John H. Herrick,
Executive Director Emeritus, Campus Planning





Office of Campus Planning and Space Utilization
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
July 15, 1982





I. INTRODUCTION & SOURCES........................................................................................ 1

II. SYNOPSIS.......................................................................................................................... 1

III. EARLY CAMPUS DESIGN................................................................................................ 2


V. EMERGENCE OF THE NAME "OVAL"............................................................................ 8

VI. USES OF THE OVAL....................................................................................................... 12

VII. LANDSCAPE FEATURES OF THE OVAL..................................................................... 18





MAP A ORIGINAL CAMPUS..................................................................................................... 3

MAP B CAMPUS IN 1890.......................................................................................................... 4

MAP C CENTRAL AREA OF CAMPUS IN 1893...................................................................... 5

MAP D CENTRAL AREA OF CAMPUS IN 1900...................................................................... 6

MAP E PORTION OF HAERLIN'S 1900 MASTER PLAN (MAP 190-04)............................... 6

MAP F THE OVAL IN 1982........................................................................................................ 8


MAP H WALKS IN OVAL PROPOSED BY BRADFORD IN 1914........................................ 26

MAP I WALKS IN THE OVAL IN 1981................................................................................. 26



I.   Introduction & Sources
    To many people, the Oval symbolizes Ohio State University. Local television news programs often show the Oval in the background, and many publications by campus and off-campus agencies include pictures of the Oval. Students frequently ask about the history of the Oval, and similar questions often come from outside the University family.

Because of this persistent interest, this memorandum is written to tell how and when the Oval originated and when it came to be known as the Oval, and to indicate some of the uses of the Oval over the years.

This memorandum is based primarily on information gleaned from research in the preparation of Herrick, OSU Campus Buildings and Herrick, OSU Historical Maps, published by the Office of Campus Planning & Space Utilization in 1979 and 1982, respectively. Some additional research has been done, primarily in the Lantern files, with particular attention to the evolution of the name and the uses of the Oval.

Other sources include the Monthly, the Makio, On Campus and other University publications. Observations and recollections of the author, and the memories of many active and retired employees of the University have frequently been used.

Volume II of the History of the Ohio State University by Osman Castle Hooper, Professor of Journalism , is cited several times. This is the second volume of a series edited by Thomas C. Mendenhall and published by The Ohio State University Press. Volume II was published in 1926. It is referred to in this report as "Hooper."

William C. McCracken was for 60 years the chief official in charge of the physical plant. Between 1942 and 1947, after he had retired, he wrote and published two copies of a four-volume, typewritten history of the physical plant under the title, The History of the Physical Plant of The Ohio State University. His reports are referred to in this document as "McCracken."

A major shortcoming of this memorandum is that it deals too little with the actual thinking and changing concepts of the participants in the development of the campus. Intensive study of records in the University Archives and of private papers elsewhere would be desirable. Unfortunately, the collection of such materials in the University Archives is meager.

This memorandum will refer to certain buildings and maps by number. These are the numbers used in Herrick, OSU Campus Buildings and Herrick, OSU Historical Maps, respectively. Also, there will be some reference to photographs in the Photo Archives section of the University Archives. In some instances, the Photo Archives number will be given; if no number has been assigned, the reference will be only to "Photo Archives."

II.   Synopsis
  1. The original campus design did not include the Oval or anything resembling it. University Hall (Bldg. 088) and the adjacent service buildings (Bldgs. H 100, H 101 & H 102) were on the highest place on the campus. To the south lay a small "campus" surrounded by farm fields, pastures, and woods. Two small dormitories (Bldgs. H 108 & H 109) were located across the fields at the end of the Neil Avenue street car line, where Hamilton Hall (Bldg. 038) now stands.
  2. An 1893 master plan proposed a grouping of buildings around a central open space, generally in the form of a quadrangle. By the fall of 1901 this open space had evolved a shape essentially the same as today's Oval.
  3. The first reference to this space as "the oval," which I have encountered, came in 1910. Beginning in 1912, the space was often called the "campus oval," "the main oval," or the oval with some other modifying adjective.
  4. From 1913 to 1920 the space was generally called "the oval," with no modifier and no capitalization.
  5. From 1920 on the space has generally been called "the Oval," with the name capitalized.
  6. The Oval has been the scene of a great variety of student and alumni activities over the years.
  7. While the shape of the Oval has remained substantially unchanged since 1901, some of the perimeter streets were converted to pedestrian malls in the 1970's.
III.   Early Campus Design
  1. The location of the University was finally agreed upon in mid-October 1870, and the land purchases were completed in early 1871. The University opened for instruction in September 1873.

Two barns (Bldgs. H 103 & H 105) were constructed during 1871, and in July of that year construction contracts were awarded for University Hall (Bldg. 088), the first academic building.

While University Hall was under construction the Board of Trustees secured the services of several individuals to design and lay out a campus of 40 acres, more or less, around the building. The plan accepted was prepared by Capt. Herman Haerlin, a landscape gardener from Cincinnati. Haerlin continued to serve the University from time to time through 1903.

  2. The design of the original campus followed that of an English manor, with the manor house on high ground and set well back from the highway, with service buildings behind the manor house, and with lawns, gardens, wooded areas and other landscape features informally located around the main structure.

The original University Hall (Bldg. 088), which stood on the site of the present University Hall (Bldg. S 016), represented the manor house. It was placed on the highest point on the farm. Access from High Street was by a long, sweeping drive from a point near Page Hall (Bldg. 061), and running diagonally across what is now the Oval.

Open farm fields, with some trees lay in front of University Hall, and three service buildings (a boiler plant and a gas plant--Bldgs. H 101, H 102 & H 103) were at the rear of University Hall. This entire central complex was surrounded by farm fields, pastures, and a wood lot, and by scattered houses and related small barns which were on the land when purchased.

Some distance to the south of University Hall, and separated by farm lands, the University constructed two small dormitories (Bldgs. H 108 & H 109) at the site of the present Hamilton Hall (Bldg. 038). These two buildings were finished in 1874, thus completing the original campus.

This original campus is shown graphically in Map A.


