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Sandra Swanson Weichert's
Historic Mount Oread

Campus Building Directory

This Week in
KU History

The University
of Kansas

Strong Hall
Dedicated to Chancellor Frank Strong

The 1904 Kessler campus development plan included a site for a building to house administrative offices and arts and sciences classrooms. Strong Hall Architect M.P. McArdle designed a Renaissance structure with east and west wings and a central rotunda with a colonnade. His design provided natural lighting through large windows and skylights. Because of delays in funding, the east wing was not completed until 1911, the west wing in 1918, and the central section in 1923. The north entryway and the colonnade in the original design were never built. Called the "Ad Building" for years, it was named Strong Hall in 1938 to honor Frank Strong, Strong Hallchancellor from 1902 to 1920.

The tradition of graduates marching through the rotunda and down the hill started in 1924. While administrative offices remain in Strong Hall, classroom space has varied in use. Between 1942 and 1944 Navy Machinist Mates were quartered on the top floor and in the west wing. The stately terra cotta building has needed little repair over the years. Strong Hall was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

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Strong hall
Location: Jayhawk Boulevard

Occupied: East wing-1911; west wing-1918; central section-1923

Architects: M.P. McArdle of St. Louis; W.A. Griffith, professor of art; Charles H. Chandler and Ray L. Gamble, state architects

Contractor: 1911-Hiram Lloyd Construction, St. Louis; 1912-Collins Brothers Construction, Kansas City, Missouri; 1917-Olson-Magee Construction, Omaha

Levels: Four and a half

Structure: Yellow buff terra cotta, green decorative plaques, lion faces over doors

Roof: Flat, built-up gravel with small shed skylights behind parapet

Window surrounds: Set into terra cotta; second-story windows under flat arch with voussoirs

Main entry: Two-story decorative green terra cotta opening to rotunda