Walter Library is turning 100 years old! Explore a mini-exhibit about the history and construction of the first “new” library on campus. Meet in the unique and historic Upson Room (room 102) to explore campus history and view blueprints, then and now images and more.
Go on a mini-tour and pick up stickers, postcards, and bookmarks to celebrate Walter Library. Find more information and events at z.umn.edu/walter100.
In 1919, the Minnesota Legislature approved $1.25 million for a new library building at the University of Minnesota. Construction began in 1922 and the cornerstone was laid on May 17, 1923. Construction was completed in summer of 1924 and a dedication ceremony was held on Oct. 31, 1924. At the time, the new library was the third most expensive state-built building in Minnesota, according to a report in the Minnesota Daily.
It also was only the second building standing on what would become Northrop Mall. Northrop had not yet been built. Just to the south of the library stood the first building on the mall: the University’s chemistry building.
The new building was simply called “The Library.” It was not renamed Walter Library until 1959, in honor of Frank Keller Walter, who was University Librarian from 1921 until his retirement in 1943.