Thursday Doors – ISU Part II

The Hub
The Hub

The cruise through Iowa State University’s campus (ISU) a few weeks ago yielded more photos than I could stuff into one post. I think I saved some good ones for today. Like a good roast or chicken dinner, anything that’s left over after today can be added to Thursday Door Soup, sometime in the future when Mother Nature or some flu-like malady keeps me inside for too long.

Many of the pictures in today’s gallery came after I asked about a relatively small building behind Morell Hall. My brother had pulled into a parking space when I spied this little structure. He informed me that it’s called “The Hub” – According to ISU’s Facilities Planning and Management page:

The Hub was built in 1892. It was originally a bookstore, post office and waiting room for the Ames College Railway. When the railway was discontinued in 1908, the Hub was moved from its original location, which was in front of Marston Hall, to its current location just west of Morrill Hall. In 1920 an addition to the north side of the structure was built for the bookstore and post office since the building no longer served as a depot.

A 20 x 60 foot Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) building from the College Farm Service area was added on to the north end of the Hub and another addition in 1952 was added to the east side of the north end of the previous addition. Although the bookstore moved to the Memorial Union in 1958, the Hub continued to serve as a post office until 1963. The Hub also served as a ticket office for campus functions until 1964. In 1967 a copy center was added. In 1970 the university traffic office occupied the north section of the building and still does today.

You have to admire the spirit of this little building. 1892 to 1908 is a span of 16 years. I know of buildings that have been torn down in less time, and I can’t imagine anyone moving a building today that was built in 2000. This building has been expanded three times, and is still slightly under 6,000 sq ft. I don’t know anyone who owns one, but there are houses in Connecticut that are larger than that. Those houses didn’t get that way through addition, they got there because someone knocked down what was there and built something new.

The Ames College Railway was also known as “The Dinky” – a small steam engine drawn train that ran between downtown Ames and campus. The Dinkey delivered mail to the post office inside the Hub. It also carried building materials used in constructing other campus buildings and, according to an ISU History website:

“…brought loads of boxes and scrap wood for the victory
bonfires held after sporting events.”

Good job Dinky!

When I walked around to get a better picture of the door to the Hub, I noticed that I was standing in a kind of “quad” area. Doors, doors and ooh, another door. Across from where we were parked was Marston Hall. This building was completed in 1903 for the school of Engineering. The water tower that was featured in the One-Liner Wednesday post (prior to the first set of ISU doors) is directly in front of this building (other side from the photos today). That water tower was designed by Anson Martson in 1897. It was the first free-standing water tower west of the Mississippi.

MapAcross from The Hub is the side doors of Beardshear Hall. This was (is?) a central administration building. Construction began in 1902 after a second fire in two years totally destroyed the “Old Main” building. As a consequence of the fires, Beardshear Hall is almost entirely constructed from fireproof material (stone). There are also some photos of the main entrance in the gallery. Across the street from this area of campus is Curtiss Hall – the building behind the flag pole I included in that Wednesday post. The interesting thing about Curtiss Hall is that it was completed in 1909 but couldn’t be occupied until 1912. The original contractor had gone bankrupt, and the building was finished by the bonding company. After the building was completed, the accountants went to work to figure out who owed whom how much – ain’t that always the way?

Click on any photo in the gallery to begin a slide show of larger images.

Thursday Doors is the weekly doorstravagansa brought to through the hard work of Norm Frampton. You should pop on over to Norm’s site, see his doors and look for the blue frog. Click that to get to the page with all the other doors and for the opportunity to add your own doors. Don’t stress, you have until noon Saturday to add your door.

78 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – ISU Part II

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. I just have to get through today. I’m making this a 3-day weekend. I’m glad that you liked reading about The Dinky. I was worried about spending so much time on a non-door element, but I really liked the story, especially the part about hauling wood for bonfires. My brother tells me that there’s a local brewery that has a beer called “The Dinky” – I think I need to try that the next time I’m in town.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. How cool! What a wonderful and lasting building. I bet its seen a few things over its years. I often wish these old buildings could show us some stories they have seen. Like a superpower: you touch the building and it plays some scenes in your head. I guess kind of like how John Coffee touched people and saw what they did. (In the movie, The Green Mile.) But then again, maybe not all stories would be good.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, I never used to think history was all that exciting. However some books I read recently, combined with this Thursday Doors Challenge has really caused me to reevaluate that impression.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great collection Dan. This place has some lovely old buildings. I think my favorite pic is the one of Dinky ‘Rapid Transit’.
    I chuckled at your description of Thursday Doors soup. I’ve done a few of those. It is kinda nice to have a few alternative posts available as an emergency back-up plan isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norm. Yeah, the soup / stew doors come in handy at times. November 30 is our year-end, so I may brew up a batch early in December.