As the need for more academic space developed during the 1870's and 1880's, an engineering building (Bldg, 004), and an electrical engineering building (Bldg. H 117) were erected behind University Hall, and a botany building (Bldg. H 114) was constructed across the campus at the site of the present Faculty Club (Bldg. 028).

Three faculty residences (Bldgs. H 110, H 111 & H 112) were built along the diagonal drive, one of them in what is now the Oval.

The Agricultural Experiment Station (now the Ohio Aqricultural Research & Development Center at Wooster), which was originally located on the University farm, built an office building and greenhouse (Bldg. H 116) where Lazenby Hall (Bldg. 041) now stands.

The farm barns (Bldg. H 105) at the site of the present Women's Field House (Bldg. 029) were enlarged.

The construction of these buildings during the first two decades of the University's history did no violence to the informal, English-manor concept, and in no way pointed toward the evolution of the central open space now called the Oval.

Map B shows the campus as it existed in 1890, with some minor buildings omitted.

MAP B      CAMPUS IN 1890

IV.   Emergence and Implementation of the Central Open Space Concept
  1. In the early 1890's, thinking with respect to the arrangement of the campus began to change. No precise date can be established, but several events, either by intent or otherwise, set the stage for the evolution of the central open space now called the Oval.
  2. In 1890, a second chemistry building (Bldg. H 118) was constructed on the site of the present Derby Hall (Bldg. 025), and a year later construction began on Hayes Hall (Bldg. 039). These two buildings and University Hall (Bldg. 088) began the arc of buildings now facing the Oval on the north side.
  3. Also in 1891, construction began on Orton Hall (Bldg. 060) directly east of the Botany Building (Bldg. H 114). Thus the arc of buildings on the south side of the Oval began to emerge.

Map C shows the central area of the campus in 1893, when Orton and Hayes were completed.


  5. In 1893 a new master plan was proposed by Capt. Haerlin. No copy of this plan has been found, but it is described in some detail in the Lantern for March 14, 1894.

This plan provided for the first time a central open space around which buildings could be arranged, and which would not be crossed by any roads. (The diagonal drive from High Street would be eliminated.)

Professor Thomas F. Hunt, who explained this plan to the Lantern reporter, characterized this central open space as a "quadrangle, with the roads and buildings forming its outlines.....".

  6. During the remainder of the 1890's, the following additional buildings, all completed in 1898, further defined the central open space:
    6.1 Townshend Hall (Bldg. 087)
    6.2 Biological Hall (Bldg. H 203) on the site of the present Hagerty Hall (Bldg. 037)
    6.3 Armory & Gymnasium (Bldg. H 202) on the site of the present Weigel Hall (Bldg.399)
  7. Also during the 1890's, the central open space was further defined by a new road on the north side, by changes in the road along the south side and by one or two connecting roads at the east end.
  8. The central area of the campus as it appeared in 1900 is shown on Map D.


  9. At the turn of the century, probably in 1900, Capt. Haerlin proposed a new master plan (Map 190-04) to replace the 1893 plan. This new plan showed the oval in substantially its present form, without the diagonal drive.

A modified copy of part of this 1900 plan is shown here as Map E.


  10. In the fall of 1901, the closure at the east end of the open space was re-shaped by a curved road substantially as proposed by Haerlin and the same as the present College Road. At this point, it can be said that the present Oval had been substantially achieved, except for the continued presence of the diagonal drive and the continued existence of one house (Bldg. H 112) within the central open space.
  11. Subsequent to the substantial achievement of the present shape of the Oval in the fall of 1901, there have been many refinements, the most important of which are:
    11.1 The house (Bldg. H 112) was moved to a new location in 1902 and the diagonal drive was removed in 1912.
    11.2 Gaps along the north side were filled by the completion of the Administration Building-(Bldg. 001) in 1924, Hughes Hall (Bldg. 042) in 1949, and Hopkins Hall (Bldg. 149) in 1962.

The original University Hall (Bldg. 088) was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the present University Hall (Bldg. S 016), which was completed in 1976.

The second chemistry building (Bldg. H 118) burned in 1904. It was replaced by a third chemistry building, now Derby Hall (Bldg. 025), which was completed in 1906.

The Armory (Bldg. H 202) burned in 1958. It was replaced by Weigel Hall (Bldg.399) which was first occupied in 1979.

    11.3 Along the south side, the blank spaces were filled by the completion of Page Hall (Bldg. 061) in 1903 and Mendenhall Laboratory (Bldg. 054) in 1905.

Biological Hall (Bldg. H 203) was razed in 1923 and replaced by Hagerty Hall (Bldg.037), which was completed in 1924. Botanical Hall (Bldg. H 114) was razed in 1941, after completion of the Faculty Club (Bldg. 028) in 1940.

    11.4 At the west end, the old Experiment Station Office and Greenhouses (Bldg. H 116) were demolished in 1913 and replaced by Lazenby Hall (Bldg. 041), which was completed in 1914. Independence Hall (Bldg. S 018) was completed in 1975 to replace the auditorium (Chapel) portion of the original University Hall (Bldg. 088).
    11.5 Within the Oval, the Main Library (Bldg. 050) was completed in 1912.
    11.6 The entrance to the Oval from High Street was originally flanked on the north by the President's House (Bldg. H 001), which was on the original campus when purchased. It was razed in 1949. Mershon Auditorium (Bldg. 055) was completed on this site in 1957.

The south flank was occupied by faculty residences (Bldgs. H 110 & H 111) erected in 1882. They were demolished in 1911 and replaced by the first unit of Sullivant Hall (Bldg. 106), which was completed in 1913. The north wing of Sullivant Hall, which parallels the entrance mall, was completed in 1925.

    11.7 A major replacement of walks within the Oval, including the construction of the Long Walk, occurred in 1914. Other changes have been made from time to time over the years.
    11.8 The portion of the North Oval Drive east of University Hall (Bldg. 088) was converted to a pedestrian mall in 1974, and the part in front of University Hall became a pedestrian plaza in 1976. The east end of South Oval Drive was converted to a pedestrian mall in 1975.
    11.9 The present benches and other furniture in and around the Oval were installed from time to time starting in the mid-1970's.
    11.10 Map F shows the Oval as it exists today.

