First Dairy Building—Chittenden Hall (1901) SR
First Dairy Building, circa 1934, when it was the Forestry Building. Photo Credit: M.S.U. Physical Plant.
This building, the first on campus built specifically for dairy operations, was designed by George Lohman and dedicated in 1901. By the time of its dedication the Dairy had already been in use for a few months, as the equipment had been moved out of the basement of the Agricultural Laboratory, next door, in late 1900.[Beal, p. 132. Kuhn, p. 212]
In 1912 a new Dairy was completed (see below), and operations moved there in the following year. The Department of Forestry moved into the old Dairy in 1914, and the frieze above the entrance was replaced with the one extant, which reads “Forestry” in bas-relief lettering stylized to look like tree limbs.
Forestry remained here until 1966, when the Natural Resources Building was completed. Three years later, the hall was named in honor of Alfred K. Chittenden (1879–1930), Professor of Forestry from 1914 until his death. Professor Chittenden was famous for his research on reforestation and maple sugar. He developed a nursery on campus, and was instrumental in the formation of the Michigan Forestry and Park Association, a professional organization.[Stanford, p. 57. Minutes, 16 May 1969, p. 6448]
After graduate assistants from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources moved into a new Ag Hall annex in 1999, Chittenden Hall stood vacant for fifteen years. It was in need of substantial repairs, but renovations were held up for several years until the Board of Trustees approved a $6,200,000 budget.[The State News, 19 Apr 2011. MSU Press Release, 25 Oct 2013] The renovation work was thoroughly modernizing but also highly sympathetic to the old structure, including restoration of original wainscoting and plaster on the interior, and re-creation of six original rooftop dormer windows which had previously been removed. In September 2014 it became the unified home for the Graduate School, which had been scattered among offices in Linton Hall, the Student Services Building, and the International Center.
As part of the Laboratory Row, Chittenden Hall is listed on the state historic register.
An artifact of this building’s original use still exists. In the north wall are a pair of doors that stand a few feet off the ground and appear to lead nowhere. A wooden ramp once led to these doors, and this was the entryway for dairy cattle.
Cattle entrance in north wall of Chittenden Hall, Autumn 1992. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.
Second Dairy Building, circa 1934. Photo Credit: M.S.U. Physical Plant.
A new Dairy Building was completed in 1912 at the northern terminus of Farm Lane, east of Agriculture Hall. The two-story building, designed by Edwyn Bowd and measuring 121 by 77 feet, was constructed in reinforced concrete at a cost of $50,000. It was used by the Department of Dairy Husbandry and the College Creamery; it also contained classrooms for general use.[Beal, p. 285]
Dairy operations later moved south of the river, along with the other farm operations, and this building became the home of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Renamed the Soil Sciences Building, it stood until 1985 when the department moved to the new Plant and Soil Sciences Building.