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Introduction

Origins

The City

Collegeville (1887, 1895)
College Delta (1898, 1899)
Oakwood (1899)
Cedar Banks (1900)
College Grove (1903)
Fairview (1904, 1905)
College Heights (1904)

Charter of 1907

Avondale (1913)
Bungalow Knolls (1916)
Chesterfield Hills (1916)
Ardson (1919)
Ridgeley Park (1921)
Strathmore (1925)
Glen Cairn (1926)

The Campus

Chronology

1855–1870
1871–1885
1886–1900
1901–1915
1916–1927

 

Interactive Map

Sites on the National and State Historic Registers

Complete list of
Significant Structures

Sources

Veterinary Clinic (1915)

Soon after the completion of its first Veterinary Laboratory in 1885, the Michigan Agricultural College pressed for “a curriculum leading to the degree of Veterinary Surgeon. The Board asked for an appropriation of $10,000 for a veterinary infirmary in 1891 in order to expand the clinical work for such a curriculum. The appropriation failed and the project was delayed for twenty years.” The surgical program was finally established in 1910, and a new Veterinary Clinic to support the program, designed by Edwyn Bowd, received a $33,000 appropriation in 1913. Trier Brothers of Saginaw broke ground on the east side of Farm Lane in early 1914 and the clinic was ready for occupancy the following year.[Kuhn, p. 151. Minutes, 5 Nov 1913, p. 156. American Contractor, 35(14), 4 Apr 1914, p. 105]


Veterinary Clinic, no later than 1934, viewed from the north. Photo Credit: M.S.U. Physical Plant, whose site mistakenly claims it was “demolished around 1935,” perhaps confusing it with the older Veterinary Laboratory.

This building should be considered notable among Edwyn Bowd’s works, even though its form has been almost entirely obscured by later modification. Its long horizontal lines, flat roofs with broad overhangs, and a touch of stylized ornament in the pilaster caps (all of which are lost except for one fragment noted below), are elements borrowed from the Prairie School. Yet in this era Bowd was mainly working in the Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts styles, and this author cannot name another Bowd design that is at all similar to this one.

 

Anatomy Building (1931)

A new Anatomy Building was constructed in 1931 to the east of the Vet Clinic. It was designed by the firm of Bowd and Munson in the Collegiate Gothic style. This style was first used on campus in the 1920s (starting with the Union Memorial Building, Home Economics building, and Beaumont Tower), and was the de facto standard—along with Bowd–Munson as architects—through the 1940s.


Anatomy Building, no later than 1934. Frame building to right is a poultry house.
Photo Credit: M.S.U. Physical Plant.

In addition to the department of Anatomy, this building housed Animal Pathology, which would no longer hoist its subjects precariously into the second floor of the old Vet Lab, which was demolished around the time of this building’s completion.

 

Giltner Hall (1952)

These two separate buildings, with their closely related curricula, would over the next twenty years become part of the agglomeration known as Giltner Hall. Additions to the Veterinary Clinic by Bowd–Munson were completed in 1938 and 1940, but these were soon obsolete, and “the American Veterinary Medicine Association threatened to remove the college from its accredited list because of the inadequate facilities.”[Thomas, p. 135]

In response, the College in 1949 successfully lobbied the state legislature for a $2.4 million appropriation. This bought another major addition by Munson that joined Anatomy to the Vet Clinic and brought the building’s total area to over 250,000 square feet, making it the largest academic building on campus at that time. When it opened in 1952, “department head Chester Clark immediately proclaimed the new building ‘second to none’ in the nation.” It was named for Dr. Ward Giltner, Dean-Emeritus of Veterinary Medicine, who had died in 1950. Along with the School of Veterinary Medicine, Giltner Hall housed the Department of Bacteriology and Public Health, which moved from the building now known as Marshall–Adams Hall.[Physical Plant Data Book, p. 16. Thomas, pp. 135–136]


Main entrance of Giltner Hall, part of the 1952 addition, with its original oak doors and Collegiate Gothic detailing, August 2006. The brick-edged sidewalk with grassy median strip meets the entrance at an angle because it extends from the main axis of the center pavilion of the Natural Science building, across Farm Lane. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.

After many of its departments moved to the new Biomedical Physical Sciences Building, built in 2001 and then the largest academic building on campus, Giltner Hall’s residency was in flux. Today it has benefited from continuing maintenance and alterations and stands as a testament to the solidity and adaptability of Bowd and Munson designs.[Stanford, p. 85. Kuhn, p. 352. Dressel, p. 365.]

A portion of the original Veterinary Clinic still exists within Giltner Hall, although it is difficult to recognize the century-old building that appears in the image at the top of this page. Its west wing, now the westernmost part of Giltner, is topped with an additional story and gable-ended roof, and its window openings have been altered. Its east wing is hidden behind a loading dock and newer additions. Only one distinctive wall, the second floor east wall with its keystone arch and four decorative pilasters, is visible from the exterior—and is the only face of the center mass of the clinic not obscured by later additions.


This 3D Google Maps rendering shows a portion of Giltner Hall, viewed from the southeast. Behind the 8-fan cooling unit (which happens to be sitting on the roof of the Vet Clinic’s east wing) is the east wall of the original two-story center mass.