MAP F      THE OVAL IN 1982

V.   Emergence of the Name "Oval"
  1. It has been noted that the central open space proposed in the 1893 master plan was described by Professor Hunt as a "quadrangle". The changes in the shape of this open space, which was fixed by late 1901, made the term "quadrangle" inappropriate, and the space gradually became known as "the Oval". This change took more than a decade to accomplish, and it was two decades before "Oval" was generally capitalized.
  2. Lantern pages from 1893 through June 1923 were scanned for references to the central open space. The alumni magazine (Alumni Quarterly and later the Monthly) were scanned for the first decade (1910-1920). The forms of reference to the central open space as revealed by this scanning are reported in the table below. The table also includes scattered references later than 1923, which were encountered incidentally, as well as a few references to sources other than the Lantern and the Monthly.
  3. The table below indicates the evolution of the present name, "the Oval", by stages, as follows:
    3.1 Prior to the spring of 1912, the place was variously described without the use of any name for the open space. The one exception is the reference to "the oval" in Professor Chubb's 1910 article. There may well have been other early uses of the term "the oval", but I did not encounter them.
    3.2 Beginning in May 1912, the word "oval" is noted, frequently preceeded by an adjective such as "central", "campus", "main", or "University".
    3.3 By the spring of 1913, the use fo the accompanying adjective was less frequent, and the space was generally called simply "the oval", not capitalized.
    3.4 Starting in 1920, the word "oval" was generally capitalized, and this practice still prevails. Incidently, the "Long Walk" was capitalized in the 1919-20 issues of the Lantern.
Designation of Open Space
Lantern, Sept. 20, 1901 Street changes at east end of Oval not named
Letter, Olmsted Brothers to Pres. Mallon of OSU Board of Trustees, Dec. 12, 1905. (Herrick, OSU Campus Master Plans, Exhibit G) General discussion of future changes in campus "informal park" or "informal central lawn"
Lantern, Sept. 16, 1900 Cane rush "from Page Hall halfway to Hayes"
Lantern, July 17, 1907 Cane rush "between Hayes Hall & Page Hall"
Lantern, Sept. 21, 1909 Cane rush "between Hayes Hall & Page Hall"
John C. Olmsted in 1909 Makio (pp. 12, 14, 20, 21) Proposed campus plan "central lawn"
Lantern, June 25, 1909 Commencement large tent in front of Botanical Hall (Bldg. H 114)
Professor Chubb in April 1910 issue of Alumni Quarterly Criticism of Olmsted Bros. plan (Map 190-23) "the oval" (not capitalized)
Lantern, April 20, 1910 Location of new library (Bldg. 050) "to the west of the cinder path between University Hall and the Spring [at Mirror Lake]"
Lantern, May 18, 1910 Location of new library (Bldg. 050) "to the west of the cinder path between University Hall and the Spring [at Mirror Lake]"
Board of Trustees Minutes, June 30, 1910 Construction of new library (Bldg. 050) "at the axis of University Hall & the axis of the High Street entrance [15th Ave.]."
Lantern, Nov. 2, 1910 Location of new library (Bldg. 050) "in the open space between University Hall & the Spring"
Lantern, Jan. 11, 1911 Construction of new library (Bldg. 050) "west of the cinder path leading from University Hall to the Spring"
Lantern, May 3, 1911 Construction of new library (Bldg. 050) "between University Hall & Botany Building (Bldg. H 114)
Lantern, May 24, 1911 Senior frolic "on the campus in front of the Armory (Bldg. H 202)"
Lantern, May 1, 1912 Baseball Diamonds "in front of Orton Hall (Bldg. 060)"
Lantern, May 8, 1912 Baseball Diamonds "in the central oval"
Lantern, Sept. 17, 1912 Diagonal drive entrance "the campus oval"
Lantern, Nov. 27, 1912 Walks "the campus oval"
Monthly, Jan 1913 (p.5) Location of library (Bldg. 050) "at the western axis of the oval"
Monthly, Feb 1913 (p.5) Article by Chubb on the library (Bldg. 050) "in the oval"
Lantern, Apr. 16, 1913 Walks "the main oval"
Lantern, Apr. 23, 1913 Walks "the campus oval"
Lantern, Apr. 30, 1913 Bradford's master plan "the main oval"
Lantern, May 7, 1913 Walks "the main oval"
Lantern, June 13, 1913 Pageant "the University oval"
"the oval"
Monthly, May-June 1913 (p.14) Link Day "in oval"
Monthly, July 1913 Annual inspection of cadets "on oval"
Lantern, Jan. 14, 1914 Buildings & Street lights "on the oval"
"around the oval"
Lantern, Jan. 28, 1914 Bradford master plan "on the oval"
"in the oval"
Lantern, Sept. 28, 1914 Student body picture "in campus oval"
"in main oval"
Lantern, Oct. 2, 1914 Student body picture "on the campus oval"
Lantern, Oct. 6, 1914 Student body picture "on oval"
"center of the oval"
Lantern, Oct. 15, 1914 Walks "in the oval"
Lantern, Oct. 20, 1914 Military drill "in the oval"
Lantern, Nov. 4, 1914 Annual review of OSU regiments "in front of Physics Building (Bldg. 054)"
Lantern, Nov. 9, 1914 Military review "on the oval"
Lantern, Mar. 26, 1915 Walks "in the oval"
Lantern, Apr. 22, 1915 Proposed flag pole "in the oval"
Lantern, June 4, 1916 Drill competition "the oval"
Lantern, May 30, 1916 Alumni Day "march around the oval"
Lantern, May 31, 1916 Alumni Day "parade around the oval"
Lantern, June 2, 1916 Alumni Day "march around the oval"
Lantern, June 3 , 1916 Alumni Day "march around the oval"
Lantern, June 4, 1916 Alumni Day "parade around the oval"
Monthly, July 1916 Military drill "on oval"
Monthly, May 1917 Regimental parade & inspection "on oval"
Lantern, Feb. 19, 1915 Commencement "on the oval"
Monthly, March 1918 Regimental drill "in front of Hayes (Bldg. 039)"
Lantern, Mar. 26, 1915 Annual inspection of cadets "middle of the oval"
Lantern, Apr. 4, 1915 Review of cadet regiments "around the oval"
Monthly, April 1918 (p.12 & 13) Aviation cadet inspection "in oval"
Lantern, May 15,1918 Commencement "on the oval"
Lantern, May 22,1918 Commencement "on the campus oval"
Lantern, May 27,1918 Oratorio "on the oval"
Lantern, July 19, 1918 Commencement "on oval"
Monthly, June-July 1918 (p.18) Commencement "on the oval"
Monthly, Oct. 1918 (p.3) Mobilization of SATC (military) "on oval"
Lantern, Feb. 11, 1919 Student body picture "in the center of the oval"
Lantern, Sept. 16, 1919 Know Ohio Night "on the campus oval"
Lantern, Sept. 17, 1919 Know Ohio Night "in the oval"
Lantern, May 6, 1920 Bucket & Dipper "the oval"
Lantern, May 20, 1920 Student body picture "on the oval"
Lantern, May 24, 1920 May Breakfast "in the east end of the oval"
Lantern, May 25, 1920 May Breakfast "on the oval"
Lantern, May 25, 1920 Student body picture "on the oval"
Lantern, May 27, 1920 Senior Class Breakfast "in front of the library"
Lantern, June 14, 1920 Parents' Luncheon "directly south of the library"
Makio, 1920 Picture of Orton Hall "the open Oval where the Long Walk lies"
Lantern, Sept. 14, 1920 Know Ohio Night "the oval"
Lantern, Sept. 22, 1920 Editorial--sunbathing "the oval"
Lantern, Nov. 9, 1920 Military review "the Oval"
Monthly, Dec. 1920 (p. 36) Military review "the Oval"
Lantern, Jan. 19, 1921 Plans for campus beautification "the Oval"
Lantern, Feb. 9, 1921, Plans for campus beautification "the campus Oval"
Lantern, Feb. 16, 1921 Military review "the Oval"
Lantern, Sept. 20, 1921 Know Ohio Night "the campus Oval"
Lantern, Nov. 8, 1921 Military review "the Oval"
Lantern, Nov. 10, 1921 Parking "the Oval"
Lantern, Jan. 27, 1922 Parking "the Oval"
Lantern, Apr. 25, 1922 May Day Breakfast "the Oval"
Lantern, May 19, 1922 May Day Breakfast "the Oval"
Lantern, July 14, 1922 Aerial photo "the well-defined Oval"
Lantern, Oct. 26, 1922 Quoting from editor of Adventure "from Oval to Eleventh Avenue"
Lantern, Mar. 19, 1923 Parking "in the Oval"
Lantern, Apr. 30, 1923 May Breakfast "east end of the Oval"
Lantern, May 4, 1923 May Breakfast "on Oval"
Lantern, May15, 1923 Cadet inspection "on the Oval"
Lantern, May 16, 1923 Cadet inspection "marched down the Oval"
History of Ohio State University, Vol II (Hooper) 1925 (P. 220) Summary of building construction "the Oval"
Monthly, Oct. 1944 Army jeep "on Oval"
Lantern, May 3, 1966 Student Federation rally "on Oval"
Lantern, June 11, 1970 Rally "on the Oval"
Lantern, Jan. 28, 1980 Musical chairs "on Oval"
Lantern, Apr. 21, 1980 Earth Week "on the Oval"
Lantern, Apr. 28, 1980 Musical chairs "the Oval"
"the center of the Oval"
Lantern, May 3, 1982 1970 riots "on Oval"
Lantern, Mar. 29, 1982 Feature article on Oval "Oval"
  4. In passing, attention is called to the fact that for the past few years the ravine east of Mirror Lake has frequently been called "the South Oval."
VI.   Uses of the Oval
  1. The Oval serves a host of functions. For many visitors, it is the front door, or reception hall, which fosters a first and lasting impression of the campus. For the thousands of students and faculty members who are on campus regularly, it is an effective distributor of pedestrian traffic. For the campus planner, the Long Walk through the center of the Oval is a reference point in locating and orienting new buildings, including many quite distant buildings. For most pedestrians, the openness of the Oval offers a psychological relief, or emotional change of pace, as they move into it from the more congested adjoining areas. For botany classes, the Oval, with its great variety of trees and shrubs, provides an outdoor learning laboratory. Finally, the Oval provides a place for a great variety of outdoors events ranging from individual or small group, informal activities to large group events, which may be officially sponsored and planned or unofficial, spontaneous "happenings" of many kinds.
  2. It is the purpose of this section of the memorandum to provide a partial list of activities that have taken place on the Oval. This list is based on personal observations and recollections, news accounts in the Lantern and other publications, and photographs in the files of the Photo Archives section of the University Archives.

