Filed Under Education

Frandsen Humanities/Agriculture Building

Designed in 1917, the university's first Agriculture Building also housed Home Economics.

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

On the lake in 1920
On the lake in 1920 This image from 1920 shows the back of the Agriculture building, (now Frandsen) as it overlooks Manzanita Lake. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1920
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. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Samuel B. Doten Date: 1920
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." Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Samuel B. Doten Date: 1921
The setting ca. 1930
The setting 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. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1930
Peter Frandsen
Peter Frandsen A 1930 portrait of Peter "Bugs" Frandsen, for whom the building is named. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1930
Reflections
Reflections This campus scene from the 1940s shows Lincoln Hall, the Frandsen Building, and the tram. Students seated on the lawn are reflected in Manzanita Lake. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1940s
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. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1948
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. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1970
The setting in 1985
The setting in 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. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1985
Staircase
Staircase The restored main staircase inside the Frandsen Building. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Theresa Danna-Douglas
Pillar
Pillar A close up detail of one of the Ionic pillars of the Frandsen Building, with ivy. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Jean Dixon
Entrance detail
Entrance detail Decorative feature just above the entrance to the Frandsen Building. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Creator: Theresa Danna-Douglas

Location

Metadata

Amanda Buell and Reno Historical Team, “Frandsen Humanities/Agriculture Building,” Reno Historical, accessed May 24, 2024, https://renohistorical.org/items/show/67.