AMES, Iowa — After being closed for two years, Iowa State University’s Marston Hall has reopened as basically a new building inside it’s historic outer shell.
Marston was gutted and given a $27.1 million renovation. The goal was to be able to have larger classrooms and also space for students to park between class to study. The building already had a number of smaller classrooms.
Anston Marston was the First Dean of the College of Engineering at Iowa State. He is known for designing the school’s sewage system and a giant water tower, still standing outside Marston Hall.
“It has never had, since it opened in 1903, a full comprehensive renovation through the building,” said Kerry Dixon, Iowa State University Project Manager. “So what we did is give it another hundred years of life.”
The project also meant keeping some of the building’s 1903 flavor while having brand new class and office space. Some of the Carnegie Steel beams used in the building can be seen exposed on the fourth floor in the Engineering Dean’s Office. In 1903, electric light was brand new so skylights helped to light the building, that skylight has been incorporated into the new design.
In tearing out the old crews find old electrical outlets from the 1900’s, they also learned the building was not constructed entirely to specifications by the designers.
“Finding out that they but they didn’t build the building is exactly like the drawings showed,” said Dixon. “This was the first building on campus that was designed by Proudfoot and Bird who then went on to do Curtis the Memorial Union, Parks Library Food Science, and the Polk County courthouse.”
Some reproductions of Anston Marston’s calculations regarding the giant water tower on on the wall inside the new building. Also photos of the iconic tower are on the floors where students are heading to class.