ST. CLOUD - This week for our Frozen in Time series we visited the oldest building on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

Lawrence Hall has had a presence at SCSU since 1885, when it opened as a dormitory for women students.

The original building was called the ladies home until it was destroyed by a fire in 1905. William Morgan was a longtime professor at St. Cloud State University, he says the building was reconstructed later that year with the name that we know today.

"Legislature put out $50,000 and they built the building you're looking at, and instead of the ladies home it was called Lawrence Hall," Morgan says.

The building was named after Isabel Lawrence, a well known professor who taught at the University from 1874-1921.

Lawrence Hall continued to be a women's dorm during the 1900's. The building also had several different uses through the years. During World War II, it housed members of the Air Force who were training in the area to be glider pilots.  The University history department also had offices in Lawrence for several years.

 

The building was retired in 1974 and was nearly torn down. However, in 2002 new renovations took place giving the building its current look. Morgan says one of the cool features of Lawrence Hall is that it’s designed to be symmetrical.

"If you draw a line through the center of this building from the top of the cupula down between the two doors- everything to the left matches everything to the right," Morgan says.

The building is now home to 100 students, many of them international students. Each room in Lawrence pairs an international and domestic student.

Morgan says the building remains a historic gem on the campus of St. Cloud State and will probably stand for around another 100 years.

"You look at it and say boy this is pretty nice, I'd love to be a student here or a faculty member," Morgan says.

 

Dan DeBaun, WJON News