Strong Hall

1450 Jayhawk Blvd. Lawrence, KS 66045
Surging enrollments after 1900 made a new administration and classroom building necessary, and Chancellor Frank H. Strong (1902-1920) began petitioning the legislature for funding. St. Louis architect Montrose Pallen McArdle was hired to design the building that Strong and the regents hoped would be “the center of the University architecture as well as the University life.” State Architect John Stanton, art professor William A. Griffith and College Dean Olin Templin advised. McArdle’s grandiose, $500,000 Classical Renaissance design had pillars, a rotunda, an art gallery and a classical museum. The Legislature balked, and the plans were scaled back, although echoes of the original exist; it now has a Classical Revival style.

Construction began on the east wing of the Administration Building in 1909; it was occupied by seven departments in 1911. Because of budget constraints, “West Ad” and “Center Ad” were completed in stages, ending in January 1924. The 130-room building, faced in buff terra cotta, housed the Graduate School and the schools of fine arts and business; the departments of drawing/painting/design, psychology, mathematics, economics and philosophy; the chancellor’s and registrar’s offices; a chapel; and an auditorium. It was renamed for sixth chancellor Strong in 1934, after his death; in 1998 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Major renovations and upgrading were done in 1998. Strong now houses the offices and support staff for the chancellor, provost and registrar; the dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; senior vice provost for academic affairs; vice provosts for administration and finance, faculty development, graduate studies and student affairs; International Programs; the Academic Achievement and Access Center; University Governance; and several student programs and services in advising, tutoring, financial aid, and disability needs. The third-floor auditorium is named for chemistry professor and longtime department chair Raymond Q. Brewster.