From the Beginning: A Timeline of Drury Buildings

Drury University was founded in 1873 and was named Drury College to honor donor Samuel F. Drury. An additional 40 acres of land was acquired over the next 16 years in an area between the once separate towns of Springfield and North Springfield (which centered on the Commercial Street area). As the campus grew, it helped form a shared identity between the two towns, which were unified in 1887.

Academy Building 1910 The oldest and most prominent symbol of the university is Stone Chapel. Named for Valeria G. Stone, an early benefactor of the college, the name also coincidentally reflects the chapel’s status as one of the first stone buildings in Springfield. The building demonstrates the importance of Drury’s church-related founding but also the important role Drury plays within the community. The chapel’s cornerstone was laid in November 1880, but the unfinished building was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1882. Rebuilding was conducted over the next decade.

A number of additional early campus buildings no longer exist, including Fairbanks Hall (1876), McCullagh Cottage (1894), the East and West Academy Buildings (1870s), and Harwood Library (1926). These helped shape the campus, which centered on an open space (today’s Burnham Circle) bordered by classroom buildings on the west, dormitories on the east, and Harwood Library in the center. The oldest building on this space today is Pearsons Hall—opened in 1902 as a science building. Pearsons’ simple masonry character has become a model for more recent additions to campus, as has Wallace Hall, the dormitory built in 1926 at the north end of Drury Lane.

The south side of the campus remained open until 1959, when it was partially closed by a new library building. Walker Library—today’s Bay Hall—was the work of Richard P. Stahl, along with his associate Jack Taylor. Stahl majored in mathematics at Drury and became one of the first area architects to embrace contemporary design after the Second World War. He was the primary architect for the college over the next decade, designing the Breech School of Business, Smith Hall, and several other campus buildings. South of Central Street are buildings that have given the campus a face oriented toward Chestnut Expressway. These include Shewmaker Hall (1989, Casey-Hill), the Hammons School of Architecture (1991, Steve Minton), and the Trustee Science Center (2003, HOK).PanHellenic001

  • 1873-1910: West Academy
  • 1873 (purchased) – 1951: “White House”
  • 1874-1951: Model School Building
  • 1876-1978: Fairbanks Hall
  • 1881 (purchased)-1914: East Academy
  • 1881 (destroyed by fire on Dec. 12, 1912 and rebuilt over the next decade)-Present: Stone Chapel
  • 1887-1908: Spencer Cottage
  • 1895-1969: McCullagh Cottage
  • 1895-Present: President’s House
  • 1901-Present: Pearsons Hall
  • 1903-1940/45: Woodland Cottage
  • 1907 (purchased)-Present: The Parsonage
  • 1909-1986: Central Heating and Lighting
  • 1909-Present: South Gym (Springfield Hall)
  • 1909-Present: Burnham Hall
  • 1911 (Belle Hall was added 1947)-2009: The Commons
  • 1926-1991: Harwood Library
  • 1926-Present: Wallace Hall
  • 1926-Present: Clara Thompson Hall
  • 1948-Present: Weiser Gym
  • 1948-2009: Turner Hall
  • 1955-1993: Panhellenic Buildingturnerhallexterior001
  • 1959-Present: Walker Library (Bay Hall)
  • 1960-Present: Breech School of Business
  • 1961-2003: Sunderland Hall (Old)
  • 1961-Present: ATHA Pool Building
  • 1967-Present: Smith Hall
  • 1969-Present: Lay Science Building
  • 1972-Present: Findlay Student Center
  • 1979-Present: Lydy and O’Bannon Wings
  • 1988-Present: Hutchens HPER
  • 1988-Present: Shewmaker Communication Building
  • 1991-Present: Hammons School of Architecture
  • 1992-Present: F.W. Olin Library
  • 1994-Present: Freeman Panhellenic Building
  • 2002-Present: Trustee Science Center
  • 2004-Present: Pool Art Center
  • 2005-Present: Sunderland Hall
  • 2010-Present: O’Reilly Family Event Center