This list is by no means complete. In fact, no complete list can be compiled, because many events have never been recorded. The list does, however, reveal most of the types of activities that should be included.

  3. Personal observation on any good day, especially in early spring or autumn, will reveal such activities as the following:
    3.1 Students lounging in the sun, with attire selected and arranged to maximize within reason the area of skin to be tanned.
    3.2 Students reading or writing, while acquiring a tan.
    3.3 Students studying at the tables in more shady areas.
    3.4 Student groups conversing or studying together, or in some instances attending class.
    3.5 Individual students, groups of students, or family groups strolling on the Oval, or enjoying a picnic.
    3.6 Individuals or small groups tossing a baseball or football, practicing golf swings, or participating in other limited athletic activity.
  4. The following table lists other activities on the Oval, together with an indication of the source of information.
Year Activity Source
1906 Cane Rush Lantern, Sept. 26, 1906
1907 Cane Rush Lantern, July 17, 1907
1909 Commencement in tent
Cane Rush
Lantern, June 25, 1909
Lantern, Sept. 21, 1909
1911 Governor's review of cadets
Military review
Senior Frolic
Photo Archives
Monthly, Jan., 1911
Lantern, May 24, 1911
1912 Student body picture
Baseball (3 diamonds)
Photo Archives
Lantern, May 1, 1912
Lantern, May 18, 1912
1913 Link Day Ceremonies

