Whitney Hale

By

College: Libraries

Sesquicentennial Series: A Second of Many Firsts

Published: Oct 26, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2012) – In celebration of the University of Kentucky's upcoming sesquicentennial in 2015, the 29th of 150 weekly installments on the university recalls the history behind the Ezra Gillis Building.

 

The Ezra Gillis Building is the second oldest building standing on UK’s campus, predated only by the Main Building. Over the past 120 years, the Gillis Building has been home to many collegiate activities. One of the principles of a land-grant institution was that they provide agricultural support for the surrounding community and state. In the mid-1880s, the executive council of the Board of Trustees passed a resolution to establish an agricultural experiment station as quickly as the college could accommodate one. 

 

In May of 1888, the college accepted a bid on the construction of the station and ground was broken in June. The new Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station would be three stories (counting the basement) and was 70 feet long by 54 feet wide. Its front entrance would face west and be graced by an archway 15 feet wide. Just north of the entrance, a tower would spiral skyward beyond the roof. On the building’s north side would be an octagonal projection 18 feet by 18 feet. It would be located just south of the Main Building.

 

Construction on the Experiment Station lasted roughly a year, and the building was ready for occupancy in time for the fall 1889 semester. The five basement rooms, designed originally as store and work rooms for the station, would first be home to the department of natural history. The eight rooms on the main floor consisted of offices, a library, and chemical, botanical and entomological laboratories of the station. The top floor was occupied by the Department of Chemistry, under the direction of Professor Joseph Kastle. It held a large lecture hall that could accommodate about 75 students, several labs, and a balance room. The octagonal room, designed with a sky light, was used as the department’s photographic room. 

 

The building was largely gutted by fire on Feb. 23, 1891, with the most significant loss being two years’ worth of experiment and analysis records. The building was rebuilt to the same floor plan and was completed in 1892.

 

Through the years, the Gillis Building has housed programs in natural history (now anthropology), chemistry, law, hygiene and public health, an infirmary, and the Registrar's Office through the years. It was long known as the Chemistry Building and later the Administration Annex. In 1978 it was named to honor Ezra Gillis, the first university registrar, who served from 1910 until his retirement in 1937.

 

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections. Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. The mission of Special Collections is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

gillis_bldg_as_agriculatural_experiment_station.jpggillis_bldg_-_botany_lab.jpggillis_bldg_-_floor_plan.jpgezra_gillis_in_king_building.jpg
February
 
1
Graduate Student Congress Meeting (February)
Mon
2
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Tue
3
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Wed
4
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Thu
5
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Explore Blue
Off-Campus Student Services' Wildcat Apartment Hop #1
Panel Discussion: Historic Homes
Fri
6
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sat
7
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sun
8
K Crew Recruitment
Sex and Chocolate
Law School Prep Workshop
Mon
9
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Healthy Relationships Workshop
How to Package Communication and Technical Skills on your Resume
2016 Distinguished Industry Lecture Series
Tue
10
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Last Day to Receive 50% Refund
Pinterest Party #1
Get Yourself Tested!
Off-Campus Student Association Information Session
Showcase your Talents: Building a Strong Portfolio
An Evening with Tatyana Ali and Amir Windom: Progression Towards Success
How to Survive a Plague
Wed
11
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Coffee & Canvases
Off-Campus Student Association Information Session
Study Abroad in Berlin!
Horticulture Club Valentine's Day Sale
Thu
12
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Explore Blue
Horticulture Club Valentine's Day Sale
Ash and the Market: Ceramic Exchange, Political Economy, and the Late to Terminal Classic Transformation of the Kiuic Polity
Fri
13
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Learn to Play Bridge
Workshop: The Artist Statement
Sat
14
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sun
15
K Crew Recruitment
See ICT
Patterson School Guest Speaker Series
Mon
16
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
See ICT
UK Women's Forum February Board Meeting
Tue
17
K Crew Recruitment
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Food For Thought
Wed
18
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Soup & Substance: Real Talk, Real Issues, & Real People Series
Thu
19
PharmD Interviews
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Explore Blue
Off-Campus Student Services' Wildcat Apartment Hop #2
SAB Underground Formal
Fri
20
PharmD Interviews
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sat
21
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sun
22
Undergraduate Research Information Session
University Health Service- Let It Go
Monday Night Mingle
Mon
23
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
University Health Service- Know Your Numbers
University Health Service- Mindful Eating
Tue
24
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Don't Blame It On Aging
Ravi Zacharias at Memorial Coliseum
Wed
25
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Thu
26
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Explore Blue
Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference
Eday Talk by Georgetown Toyota President Wil James
Do What You Are: Connecting Personalities w/ Profession
Off- Campus Student Services' Wildcat Apartment Hop #3
Traditions and Transformations in Tz’utujil Territory, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, 500 BC – 1524 AD
Concert in the Museum: Central Music Academy
Fri
27
Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
UK E-Day
Pre-Opera Dinner
Sat
28
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
DanceBlue Rave Hour
Sun
29
Monday through Friday - Midterm Grading window is open. The mid-term grading window will close at midnight on March 11.
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
Bodies Of Evidence: Provocations: A Transnational Feminist History Project
Monday Night Mingle
Mon
 
 
 
 
 
Feb 14
Bill Adams: Blue Madness 02/14/2016

Mon, 02/15/2016

Repeats every day on January, February, March, April every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun Apr 03 2016 .
Tue, 02/16/2016

Repeats every day on January, February, March, April every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Mon Apr 04 2016 .
Tue, 02/16/2016

Tue, 02/16/2016

Reset Page