UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
        B U I L D I N G S

Fourth Street Residence Halls / Men's Residence Halls

By 1937, the University was planning the construction of a new residence hall in the north-east corner of the Parade Ground, immediately to the west of the New George Huff Gymnasium. [1] At its July 17, 1940 meeting, the Board of Trustees reviewed revised bids for what would become the Fourth Street Residence Halls. The University had budgeted $600,000 for the construction, while initial bids from July 1st and 3rd had come in with the lowest at $843,000. At the time, the Women's Residence Hall reserves held a balance of $27,429 [2] and the Comptroller recommended that the money be placed towards the construction of the Men's Residence Halls. [3] On May 28, 1940, the Trustees directed that beginning with the fiscal year ending on June 30, 1940, the surplus was to be appropriated over two years, which ended up totaling $60,806.93 and on July 17, 1940 the Trustees appropriated $50,000 of it towards the construction. [4]

It was determined that by appropriating these reserves over two years and by having the University of Illinois Foundation obtain a $50,000 loan, the construction budget could be increased by $100,000 and construction could begin. This was approved on July 17, 1940 and general contracting was awarded to J. P. Cullen & Son for $401,133, "plumbing, heating, ventilating, and temperature control" contracted to Fred White for $96,780, and electrical work to Porter, Glore, & Glass, Inc, for $26,642. [5] Construction began later that year, [6] and by March 1, 1941, construction on the complex was continuing on schedule [7] and by August 5, 1941, construction was almost complete. [8] A single central building was flanked by two wings, connected to each by an underground tunnel. [9]

Due to an amendment to the Retailer's Occupational Tax law by the State Department of Finance to include "schools which operate dining rooms or cafeterias", the University was forced to increase its rates for the residence halls to absorb the new two percent tax. In contemplation of this increase, the rates for the new Men's Residence Halls were increased from $426 for a single room and $376 for a double to a varying rate between $373 and $431 that could be adjusted as needed to absorb the increased costs. [10]

During its meeting on June 20, 1942, the Board of Trustees authorized the United States Navy to establish a Diesel Engine Operator's School at the University. To house the incoming trainees, the Board designated that the Men's Residence Hall's three buildings be remodeled with "installation of additional equipment in the kitchen, and installation of additional toilet facilities on the ground floors" to hold 800 men. The first group of 125 trainees was to arrive on September 14, 1942, with "an additional 125 [to] be sent every two weeks up to a minimum [sic] of 500". [11]

By October 1942, the Board of Trustees had authorized a contract for King and Petry of Champaign to finish the Men's Residence Hall "basement corridor walls in central building and north and south connecting tunnels...ceramic tile wainscot with plaster above is to be provided...plaster present ceilings, and overhead piping are to be painted walls of tunnels are to be furred with partition tile" for a cost of "$2,500 (17% on labor, 5% on materials)". [12]

By 1944, the buildings still did not have formal signs visible from the street marking them, and so the Trustees approved the addition of temporary wooden nameplates to the buildings until such time that permanent ones could be obtained. [13]

By 1950 the complex housed 491 men. [14]

Construction on Flagg and Noble Halls was approved November 23, 1951, with Felmley-Dickerson Company selected as the contractor. [15] Flagg House was constructed for $1,164,000 and was designed to house 106 male students and feed all 1,100 students from the surrounding halls, as the food service area in Clark Hall (formerly the dining hall for the three original buildings, Clark, Barton, and Lundgren) was converted into dormitory rooms for 78 men. The kitchens were located on the ground floor, with four dining halls, two on the first and two on the second floor, each seating 200. There were also "two serving counters, arranged back to back, with one serving line for each room" and "food prepared in the main kitchen [was] transferred to the two dining floors by means of dumb waiters and elevators" with "heated food carts insur[ing] the maintenance of temperatures during transportation from kitchen to serving area". Each dining hall also had its own "dish-scraping area from which the used dishes, trays, and silverware are transported to the main dishwashing area on the ground floor". Even the Parade Ground Housing Units used the Flagg dining hall facilities [16] and in 1954 a $2,950 ramp was constructed on the west end of Flagg Hall "for the use of paraplegic students living in the Parade Ground Units, so that they may have better access to the food service facilities". [17]

While the first and second floors of Flagg House were devoted to the area dining facilities, the third and fourth floors held two single rooms, 48 doubles, and 2 quadruples, with each floor having its own "lounge, toilet, and bath facilities". The facility was scheduled to open in the fall of 1953. [18]

Noble House cost $648,000 to construct and opened in the fall of 1952 with 288 rooms. Within a year it was updated with the "construction of corridor partitions and division of dormitory areas into smaller units acoustical ceiling tiles [were] installed in the study rooms and corridors and asphalt tile on all floor areas all rooms [were also] painted". [19]

When they were first constructed, "five names were official assigned to the three buildings: Clark House for the center building, Lundgren House and Noble House for the north units, and Barton House and Flagg House for the south units", however, "experience [had] shown that two names on one building, even though it consist[ed] of two units, cause[d] confusion". Thus, on June 22, 1953, the north unit was renamed Lundgren House, the south unit was renamed Barton House, and Addition Number 1 was named Noble House, while Addition Number 2 was named Flagg House. [20]

