Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Christensen Center

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Institution Name: Augsburg College
Original/Historic Place Name: College Center
Location on Campus: SE corner of quad: 720 22nd Ave. South
Date(s) of Construction:
1966original design Sverdrup & Parcel & Associates, Inc.
2002additions to main floor; new art gallery, coffee shop, and computer lounge
Designer: Sverdrup & Parcel & Associates, Inc. (St. Louis, MO)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick and precast concrete
Roof: asphalt
1966-present (2006)student union (including food service, mailroom, bookstore, art gallery, meeting rooms, and offices)

Augsburg's College Center, recently renamed for former president Bernhard Christensen, was built in 1965 as part of a larger plan focused on student life outside the classroom. It is connected by a skyway to a high-rise residence hall built in the late 1960s. The Christensen Center and the neighboring dormitory were designed by St. Louis-based Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates; the firm's founder, General Leif Sverdrup, was an alumnus of Augsburg (1918). His firm was known for many large-scale architectural and engineering projects, including Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and the company's work at Augsburg College is an example of the architect's attachment to his alma mater.

The Christensen Center has undergone a series of minor interior changes--for example, to update the appearance of food service and bookstore facilities. Its most recent renovation occurred in 2002, when a new art gallery, a coffee shop, and a computer lounge were added to the main floor.


Chrislock, Carl. From Fjord to Freeway; Augsburg College, 100 Years. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg College, 1969.


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Last update: November 2006