Collections A-Z

The University of Idaho Library's


Photograph Collection

Documenting the history of the UI Campus

Administration Building (New) , 1907-

Architect:Main Wing - John E. Tourtellotte (Boise), North Wing - Preusse and Zittel (Spokane)

Cost: $415,716

History: Built as a successor to the Old Admin, which burned down on March 30, 1906, the New Administration building (more commonly called the 'Admin') stands today as the administrative center of the UI campus. more ... Built in four sections, the Admin is in the style of College Gothic (a popular style amongst universities at the time) with red pressed brick and buff-colored Boise sandstone trimmings. Designed by architect John E. Tourtellotte of Boise, UI's Regents were assured that the design was the first fireproof building in the Northwest. A "U" shaped three-story construction, notable features include the front entrance at which President Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech on a stage made of Palouse wheat, the stained glass windows in the North wing's Auditorium, and the ivy that grows along the building's sides.

The first and middle sections, which originally housed the marjority of the University's Colleges was begun in 1907 and completed in 1909 at a cost of $140,000. The North Wing, which houses the Administration Auditorium, was completed in 1912 at $75,000. The South Wing was completed in 1920 at $90,000. A library extension was later added to the South wing in 1937 at $110, 000. Finally, An elevator tower was added in 2000 to the South wing.

The present square footage stands at 109,824 feet. Much of the interior has remained minimally altered since its completion. In 1950, an Administration Annex was added in the crux of the Admin's "U". The Annex was incorporated into the J.A. Albertson building in 2002.

Outside the Admin's main entrance there is a flowerbed with a flagpole. This was formerly a short-lived fountain in the 1920's and 30's, but was removed in the 40's due to a tradition referred to as is "Dunking the Frosh" in which upperclassmen initiated underclassmen into the Idaho way of life by having them take a nearly nude swim in the fountains waters, regardless of the weather. The fountain was first topped with a cupid, and then replaced with a seahorse, which was quickly stolen by mischievous students.

North of the flowerbed, there is the "I" Bench. This "I" shaped concrete seat was reserved for seniors. Breaking this rule could result in a dunking in the fountain.

To the south of the main entrance, the Memorial Steps are all that remains of the Old Administration building. Congressman Burton French (a UI graduate) and President Mervin G. Neale did detective work and found the remaining stones of the former Admin to place in a commemorative sixteen-step stairway. Professor of Architecture Theodore Pritchard designed two stone benches (also from Old Administration remains) and a stone with State of Idaho's seal to grace the top of the stairway. At the bottom of the steps is a ground plaque explaining the origins of the stairs. Beyond the base of the steps are two stone benches made from remnants of the Old Engineering building; demolished in 1951 for the construction of the Niccolls Home Economics building.

Location: 46.725634,-117.010974 | Center of main quadrangle facing east 851 Campus Drive
Description: Concrete base, red brick facing with buff colored Boise sandstone trim, college Gothic style, three stories, U shaped, 109,824 square feet. Listed on National Register of Historic Places.
Click here for more information
Click here for less information
Additions: Built in four units, the original (1909), North wing (1912), South wing (1920) extended 1936 for library expansion $110,000. Annex constructed 1950. 1960 remodeling after library construction $115,168; Elevator tower added ca. 2000
Use History: Administrative offices, Letters & Science/Business classrooms, University computer center, auditorium, also housed the library until 1957
Date Notes: Begun in 1907, first unit completed 1909
Cost Notes: Unit 1, $140,000; unit 2, $75,000; unit 3, $90,000 state appropriations; unit 4 $110,769 funded by student fees
Sources: Cards, UG 44, Morton, Beacon, UG 12 (2304), IHS 134, Facilities Architecture Drawing Archives

Scroll down to browse the entire collection.

Click or hover on an image for additional information.