Frandsen Humanities, a two-story, rectangular brick building with a classically-inspired limestone façade, began as the University’s first Agriculture Building. Designed in 1917 by Walter O. Lewis, it was built during an enrollment boom for the University of Nevada. The College of Agriculture in particular was expanding rapidly under the influence of the enthusiastic agronomist Charles S. Knight, who arrived at the university in 1909 and was Dean of the college from 1914-1920. He was credited with increasing the agricultural enrollment from five students in 1910 to more than 50 in 1916. The building was designed to accommodate the anticipated growth of the school.
The Agriculture Building originally housed laboratories, libraries, and botanical and agronomy museum collections for the study of Nevada's soil and agricultural products. A section of rooms also housed the Home Economics classrooms where young women learned sewing, hat making, and baking. The building housed these programs until 1958, when the Sarah Fleischmann Home Economics building was constructed. The College of Agriculture moved around the same time to a companion building, the new Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture building.
After that, the original Agriculture building housed the Philosophy and Foreign Language Departments. Reopened in May 2000 after a two-year, $2.9 million renovation, the building is now home to classrooms and offices for the English Department. The building was renamed for Peter “Bugs” Frandsen, one of the University's first graduates from the class of 1895 who returned as a biology instructor after further education at Harvard and faculty appointments at Harvard and Radcliffe. He was the best known Nevada biologist for more than forty years.