The University of Kansas
Compiled by Carol Shankel and Barbara Watkins
University Hall, known as Old Fraser, was built by John Fraser, second chancellor of the University of Kansas, and by the citizens of Lawrence, who raised a bond issue to fund it. It was opened in 1872. Up-to-date in every way, it was heated with steam and lighted with gas, and every room was supplied with water. And although electric lights did not appear at KU until 1888, the building featured electrically powered clocks in each room. In addition, mechanically inclined students would also be able to work with steam-driven engines, lathes and other machinery. Being 300 feet long, 100 feet wide, and rising four stories, it was spacious enough to house the entire University: departmental and administrative offices, laboratories, classrooms, the library, a student reading room, even a large, second-floor auditorium.
Old Fraser was the center of campus life, even as the university expanded into and through the twentieth century; the site of memory for many alumni. After it was razed in 1965 a number of its architectural features were incorporated into the Union and Alumni Center.
Published by the Historic Mount Oread Fund.