Larsen Hall

Construction

Larsen Hall was dedicated on Oct. 13, 1907 thanks to the fundraising of C. K. Preus. The idea of a new dormitory was first proposed by Preus who also wanted to incorporate a new library and museum building (the future Koren Hall), as well as better facilities for music and science. Situated just west of Loyalty Hall and northeast of Olson Hall, Larsen Hall faces the center of Campus across from the Center for Faith and Life.

Funding

In order to find the funding for his many projects C.K. Preus needed to gain the support of the Norwegian Synod who was to hold their Golden Jubilee at Luther College in 1903. Finally he was given permission to find the funds for a new dormitory. Single handedly, Preus went out among the college constituency in order to find the funding. When illness slowed these efforts, Professors Naeseth, Bleken, and Thompson as well as Pastors Austvold and Ingebrigtson stepped in to aid in the endeavor. When the final funding was counted it was found that $93,000 had been raised for the new dormitory. The funding was such an amount that Larsen Hall was built with repairs to the heating plant and Main building completed as well.

Planning

The new dormitory was built to accommodate both students and educational facilities. The center section was 40 by 50 feet with the east and west wings each being 40 by 90 feet. Larsen Hall included three stories and a basement. The basement was built for the purposes of a biology/chemistry laboratory, music rooms, and lecture rooms. These rooms were later used in order to provide classrooms and administrative offices after the 1942 fire of Old Main.

Dedication

At the 1907 dedication over 3,000 spectators, including 250 pastors of the Norwegian Synod, watched as Hans G. Stub (class of 1966), of the Luther Seminary, preached a sermon on I Corinthians 13: 1-7. Ulrik Vilhelm Koren, president of the Norwegian Synod, performed the dedication, naming the building after Laur Larsen, the first president of Luther College. In the evening, as a surprise to Preus, a party was thrown to celebrate his amazing fundraising efforts as well as his fifty-fifth birthday.

Renovation

In the 1944-45 school year a modernization was undertaken for Larsen Hall. The $60,000 project included fireproofing the stair ways and stairwells, making the washrooms modern, installing new doors, and providing new desks, wardrobes, and dressers to the dormitory rooms. The downstairs continued to house the biology, chemistry, and physics departments.

Developments

Today Larsen Hall houses dormitories on all three floors and the basement in the west wing and on the second and third floors of the east wing. Larsen Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and has dormitory rooms for one, two, and three people with alternating floors making the building co-educational. The first floor of the east wing has been given to the Study Abroad Offices while the basement of the east wing houses the Health Services and Counseling Services of Luther College.

Resources

Residence Life: Larsen Hall