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The Humphrey Center is the grande dame of Grand View College. No doubt for generation upon generation of alumni, this stately building is what they see in their mind's eye whenever the college is mentioned--and rightfully so. Known as Old Main until it was renovated in 1997, the Humphrey Center is the original building of the College and represents the culmination of the dreams of Danish immigrants in Des Moines, small in number though they were, to have a Danish school in their community. The Danish Renaissance elements in the main façade were a conscious effort to evoke the national heritage of the Danish founders and establish a specific ethnic architectural identity at Grand View. Flemish Renaissance motifs joined with Danish elements created the overall effect.
For its first half century, the building was the entire college. In addition to being an educational institution in which classes were conducted, it was home to the president and his family, and it housed all the students, the cook, and other personnel. Within the building were the library, bookstore, and chapel (lecture hall), and all other facilities necessary to handle all functions of the College. Today the beautifully renovated facility, still and forever the Grand View landmark and the heart and soul of campus, houses the following administrative offices: President, Provost, Admissions, Advancement, College Relations, Finance and Administration, Financial Aid, Registrar, and Enrollment Management.
Hansen, Thorvald. And We Laid Foundation Here. . . : The Early History of Grand View College. Des Moines, IA: Grandview College, 1972.
Hansen, Thorvald. That All Good Seed Strike Root, A Centennial History of Grandview College. Des Moines, IA: Grand View College, 1996.
McHone, Ruth, and Samuel J. Klinensmith. Grand View College (Old Main). National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.