Description: In June 2010, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved a plan to demolish venerable Morrill Hall on the campus’s north side. To provide space for current Morrill Hall occupants, the plan includes an addition to Wells Hall and renovations to the Old Horticulture Building.
Close monitoring of the internal wooden structure of Morrill Hall has revealed irreparable deterioration, indicating that the more-than-100-year-old building is approaching the end of its useful life. The university has determined that reconstruction and restoration of the building, which was built in 1900, would not be economically feasible.
The replacement of Morrill Hall will offer the university a unique opportunity to significantly upgrade the quality of space for its current occupants, and to achieve a more efficient use of space through effective design and allocation.
The departments of English and History currently occupy the majority of space in Morrill Hall. The project will create a language hub at Wells Hall including English; Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages; Spanish and Portuguese; English Language Center; and French, Classics and Italian – and place these units in proximity to colleagues in the College of Education and International Studies Programs. Religious Studies and African American African studies also will relocate to Wells Hall. The ultimate goal is to create cohesive and vibrant communities for students, faculty and staff.
History will relocate to Old Horticulture in total and maintain its north campus location. Renovations to Old Horticulture are planned as part of this project to accomodate the relocated History department.
This project will also include a green roof on the one-story addition, a new and visible east-west entrance to Wells Hall, removal of on-street parking, creation of adjacent barrier-free parking and street realignment and widening.
Demolition of Morrill Hall will follow the completion of the Wells Hall Addition. The work scope currently involves demolition of structure, site-restoration with lawn, sidewalks, benches and commemorative signage. As the demolition and site plan details are further developed, opportunities for site restoration will be explored, including ways to commemorate the significance of the Morrill Act and potentially using pieces of the Morrill Hall building.
Originally opened in 1900, Morrill Hall is named in honor of Justin Smith Morrill, the Vermont senator for whom the Morrill Act is named and what brought about the establishment of the land-grant university. The Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. For the past 110 years, Morrill Hall has served MSU well, originally as a women’s residence hall.
Impacts to building users, pedestrians, bikers, motorists:
Questions, comments, concerns?
Please refer to the Construction Detours web page for current and upcoming detour information.