Annual inspection of cadets
Monthly, May-June, 1913 Photographs
X16368/9 & X16371/5
Lantern, June 13, 1913
Monthly, July, 1913
1914 Regimental review & inspection

Student body picture
Lantern, Oct. 20, 1914
Lantern, Nov. 4, 1914
Lantern, Nov. 9, 1914
Lantern, Sept. 28, 1914
Lantern, Oct. 2, 1914
Lantern, Oct. 6, 1914
1916 Alumni Day--parade around Oval

Military drill competition
Lantern, May 30, 1916
Lantern, May 31, 1916
Lantern, June 2, 1916
Lantern, June 3, 1916
Lantern, June 4, 1916
Lantern, June 4, 1916
1917 Regimental inspection & parade Monthly, May, 1917
1918 Regimental drill
Aviation cadet inspection

Commencement in tent

Mobilization of Student Army Training Corps
Monthly, March 1918
Monthly, April, 1918
Lantern, March 26, 1918
Lantern, April 18, 1918
Lantern, May 15, 1918
Lantern, May 22, 1918
Lantern, May 27, 1918
Lantern, July 19, 1918
Monthly, June-July, 1918
Photo Archives
Monthly, Oct. 1918
1919 Student body picture
Know Ohio Night (Orientation)

Photograph X17232
Lantern, Sept.16, 1919
Lantern, Sept.17, 1919
Photo Archives
1920 Know Ohio Night
Military review

Yuletide celebration at Christmas tree on Oval
Lantern, Sept. 14, 1920
Lantern, Sept. 20, 1920
Lantern, Sept. 22, 1920
Lantern, Oct. 15, 1920
Lantern, Nov. 8,1920
Lantern, Nov. 9,1920
Lantern, Oct. 21,1920
Lantern, Dec. 17,1920
1921 Concert on Hayes Hall steps

May Breakfast
Bucket & Dipper ceremonies

Chimes (at Sun Dial)
Know Ohio Night
Military review--Armistice Day
Lantern, April 12, 1921
Lantern, April 14, 1921
Photo Archives
Lantern, June 14, 1921
Lantern, May 2, 1921
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Lantern, Sept. 20, 1921
Lantern, Nov. 7, 1921
Lantern, Nov. 8, 1921
Photo Archives
1922 Bucket & Dipper ceremonies
May Breakfast

Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Lantern, April 5, 1922
Lantern, April 25, 1922
Lantern, May 12, 1922
Lantern, May 19, 1922
Lantern, May 25, 1922
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1923 May Breakfast

Cadet inspection

May Supper
Sphinx ceremonies
Armistice Day ceremonies
Lantern, April 30, 1923
Lantern, May 4, 1923
Lantern, May 15, 1923
Lantern, May 16, 1923
Monthly, June 19, 1923
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1924 May Breakfast
Senior Prom Parade
Memorial Day ceremonies
Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1925 Mortar Board ceremonies
Memorial Day ceremonies
Homecoming Floats
Armistice Day ceremonies
Military review every Wednesday (autumn quarter)
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Personal recollection
1926 May Supper
Voting for May Queen
Mortar Board ceremonies
Memorial Day ceremonies
Military review every Wednesday (spring & autumn quarters)
Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Personal recollection

Photo Archives
1927 May Supper
Freshman Orientation
Military review every Wednesday (spring & autumn quarters)
Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Personal recollection

Photo Archives
1928 May Supper
Chimes ceremonies
Military review every Wednesday (spring quarters)
Homecoming Floats
Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Personal recollection

Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1929 Tradition Day
May Supper
Homecoming Floats
Armistice Day ceremonies
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1930 Homecoming Floats Photo Archives
1933 May Supper Photo Archives
1934 Engineers' Day Parade Photo Archives
1937 Alumni Parade
Freshman Orientation
Photo X17024
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1939 May Supper Photo Archives
1940 Engineers' Day Parade Photo Archives
1942 Freshman Orientation
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1947 Freshman Orientation
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1948 Engineers' Day Parade
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1949 Army Day
Freshman Orientation
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1950 Military Review
May Supper
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1951 Taps Photo Archives
1952 May Supper
Engineers' Day Parade
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1953 May Week
May Supper
Freshman Orientation
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1954 Freshman Orientation
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1955 May Week Photo Archives
1957 Taps Photo Archives
1959 Military Review Personal calendar, May 7
1960 Military Review Personal calendar, May 5
1961 Military Review
Personal calendar, May 4
Photo Archives
1962 Military Review Personal calendar, May 3
1963 Military Review
Personal calendar, May 2
Photo Archives
1964 Military Review
Civil Rights Rally, Jan. 4
"Soap Box," April 1964
Personal calendar, May 7
Photo Archives
Photo X13478
1965 Rally on Speaker's Rule
Military review
Monthly, June 1925
Personal calendar, May 6
Photo Archives
1966 Corps Day

Free Students Federation Rally
Lantern, May 2, 1966
Lantern, May 6, 1966
Lantern, May 3, 1966
Photo Archives
1967 Military review

Freshman Orientation
Student Protest Demonstration
Lantern, May 3, 1967
Lantern, May 5, 1967
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1970 Student Rally, June 11, 1970 (dissidents)
Student riots
May Week
Sailing Club (recruiting)
Photo Archives
Lantern, May 3, 1982
Photo Archives
Photo Archives
1972 Taps Photo Archives
1974 May Week Lantern, May 6, 1974
1976 Taps Photo Archives
1980 Musical Chairs

Earth Week
Lantern, Jan. 28, 1980
Lantern, May 28, 1980
Photo Archives
Lantern, April 21, 1980
1982 Asian Awareness Week
Moslem Student Society Protest
Mini-tractor Pull
Lantern, May 21, 1982
Lantern, May 21, 1982
Lantern, May 25, 1982
VII. Landscape Features of the Oval
    Over the years the Oval has accumulated many special features, including, among others, an extensive pattern of walks, several historic rocks, and several trees and grouping of trees of historic signifigance. It is the purpose of this section of this memorandum to identify and discuss briefly each of these landmarks.

