Frandsen Humanities/Agriculture Building

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.

Images

1920

1920

This image from 1920 shows the back of the Agriculture building, (now Frandsen) as it overlooks Manzanita Lake. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Cooking lab

Cooking lab

A 1920 scene of the female students working in the cooking laboratory in the home economics department housed inside the Agriculture building. Photo by Samuel B. Doten. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

AGRICVLTVRE building

AGRICVLTVRE building

In this 1921 photo students park their cars directly at the entrance of the Agriculture Building. "AGRICVLTVRE" can still be seen in the frieze above the classic three-bay portico with the two Ionic columns. It now reads "FRANDSEN." Photo by Samuel B. Doten. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

ca. 1930

ca. 1930

The old Chemistry building on the quad, with the Agriculture building, back left. The Education building is to the right. The Quad is in the foreground, circa 1930. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Peter Frandsen

Peter Frandsen

A 1930 portrait of Peter "Bugs" Frandsen, for whom the building is named. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Reflections

Reflections

This campus scene from the 1940's shows Lincoln Hall, the Frandsen Building, and the tram. Students seated on the lawn are reflected in Manzanita Lake. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Movie set

Movie set

Gene Lockhart and Henri Letondal stand near Edmund Gwenn in the 1948 movie "Apartment for Peggy." Students ice skate on Manzanita Lake behind them just below the Agriculture Building. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Governor's Day, 1970

Governor's Day, 1970

Governor's Day was an annual event to honor the Governor of Nevada and the ROTC cadets. In 1970, the event had been scheduled to take place on May 5, just one day after the incident during a Kent State University protest that left four students dead and nine wounded. At UNR, students marched the length of the campus to the stadium in a peace rally. Here, they block the Governor's motorcade in front of the Agriculture and Jot Travis buildings. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

1985

1985

In 1985, students enjoy the day on the grass behind the old Agriculture and Jot Travis buildings. The Reno skyline is seen in the distance. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Staircase

Staircase

The restored main staircase inside the Frandsen Building. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Pillar

Pillar

A close up detail of one of the Ionic pillars of the Frandsen Building, with ivy. Photo by Jean Dixon. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Entrance detail

Entrance detail

Decorative feature just above the entrance to the Frandsen Building. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas. Image courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Amanda Buell and Reno Historical Team, “Frandsen Humanities/Agriculture Building,” Reno Historical, accessed June 28, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/67.
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