Friday, June 19, 2009

How Faculty Lane Began

Tobin Beck wrote:

In my free time since the end of school I’ve been doing some research in the newspaper microfilm archives at the Seward library and found some interesting stuff about Faculty Lane.

Did you know that the Faculty Lane we remember was first laid out in 1924? Originally the big white houses were built just northwest of Founders Hall, and ran in a straight line west from Miessler Hall. This was called Faculty Row, and there was a dirt lane running east-west between the houses and Founders. The college’s building expansion plans in the early 1920s called for the houses to be moved and a new street created.

Here’s what the the May 21, 1924, edition of the Blue Valley Blade said about the dedication of the new men’s dormitory, Jesse Hall, and the plans for the campus:

The completion of the new $125,000 dormitory at the Lutheran College is the first move in the plan of adding many other splendid buildings to the group. The administration building [Weller Hall] will be commenced in September 1924, and be ready for occupancy in 1925. It will contain eight class rooms and many offices.

In order to carry out the proposed building plan, and furnish the desired site for the administration building the residences occupied by Professors Schuelke and Koenig, will be moved several blocks to the north and east.

The administration building will cost $150,000. The next building to be erected is the service building [Brommer Hall] which will be equipped with dining hall, kitchens, laundry, home for the steward, etc. This building will cost $150,000.

In order to make room for the new buildings, the play grounds west of the college will this summer be established on the ground east of the college.

A residence for Prof. H. Hardt will be erected this year on the college grounds east of Roy Schick’s residence [Tobin: Not sure yet exactly which house that was].

Some time in the future a gymnasium [Alumni Gym] will be erected. A collection of $700 was taken for this purpose at the dedication services Sunday.

In the years to come many more fine, modern buildings will be added to the semicircle planned. A curbed driveway, and landscaped grounds will eventually add attractiveness to the campus.

And here’s what the Seward Independent-Democrat had to say on Oct. 16, 1924, in a column headlined “Lutheran College Notes”:

The houses of Prof. Schuelke and Prof. Koenig that were moved during the summer, have been thoroughly renovated and decorated. Both families are enjoying the new location as well as the many conveniences installed.

The new house being built for Prof. Hardt is nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy by December first. The homes of Prof. Strieter and Prof. Haase will be moved next year.

The five houses will describe a semi-circle and when the new street and walks are laid out Faculty Lane will be one of the attractive parts of Seward.

In another part of the Independent-Democrat’s column on “Lutheran College Notes,” the newspaper mentions the strong Lutheran high school football team:

The Brainard eleven played the Lutheran high school last Friday afternoon on the college campus. The visiting team is new to football but showed pluck and perseverance. They were hopelessly outmatched by the local team, which accounted for the unusually high score [though the article doesn’t give the score]. However, a defeat may be a stepping stone to future victory.

Next Friday the Polk high will play here on the college grounds. An interesting game is expected.

After that, the Independent-Democrat has one more mention of Faculty Lane in the Lutheran College Notes:

Mrs. Wilhelmina Koenig, who has been visiting friends in Webster City, Iowa, the past two months, has returned to her home on Faculty Lane. She reports having had a fine time in spite of or because of her 86 years.

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