Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center

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Institution Name: Morningside College
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumni Gymnasium; Wilhelmina Petersmeyer Library and Marian Jones Hall of Culture; Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Library
Location on Campus: 1601 Morningside Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1914original construction Beuttler & Arnold
1955-1956addition Beuttler, William
1983-1984addition of lobby wing and elevator tower RML Architects Lee, Robert M.
2005-2006interior renovation
Designer: Beuttler & Arnold; William Beuttler; RML Architects; Robert M. Lee
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: red rounded tile
ca. 1914-1955gymnasium
ca. 1956-presentlibrary

First opened as the Alumni Gymnasium in February 1914, the Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center reflects the widespread influence of architect William Beuttler on the Morningside Campus. The original gymnasium was designed with involved brick work, keystones, and an imposing entrance with a huge, pedimented stone doorway with fluted pilasters and a transom light.

Strong enrollments following World War II and growth in many educational disciplines increased the need for reference book and periodical collections, as well as for study space. These developments led to a 1956 renovation, the last major building project during Earl Roadman's administration, to convert the gym into additional library facilities. A 1984 renovation and addition retained the entrance structure but re-set it at an angle to the new structure, defining a large patio at the entrance. The most recent interior renovations of 2005-06 reflect the trend in higher education to domesticate library spaces, making them more inviting and supportive for use by students and the entire campus community.


Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College: A Centennial History. Sioux City, IA: Morningside College Press, 1994.

Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.


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Last update: November 2006