Map G shows the approximate location of each feature discussed herein. The paragraph numbers used in this report are used on the map for identification.


  1. Boulders
    Several large glacial boulders serve as memorials or markers on and around the Oval.
    1.1 Class of 1892 Memorial

Between the southwest corner of the Administration Building (Bldg. 001) and the Oval stands a large granite boulder. According to Hooper, it was brought from the vicinity of Iuka Avenue as a class memorial. The class year ('92) is inscribed on one side.

After World War I, a bronze plaque was prepared reading:


The Lantern for December 6 and 19, 1917 indicate that this plaque was dedicated on December 19, 1917 at the second annual Christmas tree celebration sponsored by the YMCA and YWCA. The plaque was then placed on the '92 boulder.

I observed on October 16, 1969 that the plaque was missing. It was later replaced by a new plaque bearinq the same wording. Photo Archives has pictures of both plaques--the original is Photograph X17349 and the replacement is X30069. Current pictures of the entire rock and its setting are X30104 and X30105.

    1.2 Bucket & Dipper Rock

During the construction of the Library (Bldg. 050) a large boulder was unearthed just north of the building. The Board of Trustees on June 12, 1911 authorized Bucket & Dipper to put a bronze plaque on this rock.

The Monthly for May 1949 (p. 12) reported that this rock had been moved to clear the way for equipment used in constructing the addition to the Library. It was moved to the slope north of Mirror Lake and opposite the east end of Pomerene Hall (Bldg. 067), where it is now located.

The rock is used in connection with the ceremonies of Bucket & Dipper.

Photographs of this rock in its present location are X30084 and X30085.

    1.3 Five Brothers Rock

At the site of the original Five Brothers (see Item 7.2) is a rock bearing two plaques placed there by Ohio Staters, one in 1966 and the other in 1976. This rock is south of the Long Walk in a line between Derby Hall (Bldg. 025) and Orton Hall (Bldg. 060).

The 1966 plaque reads as follows:




The 1976 plaque, which is below the one installed in 1966, reads as follows:



According to the Monthly-for June 1967, this rock came from University Hall (Bldg. 088). Hooper (p. 247) notes that this rock was found in Delaware County and sent to the State House square. It was brought to campus by the geology class of 1882.

Photographs of the rock near University Hall are X2482 (rock nearest University Hall) and X30105 (rock at right edge of picture). Current photographs are X30077 and X30078.

    1.4 Latitude Stone

This is a stone on the 40th parallel located between the Library (Bldg. 050) and University Hall (Bldg. S 016).

The history of this marker is well summarized by the bronze plaque on the north face of the stone, which reads as follows:



A bronze plaque on top, which serves as a benchmark, reads as follows:

LATITUDE 40°-00'-00"
LONGITUDE 83°-00'-54"

759.716 FT.

Current photographs of this stone are X30101, X30102, and X30103.

    1.5 Orton Hall

Near the northwest corner of Orton Hall (Bldg. 060) is a granite boulder about 12 feet tall. According to the Lantern for May 16, 1906, this was brought to campus in 1906 from Neil Run (a stream that ran through Mirror Lake Hollow), just east of High St.

The Monthly for September 1972 states that it was found in 1905 by a street construction crew at 16th Avenue and Iuka, and was brought to campus at the request of Edward Orton, Jr. of the Geology Department.

McCracken (Vol I, p. 106) states that a "bronze information plate" was attached to the east face of the boulder, but that it had been removed by vandals. Inspection of the rock now reveals no evidence that a plaque was ever on the east face of the rock, but two small drilled holes on the north side suggest that something had been attached there at one time.

Photograph X30080 is a current picture of this rock. An older photograph is X30107.

    1.6 Alpha Zeta Founders Stone

On the north side of the sidewalk leading to the front entrance of Lazenby Hall (Bldg. 041) is a rock placed there in November 1937 at the time of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Alpha Zeta. The rock came "from Arlington," according to the Lantern for November 12, 1937. There are four pins marking the place where there was once a plaque. This plaque has been lost. According to Assistant Dean Raymond A. Miller, the plaque read as follows:

In a building near this spot
was founded the
Fraternity of


in 1897

Charles William Burkett
John Ferguson Cunningham

A current picture of this rock without the plaque is X30087.

  2. Historical Markers
    The Class of 1980 gave markers for two historic places on campus-Orton Hall (Bldg. 060) and the site of the Armory (Bldg. H 202). These are cylindrical concrete markers with sloping tops. A picture and brief history of the building is shown on a plaque on top of each marker.

The Orton Hall marker is west of the entrance walk; the one for the Armory is located approximately 100 feet south of Weigel Hall (Bldg. 399) near the sidewalk along the curve of College Road. Current photographs of these markers are X30073 and X30074 for the Armory; X30081 and X30082 for Orton Hall.

  3. Sphinx Plaza
    Between the Library (Bldg. 050) and the west end of University Hall (Bldg. S 016) is a plaza constructed by Sphinx, a Senior honorary organization, as a 75th anniversary gift to the University.

The memorial consists of a paved plaza, raised in the center, and surrounded by precast concrete panels carrying the names of all Sphinx members by years. A bench is located in front of each panel. In the center of the raised portion of the plaza is the Sun Dial donated by the class of 1905. See Item 5.

The plaza was designed by Marion Packard, a Columbus landscape architect.

The ground breaking ceremony was held on May 8, 1981, the 74th Link Day of the organization. Construction was completed during the summer of 1981.

Current pictures of this plaza are X30096, X30097, X30098, X30099 and X30100.

  4. Sculpture
    4.1 The first statue erected on campus was that of Dr. Willoughby D. Miller, a dentist who discovered the cause of tooth decay. The Board of Trustees on June 28, 1915 gave the International Dental Federation permission to erect this statue. It was placed southwest of the original section of the Library (Bldg. 050) with the understanding that it would later be moved to the medical area of the campus.

