Campus architecture before ca. 1905 largely follows common designs used in 19th Century civic buildings. These early buildings were chiefly of brick masonry construction, with designs that reflect their purposes as classroom and laboratory buildings. Murrow East is an example of one such structure. Originally it featured a large roof that expedited the capture of breezes to create updrafts in the chimneys. It was clearly a building for scientific laboratories.
Most buildings that date from ca. 1905 to 1940 reflect the various "revivalist" styles of architecture, chiefly Classical and Georgian. Some, such as Bryan Hall, are highly eclectic and combine several of the styles. These buildings had a variety of uses - again many included labs - and were build employing several structural methods, including masonry, steel frame, and reinforced concrete. Many are the designs of two WSU Professors of Architecture, Rudolf Weaver and Stanley Smith.
The latest building of a revivalist style was Wegner Hall, with a design that basically follows Wilson Hall; it was built in 1941-43. Next to it stands McCoy Hall, built at the same time, but of a "modern" design. All buildings that are newer than these two follow some form of modern, functional lines, beginning with Dana Hall in 1947. Almost all these buildings are fully-stressed reinforced concrete structures, with face brick exteriors, or at least brick panels. Exceptions to the use of brick are several dormitories of painted concrete, the College of Agriculture building group, and three buildings along College Street that have exteriors of off-white crushed rock cast panels.
A portion of the following text is adapted from an unpublished "Historic Survey and Analysis" by the Task Force for Historic Preservation, Washington State University. February 12th, 1985.
|Named for Fred Bohler, the nationally known WSU Coach and Director of Athletics who devoted forty-two years to physical education and sports at WSU. Bohler gym has played a significant role in the history of Cougar sports. Housing a basketball court, swimming pool handball courts and offices, it still has an important role in WSU athletics.
This massive red brick building is ornamented with terra cotta and cut stone. The Renaissance Revival window surrounded with alternating plain and broken pediments are surprisingly opulent. The original entrance with sculptural decoration faced west.
The architect, Stanley Smith, was the second University architect. Between 1924 and 1947, he completed fourteen major buildings at WSU. Bohler was the first of the three athletics buildings he built on the north side of the campus including Hollingbery Fieldhouse, and Smith Gym.
|Bryan Hall, built in 1909, is symbolically the dominant structure of the historic campus core. Originally built as the principal library and assembly hall, it commemorates Dr. E. A. Bryan, who served as University president from 1893 to 1916 and was responsible for the development of WSU into a major education institution. It was designed by the leading Spokane architect, J. K. Dow, who followed traditions already established at WSU, yet gave the building an individual character. This highly eclectic building is not dominated by a single style. The broad bracketed eaves, the round arched windows link it with the Italianate Style. The tall clock tower is clearly related to the Italian Campanile. Particularly fine is the elaborate bracketing under the eaves which may even have resulted from an oriental inspiration.|
|Carpenter Hall was one of seven buildings designed by the first University architect and first chair of the Architecture Department, Rudolph Weaver. As a cost-saving measure, it was planned as a twin to Wilson Hall, but because of wartime building restrictions, neither was completed until 1926. First known as Mechanic Arts building, it was named in 1949 after H. V. Carpenter, the first dean of the College of Mechanic Arts and Engineering.
The classical structure southwest corner of the campus core on Spokane Street. Using the first floor as a strong base and uniting the three upper floors by means of giant pilasters between the windows, Weaver has produced a bold effect. A terra cotta cornice caps the façade. The use of ornament elsewhere is restrained. A grand entry at second floor level as at Wilson Hall was planned but never executed. Presumably, the steep slope to the west and its orientation way from the rest of the campus made it impractical. In this building, the Georgian and Classic Revival styles are adapted to the needs of a large university building.
|Built under President Bryan as the 'Recitation Hall' in the same year as Bryan Hall, this building further demonstrates Bryan's contribution to the university. Both buildings were designed by J. K. Dow, one of the more distinguished of the architects who worked for the university. However, College Hall is more restrained than Bryan. It draws on elements used a Morrill Hall five years earlier. It is a fine example of Georgian Revival. Interest is added to the façade by the alternation of arched and square headed windows on the three floors and by the decorative use of Flemish bond in contrasting bricks under the eaves. It has a classical cornice and a flat roof.
|Built in 1892, Ferry Hall was the first large building to be constructed on campus. Designed to be a dorm, it housed men and women on separate floors. In 1897, there was a kitchen fire which got out of control and the building burned down. Another building was constructed in the same place two years later. It would keep the name and also serve as a dorm. The building remained until the mid 70's, when it was taken down. A last artifact of Ferry Hall still exists in the form of the Gazebo next to Murrow Hall, which was the old bell tower.|