University of Florida Campus, 1906-1930

Whenever I’m on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, the memories return. That’s where I first heard about the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. That’s where I had the last class (esteemed Florida historian) Michael Gannon ever taught. That’s where I urinated in the bushes and almost got busted by the police. The memories so readily return because while the campus is ever changing, its historic buildings are ever present.

As a whole UF has recognized the importance of preserving its historic architecture. The earliest buildings have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1989, and the university has a campus preservation plan, last updated in 2007. Great pains have been taken to make certain new construction is compatible with the old, and historic buildings have been repurposed to suit new needs. Some have been beautifully restored, inside and out. Others, well, at least their exterior looks nice.

Despite the memories, the UF campus architecture is not my favorite. The first university architect, William A. Edwards, designed the earliest buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style to give the campus a false sense of history. All subsequent buildings  in the main area of the campus have matched the originals in material composition, i.e. red-brown bricks and clay tile roofs; color; scale; size; and sometimes even style. This has led to a lot of buildings ill suited to Gainesville’s climate–and a lot of uninspiring architecture. Even those that do show some character and most represent their time period, such as the Hub, appear stunted, as if the architect designed it with one arm behind his back. The campus’ landscape design, on the other hand, is excellent. Brick-trimmed walkways with fountains and lush, native plants and trees. It goes a long way toward creating a harmonious sense of place.

The focus of this the first of two entries are the 16 existing UF buildings constructed from 1906 to 1930. Part 2 will feature sites constructed from 1931 to 1953. For more historic UF photos, see the UF Then and Now project or the UF Digital Collections.

Buckman Hall (1906)

Ca. 1910. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1930s. Sledd Hall is to the left. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

Thomas Hall (1906)

1918 postcard. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1940s through the Sledd Hall arch. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Courtesy UF Physical Plant

Keene-Flint Hall (1910)

Early view. I like those windows. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1940s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

January 2012

September 2009

January 2012

Newell Hall (1910)

Ca. 1914, from near the present location of the The Hub. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Ca. 1944 gathering. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

Griffin-Floyd Hall (1912)

1920s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1920s Navy ROTC. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1940s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Courtesy UF Physical Plant

Anderson Hall (1913)

Ca. 1915. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Ca. 1977. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

January 2012

January 2012

Bryan Hall (1914)

Future litigators in the 1930s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1950s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Courtesy UF Physical Plant

Women’s Gym (1915)

Women’s Gym in the 1920s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Undated. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

University Auditorium (1925)

1920s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1920s interior. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Great parents. Ca. 1962. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Ca. 1966. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

September 2009 with later addition in foreground.

September 2009

Smathers Library (1926)

1930s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1930s Reading Room. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Ca. 1957. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

August 2012

August 2012

Rolfs Hall (1927)

1920s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Ca. 1948. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

Walker Hall (1927)

Mid to late 195os view. Benton Hall, which no longer exists, is to the right. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

September 2009

September 2009

Leigh Hall (1927)

Ca. 1957. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1950s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Courtesy UF Physical Plant Division

University Police Department (1928)

It was home to WRUF in the 1950s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

A unique example of Tudor Revival architecture on the UF campus. Courtesy UF Physical Plant

Sledd Hall (1929)

Architect Rudolf Weaver, center, in the 1950s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1960s. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

August 2012

August 2012

November 2010

Florida Field (1930)

Under construction. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Inaugural season. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1930s aerial. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1950 game action vs. Auburn. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Sure wish this 1950s photo didn’t exist.  Good view of campus, though. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1960s postcard. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1960s aerial. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

1960s game action. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

Late 1960s, perhaps. Courtesy UF Digital Collections

September 2009

September 2009

September 2009

November 2010

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2 Comments

Filed under Florida, Gainesville

2 responses to “University of Florida Campus, 1906-1930

  1. Pingback: University of Florida Campus, 1930-1953 | Gator Preservationist

  2. Pingback: Four-Year Anniversary | Gator Preservationist

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