UW Then & Now

Posted on by Jessica Hall. This entry was posted in Whole U Program Information and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

The University of Washington is a stunning, timeless campus enjoyed by over 40,000 students and around 40,000 faculty and staff. Every year, thousands of visitors from around the world  are also attracted to the campus and its beauty.  I searched through archives of many photos provided by the University Libraries and found some of UW Seattle’s oldest and most iconic campus buildings, then I went out and took my own photos in today’s time.  As you can see in the side-by-side pictures, most of the changes come from technological advancements and innovations. You will notice added sidewalks and roads, modern street lamps, and compost and recycling bins! However, one of the most noticeable changes in the photos is the abundance of greenery on today’s campus. Luscious bushes, beautiful flowers, and towering trees now beautify the campus more than ever. Take a look for yourself!


  1. Anderson Hall: Sandwiched between  Drumheller Fountain and the Health Sciences Center, Anderson Hall is a spectacular gothic style building dedicated to the School of Environment and Forest Sciences. Anderson was initially constructed in 1925. The hall received renovations on its interior in 1968.andersonhall
  2. Architecture Building: First designed in 1907 by San Francisco’s Howard & Galloway, as a chemistry building, back then it was the Fine Arts Palace for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition in 1909 and the Physiology Building in 1937. It became home to the Department of Architecture in 1950 and today hosts the department of Construction Management, Department of Architecture studios and offices, and popular UW classrooms.Architecture
  3. Denny Hall: Although it was originally named the Administrative Building, this breathtaking structure was renamed Denny Hall in honor of Arthur A. Denny, the man who denoted the majority of the land used for the original campus. The first-ever term on the UW campus began on September 4, 1895 right in Denny. The historic bell that hangs from the belfry was purchased during the Civil War for $368 and was moved to UW in 1895. Today, it rings every hour on the hour. dennyhall
  4. Drumheller Fountain: Did you know that our beloved fountain used to be called Geyser Basin? In 1906, the Olmsted Brothers were tasked with the construction of the fountain to be shown in the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. Geyser Basin hosted a 500 foot cascade of water that moved down Rainier Vista at 8,000 gallons per minute. The inner pond previously supplied water and water pressure to the Harris Hydraulics Laboratory while the outer pond was used as water storage for the power plant. Today, Drumheller  Is a great backdrop for photos and is home to many geese. drumheller
  5. Gerberding Hall: Built in 1949, this building was once also used as the Administrative Building. In 1995, it was renamed to honor past UW Pesident William P. Gerberding. Today, this hall located on Red Square is home to the offices of the University president as well as other administrators. Fun fact: in 2008, the West Coast’s first set of change-ringing bells were placed in the building’s tower as the Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells. gerberding
  6. Guggenheim Hall: With a large grant from the Guggenheim Fund for the Advancement of Aeronautics, the Tudor-Gothic building was designed and dedicated in April 1930. The hall was known as “state of the art,” with faculty control of things like flow of water and electricity for experiments. Since the renovations in 2007, Guggenheim has stood as a place for classes to be held, especially with the new labs and classrooms.guggenheim
  7. Johnson Hall: Constructed back in 1930, this building  used to house the Quaternary Research Center and Department of Geological Sciences, but now is home of of the Department of Earth & Space Sciences. Located on Rainier Vista, those who work or attend class in this hall have a gorgeous view of not only Drumheller Fountain but Mt. Rainier too! johnson
  8. Mary Gates Hall: First known as Physics Hall when it was built in 1928, it was renamed in 1995 as Mary Gates Hall when the Gates family established the Mary Gates Endowment for Students. Today, this building hosts Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, and the UW Career Center.marygates
  9. Miller Hall: When Miller first opened, it was an administrative building and has been called Education Hall in the past. In 1922, Alonzo Victor Lewis sculpted numerous gargoyles to decorate the building’s exterior. They include ones such as the “technical education gargoyle” on the south façade of the hall, “Phoenician teacher gargoyle” on the west façade, “medicine gargoyle” on the north façade, and the “printer gargoyle” on the south façade. Today, Miller Hall is the place for the College of Education.miller
  10. Parrington Hall: When it first opened in 1902, this historic structure was known as Science Hall. It was renamed after English professor Vernon L. Parrington in 1931 and today is home to the School of Public Affairs. This striking red structure is made from red brick and sandstone trimmings.parrington



2 Thoughts on “UW Then & Now”

On September 5, 2014 at 1:31 PM, Darrel Cowan, Professor said:

Johnson Hall is today the home of the Department of Earth & Space Sciences. We created this new department ca. 2001 from the former Department of Geological Sciences and the Graduate Program in Geophysics.

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