Evans

Renovation Contractor: DiCarlo Construction, Kansas City MO