Reception for the Exhibition - Fred Willson, Architect, (1877-1956) at Montana State College
- Monday, February 27, 2017 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
- Cheever Hall - view map
In 1910 Fred Willson (1877-1956) left the Butte architecture firm Link and Haire and moved home to Bozeman after being awarded the contract to design a new women’s dorm on the Montana Agricultural College (then MAC, now MSU) campus. Named Herrick Hall, in honor of the president’s late wife Emma, it was built to attract more women to enroll at MAC. Additional residential, commercial, and institutional work kept Fred busy over the ensuing decade including Traphagen Hall (1919).
The 1920 ballot initiative I-19 easily passed providing, “$5,000,000 Bonds for Buildings at State Institutions... for the construction, repair, and equipment of necessary buildings (including) the State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts at Bozeman.”
Featured in this show are the buildings funded by this initiative: Roberts Hall, the new engineering and architecture building (1922) followed by Lewis (1923), The Power Plant (1923), and Herrick (1926).
In 1935, just off campus across Cleveland Avenue, The Quadrangle residence halls (The Quads) were built in 1935 using Federal Public Works funding. In 1939, the Student Union Building was built with separate funding.
Fred Willson’s solo career began in 1910 with Hamilton Hall and ended in 1956 when he lent his name to secure the bid for Bozeman architect Ozzie Berg to design the MSC Fieldhouse (now Brick Breeden Fieldhouse). Fred “just cashed the checks” ~with a smile.
Although remodeled over the years many of Willson’s original details remain. Henry Sorenson Jr, Professor of Architecture, has captured these details for this show. It is our hope that you recognize and enjoy Fred Willson’s work as you move around campus.
- School of Architecture