In May 1978 the statue was moved to a location south of Postle Hall (Bldg. 024), which is in accordance with the 1915 understanding.

The statue was the work of Frederick C. Hibbard of Chicago. It was unveiled on December 8, 1915 on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Ohio Dental Society.

Photograph X2532 shows this statue at the original site; X30086, at the new site.

    4.2 William Oxley Thompson

The classes of 1923, 1925, 1926 and 1928 donated funds for the statue of William Oxley Thompson which stands on the plaza east of the Library (Bldg. 050). This statue was the work of Professor Erwin F. Frey. It was erected in early 1930. The Monthly for July 1930 (p. 451) reports in detail on the dedication ceremonies on Alumni Day, June 7.

Current photographs of this statue are X30094 and X30095. Photo Archives has numerous older photographs.

    4.3 Breaker Sculpture by Black

A spiral helix sculpture by Professor David Black was erected in June 1982 west of Mershon Auditorium (Bldg. 055) and south of Weigel Hall (Bldg. 399). This aluminum structure is 70 feet long and 20 feet high. The Lantern for June 25, 1982 carries a story on this art work, and includes a photograph.

Current photographs are X30075 and X30076.

  5. Sun Dial
    The class of 1905 donated a sun dial mounted on a marble column. This was placed on the 40th parallel south of University Hall (Bldg. 088). In October 1926 the Sun Dial was moved to the intersection circle in the Long Walk nearest to the Library [Bldg. 050] (Lantern, October 5, 1926). Maps of the period indicate that the center of the circle was 400 feet east of the Library. Four years later, it was returned to its original location (Lantern, June 5, 1930). In 1981, the Sun Dial was incorporated into the Sphinx Plaza. See Item 3 above.

Photo X30098 shows the Sun Dial at its present location. Photo Archives has other photographs at the other two sites.

  6. Tables and Benches
    There are numerous concrete tables and benches under the trees around the edges of the Oval. These, for the most part, have been added during the 1970's and early 1980's. Some of them have been provided as class gifts.
  7. Trees
    7.1 Christmas Trees
      Hooper (p. 249) reports that a walnut tree south of University Hall (Bldg. 088) served for many years as a faculty Christmas tree. Gifts, frequently of humorous character, were hung on it for faculty members, and were distributed on the night before the Christmas vacation.

Photo X2398 is believed to show this tree.

In 1917, when the plaque on the '92 boulder was dedicated, the YMCA and YWCA held their second annual Christmas tree celebration under an evergreen north of the Long Walk and east of the Library (Bldg. 050). This is shown in Photograph X17416, taken in 1917. The same tree is pictured as the Christmas tree in 1918 in Photograph X17418.

    7.2 Five Brothers
      Item 1.3 above recites much of the history of the original Five Brothers.

The Lantern for July 29, 1971 reports that one of the five elms was removed in 1970, and two in 1971. On January 18, 1972, the Lantern states that the last tree was removed on the preceeding day.

Hooper (p. 245) states that one tree was planted in 1890 and six in 1891, and that two later died. The Lantern for January 18, 1972 states that the two were destroyed by lightning.

Photo Archives has a folder of pictures showing the original Five Brothers.

The five oak trees planted in 1976 are located opposite the Faculty Club (Bldg. 028) along the walk between University Hall (Bldg. S 016) and Orton Hall (Bldg. 060). Three are on the east side of the walk and two on the west. At the base of the middle tree on the east side is a bronze plaque in the ground reading as follows:



Photographs of the oak trees are X30079, X30083 and X30093.

    7.3 Kittle Memorial Tree
      A Shumard oak was planted in the spring of 1979 about 25 feet north of South Oval Drive and about 100 feet south of the Library (Bldg. 050). This was contributed by the staff of the Physical Facilities Office and other friends of Douglas R. Kittle.

A bronze plaque at the base of the tree reads as follows:

In honor of
Douglas R. Kittle
Landscape Architect

Current photographs are X30088 and X30089.

    7.4 Jesse Owens Oak
      The Lantern for August 8, 1978 reports the existence of a white oak tree southwest of the Library (Bldg. 050), which was brought from Germany. The tree was reported to be 40 feet southwest of the south entrance of the building, and to have suffered slight damage during construction of the Library addition.

Dean Ramsey, Director of Grounds Maintenance, states that extensive investigation by him, including consultation with Professor Chadwick, indicates that no such tree was ever planted.

Investigation on the site reveals that the damaged tree is about 75 feet from the Library entrance and that it is too small to be the tree discussed in the Lantern.

    7.5 Vietnam Memorial Tree
      About 35 feet north of South Oval Drive and some 85 to 90 feet southeast of the Library (Bldg. 050) is an oak tree with a bronze plaque at its base reading as follows:

A Memorial
To the men and women of
The Ohio State University
who died during the Vietnam
Era in Southeast Asia

Dedicated May 22, 1977
Ohio Staters, Inc.
American Legion Post 310
Disabled American Veterans

Current photographs are X30090 and X30091.

    7.6 Kiplinger Memorial Tree
      Approximately 35 feet northeast of the Kittle Tree (7.3) is an American beech tree memorializing Professor Kiplinger. A plaque in the ground reads as follows:

Dr. D. C. Kiplinger Memorial
In Memory of 'Kip'
Distinguished educator, researcher
and author of floriculture.
Presented to the Ohio State University
by Pi Alpha Xi, April 1978

    7.7 Elisabeth George Tree
      Forty-four feet northeast of the Vietnam Memorial Tree (See 7.5) and 72 feet north of the north curb of South Oval Drive is a Gingko tree planted in memory of Elisabeth E. George, a University college student who was killed in July 1972 in an automobile accident in Spain. The tree was planted by her parents in the spring of 1973. Some three or four years later, they installed a plaque reading as follows:


  8. Other Class Memorials
    Senior class memorials discussed elsewhere in Part VII of the report are:

Class of 1892 Boulder--See 1.1
Five Brothers Elms--See 1.3 and 7.2
Class of 1980 Historical Markers--See 2
Thompson Statue--See 4.2
Sun Dial--See 5
Tables and Benches--See 6

Two additional class memorials are described below.