The Fourth Street Residence Halls were originally known as the Men's Residence Halls and included the Thomas Arkle Clark House, Herbert Jewett Barton House, Willard C. Flagg House, Carl Leonard Lundgren House, and William Lincoln Noble House. [21] [22] Two of the buildings have since been repurposed, with the Department of Architecture taking over parts of Flagg and Noble Halls. Taft and Van Doren Halls were later added to the complex in 1956. [23] Herbert Barton chaired the Department of Classics for a number of years, while William L. Nobel led the early charge for residence halls. Lorado Taft was the 1879 graduate who rose to national fame through his sculptures, and Carl Van Doren received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Benjamin Franklin. [24]

Dean Thomas Arkle Clark "was the University's first Dean of Men and served in that capacity, as well as Professor of Rhetoric, for many years". [25] It is also believed that he was the first Dean of Men in the country. [26] Herbert Barton "served as Professor of Latin and Chairman of the Department of Classics for thirty-five years [and] also served as Secretary of the University Senate or general faculty during most of that time". Willard C. Flagg "was a member and Corresponding Secretary of the University's first Board of Trustees he had much to do with its early development". [27] He served from March 13, 1867 until his death in 1878. [28] Doctor William L. Noble "served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1921 to 1933 and was also President of the Board during a part of that time he strongly advocated the construction of men's residence halls". Carl Lundgren was "Head Baseball Coach and Assistant Director of Athletics for a number of years". [29]

With the complex intended to enter service in September 1941 and the recent creation of the new position of Director of Residence Halls, the Board of Trustees moved in their August 5, 1941 meeting to centralize all aspects of housing under the new director. After a considerable amount of review, the following recommendations were presented at that meeting: [30]

  1. The responsibility for Residence Halls operation shall be assigned to the Physical Plant Department and the administrative authority placed under the Director of Residence Halls.
  2. An advisory committee on Residence Halls policies shall be appointed by the President with representatives from the Business Office, Physical Plant Department, Office of the Dean of Men, Office of the Dean of Women, Housing Division, and two from the faculty.
  3. The administration of all Residence Halls shall be centralized under the Director of Residence Halls whose responsibilities shall include:
    1. Room assignments in all the Halls.
    2. Operation in accordance with the standards and policies of the University Housing Division.
    3. Preparation of bills and such assistance in the collection of bills as the Business Office may find necessary.
    4. General supervision of stocks and supplies. The purchase of all goods, dining hall and kitchen supplies will be centralized in the Purchasing Agent's office.
    5. Operation and maintenance of buildings, including repairs and replacement of equipment.
    6. Responsibility for financial management in accordance with an approved budget.
    7. Detailed bookkeeping and financial reporting, under systems approved by the Business Office.

The recommendations were approved on the motion of Mrs. Grigsby.

[1] Campus Planning Map November 1937
[2] Balance dated June 30, 1940
[3] Board of Trustees Proceedings - July 17, 1940
[4] Board of Trustees Proceedings - January 26, 1944
[5] Board of Trustees Proceedings - July 17, 1940
[6] Clark Hall cornerstone says 1940, indicating construction began that year
[7] Board of Trustees Proceedings - March 11, 1941
[8] Board of Trustees Proceedings - August 5, 1941
[9] Board of Trustees Proceedings - October 17, 1942
[10] University Buildings Spreadsheet - Vertical File, University Archives
[11] Board of Trustees Proceedings - July 25, 1942
[12] Board of Trustees Proceedings - October 17, 1942
[13] Board of Trustees Proceedings - January 26, 1944
[14] Campus Map and Informational Brochure - circa 1950's (lists English Building as Bevier Hall, which places it between 1946 and 1956)
[15] Board of Trustees Proceedings, February 18, 1954
[16] Board of Trustees Proceedings, September 23, 1953
[17] Board of Trustees Proceedings, February 18, 1954
[18] Board of Trustees Proceedings, September 23, 1953
[19] Board of Trustees Proceedings, September 23, 1953
[20] Board of Trustees Proceedings - June 22, 1953
[21] Board of Trustees Proceedings - September 26, 1941
[22] Note that while their official titles use "House", their modern titles use "Hall"
[23] major building projects since 1949 on ui urbana-cham campus - 1961
[24] Courier - Oct 23,1977
[25] Board of Trustees Proceedings - September 26, 1941
[26] Champaign News Gazette May 8, 1943
[27] Board of Trustees Proceedings - September 26, 1941
[28] Onsite dedication plaque
[29] Board of Trustees Proceedings - September 26, 1941
[30] Board of Trustees Proceedings August 5, 1941
Bookmark and Share

Search Site:

Advanced Search

Site Navigation
   Welcome to the ...
      About The UIHis...
      Gifts & Memoria...
      Other UI Histor...
      Special Feature...
      Student Life
      University Mile...
      All Buildings
         ACES Library, I...
         Admissions and ...
         Advanced Comput...
         Agricultural En...
         Agriculture Bui...
         Agronomy Barn
         Agronomy Field ...
         Agronomy Greenh...
         Alma Mater
         Alpha House
         Animal Husbandr...
         Animal Patholog...
         Animal Sciences...
         Aquatic Researc...
         Architecture Li...
         Armory Annex
         Art and Archite...
         Artillery Barns