Luther College Moment in History #96

In 1946 the college secured 17 barracks from the government that provided housing for 31 families and 64 single men. They were located east of what is now College Drive, opposite the Municipal Swimming Pool. They remained there into the 1960s, providing housing for young faculty families as well as students in the 1950s. Two large frame buildings from the prisoner-of-war camp in Algona, Iowa, government surplus property, were set up near Preus Gymnasium, Lane Court to the west and Norby Court to the east. Lane Court housed art and music; Norby Court provided classrooms and faculty offices. The names were in memory of two graduates who were casualties of the war. The college also purchased two Civilian Conservation Corps barracks, situating one north of Preus Gymnasium for classroom use and the other south of the Gymnasium for use as a canteen and bookshop. Note the brick tarpaper siding on the canteen and book shop, in keeping with a “brick” campus, though in this case gray in color. The canteen moved to Lane Court in 1952, to clear the area just north of the new main building; music rehearsal rooms moved from Lane Court to the basement of Preus Gymnasium, the mythical “swimming pool,” and art moved from Lane Court to the Korsrud Heating Plant.

Lane Court vanished in 1961, when Centennial Union was under construction, the canteen moving temporarily to the basement of Valders Hall of Science. Norby Court remained as a classroom, in its late years as a location for music instruction, until summer 1966, when President Farwell decreed Begone! to this relic of the postwar era.