Jim McKee: An Evolving University of Nebraska | Story


This postcard shows Grant Hall, also known as The Armory, looking west and shows the building with its addition. The university fence is also visible, obviously before the fire at the university museum to the north.


JIM McKEE for Lincoln Journal star

As the structures aged, the original half-dozen buildings on the original four-square-block University of Nebraska campus were methodically razed and replaced.

Three of the first buildings, which many remember today, were razed in the late 1950s to be replaced by the Sheldon Art Museum. These were the chemistry / pharmacy, the Grant Memorial and the University Museum. All three have changed their primary uses over the years with Grant and the Museum most drastically.

Lt. ES Dudley, a West Point graduate, was appointed by Chancellor Edmund B. Fairfield in the 1870s as professor of military science and tactics, but because the faculty was often pushed outside of its core areas, he also taught civil engineering and surveying.

The Nebraska chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic lobbied the state of Nebraska to dedicate a memorial to Civil War General and US President Ulysses S. Grant in 1887. Lieutenant Dudley, whose title was a cadet commander from 1876 to 1879 and again, briefly, in 1884, suggested that a suitable and indispensable building might be named the Grant Memorial Building.

Jim McKee: a forgotten governor of Nebraska

After Dudley lobbied the state legislature on the concept, they appropriated $ 50,000 for two buildings, Grant Hall which was to be built north of the Chemistry Building and Nebraska Hall which would be at the north corner. -is campus.

Grant Memorial Hall and Nebraska Hall were both completed in 1888, becoming the third and fourth buildings on campus. In 1899, a wing was added to the west end of Grant Hall and named Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, with the entire structure generally simply being referred to as The Armory.


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