      I liked that they called it Rapid Transit – bu, I guess compared to walking or being in a horse-drawn coach on a “mud road” it was rapid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely. The fall color and the wet walks really enhance the beauty of these photos and places for me. I love the path to the engineering school — great shot with the curves and the tree and the contrast in color. The engineering school itself is wow, and also Bearshear Hall.
    I like that Dinky, he seems like a nice, dependable train :) Well done! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. That area really had a college campus feel to it. The Dinky sounded like a pretty cool train that knew how to work hard and play hard. I love stone buildings, so these just made me smile. ISU still is an excellent engineering school.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. New buildings are so blah by comparison. The full description of Bearshear Hall talks about how the interior stone was polished to look like marble. Just imagine the effort. Nobody does that today just to make something look good.


  4. More photos of stately buildings with stately doors…and in their midst, that quirky, modern garage door. What fun, Dan! I know what you mean about leftover doors. I have plenty left from my trip to France. Hope your three-day weekend is a great one.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are some fabulous buildings on that campus! The Hub is cute, and all the doors are great. I did like the modern polka dot garage door you threw in too. I LOVE Dinkey the train! What a cool little train and engine! I want one…a model of it. :) I wonder if they sell them at the campus store?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. My brother has volunteered to research a local brewery that brews a “Dinky” beer. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it. Cheryl and I hope to include a report on that in a Saturday session at the bar. I’ll check to see if models exist. I’m glad you liked the doors, especially the garage door.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was most attracted to the Genetics Lab – not so much because of the door, but because of what might be inside. A tour of the lab would be very interesting, even though I know nothing about genetics. I just think it would be cool.

    Nice post and doors, Dan. AND you included a segment about the Dinky train. Norm should give you bonus points for that (because my reserves are getting low and I need to stock up).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. Next time I’m out there, I’ll see if you can get a tour :)

      Norm hasn’t done much with bonus points. You did give me a million at some point, maybe that was a bit over the top. Of course, I don’t want to make you mad and have you take any back now that you’re running low.

      Seriously, isn’t that a cool train? Works like a dog all week AND brings stuff to burn to the bonfire.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, what a collection this week, Dan! Good grief, could you possibly get one more door in here? ALL so incredible that I had to go back and forth and back again staring at the wonders before me. And Dinky …. LOVE that story. Fascinated as well by The Hub and its tenacity to stay alive. Beautiful post!! Thank you! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Princeton University still has a dinky. It is the train service from Princeton Junction to the university campus. I noticed that they built a new station recently, and moved it from where it was when I was an undergraduate. It doesn’t look so dinky anymore. The old station was turned into a bar!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jean. The bankrupt contractor thing is playing out in Hartford as we speak. Our minor league baseball stadium is being finished by the bonding company. I’m sure the accountants won’t be far behind. I just hope we’re playing ball there in April.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great pictures and post. Just curious to ask – Is Iowa State University and University of Iowa School of Dentistry two different institutions? The reason I ask is because I worked at IDA (like ADA) and the founder of IDA did his graduation from University of Iowa School of Dentistry. So I was wondering if this is the same university?


    1. Thanks. The dental school is part of the University of Iowa. A log of the Midwest states have a University of (name) and a (name) State University. Iowa State, like many State universities is an engineering and agriculture school.


      1. Okay. Back in 2015 when I was at IDA I was assigned to write the history of the founder and I managed to gather some info with some pictures. The funny thing that happened is that the founder himself had written a book on his life journey, but no one knew about the book’s existence. Finally, I talked to an old gentleman who was serving the organization as an editor for nearly 30 years and he was shocked to hear it, as he didn’t knew either. Together, we both dig the archives and he made a few calls to some top libraries in the country and we found the book sitting on a shelf of the Kolkata library 1500 miles away for nearly seven decades.The library did not shipped us the tattered book, but they made a copy of the book and shipped it and I unboxed it. I felt like I made history in that moment. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My favorite building was the entrance to Bearshear Hall due to the stone (or marble) elaborate carvings above the double doors. I like that there is still a shiny finish on the stained doors, too.
    The Hub is such a cool (dare I add “cute”?) building! I liked the small train, the fact someone could wait out of the cold in the Hub. I also think having a campus post office is a nice place. People don’t realize until they go to a campus that they usually have their own zip code. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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