10 oldest buildings on ASU campus

ASU's Tempe campus has gone through many stages of growth. Today, the campus maintains a balance of new architecture and historical buildings. Here are the 10 oldest buildings at ASU.

10. U.S. Post Office

Photo by Andrew Nicla | The State Press

Currently part of the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus, the U.S. Post Office building was constructed in 1935, part of an extensive federal building program instituted in the 1920s. The space was Phoenix's main post office for nearly three decades and housed the offices of some judiciary and federal agencies. It still operates as a post office, but ASU student organizations, counseling services and the ASU Police Department are starting to take over.

Read more: Ribbon cutting marks ceremonial opening of Downtown student center

9. West Hall

Photo by Andrew Nicla | The State Press

West of the Hayden Library stands what was originally a women's dormitory built in 1936, supported by the Works Projects Administration, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. West Hall was the last of the four dormitories built on campus and is now occupied by offices of the School of Social Transformation and the School of Politics and Global Studies.

 8. A.J. Matthews Center

Photo by Ben Moffat | The State Press

Built in 1930, the Matthews Library, named after ASU President Arthur John Matthews, was the first library on campus. After the Hayden Library was built in 1966, the University began preserving the building. The School of Human Evolution and Social Change uses the building for meeting spaces and offices. Its basement houses ASU Student Media and the State Press newsroom!

7. Physical Education Building West

Photo by Andrew Nicla | The State Press

This building once was known as Sun Devil Gym, a multi-purpose room that seated 4,609 and the original basketball court of ASU basketball. Prior to its construction in 1927, the basketball team would play at College Gym or the Mesa Civic Center. The gymnasiums are now used for intramural sports and other sporting events and the offices are used by the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts School of Dance.

6. Matthews Hall

Photo courtesy of ASU Libraries

Matthews Hall is the oldest standing dormitory on the ASU Tempe campus. The hall was built in 1918 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It served as the Normal School's men's dormitory and library until 1930 when it was designated as a women's dormitory. It now is the home of a photography gallery and the offices of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

5. School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Photo by Andrew Nicla | The State Press

Built in 1914, what is now known at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change was originally named the Industrial Arts Building. It was the first building of the Normal School built West of College Avenue and was a physical marker showing the Normal School's curriculum expansion.

4. University Club

Photo by Andrew Nicla | The State Press

Originally known as Science Hall, University Club was constructed in 1908. Membership to the club is exclusive, consisting of current and retired faculty, student alumni, Tempe community members and parents of continuing students. Club members often meet here for informal gatherings.

Read more: University club not so secret

 3. Virginia G. Piper Writer's House

Photo by Ryan Santistevan | The State Press

Constructed in 1907, the Virginia G. Piper Writer's House was the home of university presidents until 1959. Now it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it houses the Virginia G. Piper Center For Creative Writing. The home has two formal reception areas and it serves as an archive for ASU literary history.

Read more: Ghosts, time capsules and literature: A history of the Virginia G. Piper Writer's Center

2. Harrington-Birchett House

Photo courtesy of WayMarking.com

This Victorian-styled cottage was built as part of the J.W. homestead in 1895 by operators of a Tempe brick-making business, the Goodwin brothers. The house was remodeled in 1931 when the walls were sheathed with stucco and a porch was added to match English Tudor qualities.  ASU purchased the property the house was occupying in 1989 and gained ownership of the home. It serves as a Tempe historical landmark today.

1. Old Main

Photo courtesy of ASU Libraries

Old Main, the oldest standing building on ASU's Tempe campus, was originally built in 1894 and was the first building in Tempe to use wired electricity. In 1911, President Teddy Roosevelt dedicated the Roosevelt Dam from the steps of Old Main. The building is now home to the ASU Alumni Association

Read more: Sparky’s Quill: Theodore Roosevelt at ASU


Reach the reporter at anicla@asu.edu or follow @AndrewNiclaASU on Twitter

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