    8.1 Flagpole at Administration Building (Bldg. 001)
      This is located east of walk to the south entrance. It was the gift of the class of 1921, and was erected during 1926. See Photo X30070.
    8.2 Land Grant Centennial Memorial
      South of Weigel Hall (Bldg. 399) are a kiosk and flagpole built from funds donated by the classes of 1942, 1945, 1961 and 1962. The flagpole was built from funds donated by the 1942 and 1945 classes. The remainder, which consists of precast concrete benches, vertical panels, and paving was built from funds donated by the classes of 1961 and 1962.

This project was constructed in 1964 as the Land Grant Centennial Memorial.

Current photographs are X30071 and X30072.

  9. Walks
    Joseph N. Bradford became University Architect in August 1911. He was strongly committed to a formal arrangement of the campus. This commitment is reflected in his master plans for future development. Map H is a portion of his March 1914 master plan. Note that he proposed a very formal, geometric pattern of walks within the Oval. Also, note that he proposed changing the bordering streets to make the Oval more symmetrical.


Bradford's plan led to the construction of some of the walks in the Oval, but lack of money precluded prompt execution of his whole plan. Over the ensuing years, students made paths at places of convenience, without regard to any preconceived plan. In time these paths became hard surfaced walks, with results as shown in Map I.


One important walk in Bradford's original plan is the walk extending eastward from the Library (Bldg. 050) to the east end of the Oval. By 1919-20, and possibly earlier, this came to be known as the "Long Walk." In the early years, including my undergraduate student days (1925-28), Freshmen were forbidden to be on the Long Walk. The penalty, which was occasionally enforced by upper classmen, was to be thrown into Mirror Lake.


Identification of Buildings Cited by Building Number

Following is a list of building numbers cited in the text or shown on the maps in this memorandum. Following each number is the name of the building, or possibly several names, and in some cases other identifying information.

For more complete information, refer to Herrick, OSU Campus Buildings.
Columbus: Office of Campus Planning & Space Utilization, The Ohio State University, 1981


Building No. Building Identification
H 001 Original President's house on site of Mershon Auditorium (Bldg. 055). On land when purchased. Later used for Music until demolished in 1949.
H 002 Brick house at 11th and High. On land when purchased. Demolished in 1959, upon completion of the addition to the Law Building (Bldg. 049).
H 003 Farm house on land when purchased. Demolished in 1961 to clear site for addition to Campbell Hall (Bldg. 018)
H 004 Zinn House near site of present Ives Hall (Bldg. 045). On land when purchased. Removed in 1891 to clear way for extension of Neil Ave.
H 005 Log house near Orton Hall (Bldg. 060). On land when purchased. Called Janitor's House. Burned in 1884.
H 006 Frame house on north side of 11th Ave. opposite Hunter Street. On land when purchased. Sold in 1895 and moved off campus.
H 007 Frame house on north side of 11th Ave. opposite Highland Street. On land when purchased. Razed, probably in the 1870's.
H 100 Original power plant housing boilers for heating University Hall (Bldg. 088). Razed in 1896.
H 101 Gas plant for making gas for laboratories. North of H 100. Demolished in 1896.
H 102 Gas storage tank. North of H 101. Probably demolished in 1896.
H 103 Stable at President's House (Bldg. H 001). Built in 1871. Moved in 1896 to site north of Brown Hall Annex (Bldg. 017). Burned in 1904.
H 105 Barn group at site of present Women's Field House (Bldg. 029). First unit built in 1871. Last unit removed in 1925 to clear site for Women's Field House.
H 108 Dormitory built in 1874 at north end of site of present Hamilton Hall (Bldg. 038). Razed in 1908.
H 109 Dormitory built in 1874 at northwest corner of Neil Ave. & W. 10th Ave. Later used as hospital and then nurses' dormitory. Demolished in 1924.
H 110 Commonly known as the Kauffman House, a faculty residence built in 1882 on site of present Sullivant Hall (Bldg. 106). Demolished in 1911.
H 111 Commonly known as the Knight House, a faculty residence built in 1882 northeast of present Page Hall (Bldg. 061). Demolished in 1909.
H 112 Commonly known as the Thomas House, a faculty residence built in 1882. In present Oval, north of Hagerty (Bldg. 037). Moved in 1902 to site at north edge of Mershon Auditorium (Bldg. 055), where it served as Athletic House (lockers, offices, etc.) in connection with nearby Ohio Field. Vacated by Athletics after completion of Stadium (Bldg. 082), after which it was used by Music. Demolished in 1949.
H 113 First Chemistry Building. On site of present Brown Hall (Bldg. 016). Completed in 1883. Burned in 1889.
H 114 Botanical Hall at site of present Faculty Club (Bldg. 028). Completed in 1884. Became State Health Dept. Laboratory when Botany moved to new Botany & Zoology Building (Bldg. 014) in 1914. Demolished in 1941, after completion of Faculty Club (Bldg. 028).
H 116 Office and Greenhouses of Agricultural Experiment Station. On site of present Lazenby Hall (Bldg. 041). Razed in 1913 to clear site for Lazenby Hall.
H 117 Electrical Hall, later called the English Building. Completed in 1889 at south end of present Cockins Hall (Bldg. 063). Burned in 1914.
H 118 Second Chemistry Building. On site of present Derby Hall (Bldg. 025). Opened in 1891. Burned in 1904.
H 202 Armory and Gymnasium. Completed in 1898 at site of present Weigel Hall (Bldg. 399) Burned in 1958. Demolished in 1958 and 1959.
H 203 Biological Hall. Completed in 1898 on site of present Hagerty Hall (Bldg. 037). Demolished in 1923 to clear site for Hagerty Hall, then called Commerce Building.
S 016 Present University Hall. On site of original University Hall (Bldg. 088). First occupied in January 1976.
S 018 Independence Hall. An auditorium built to replace the Chapel (auditorium) in the original University Hall (Bldg. 088). Completed in 1975.
001 Present Administration Building. Completed in 1924.
004 Built in 1879 as an engineering building on site of present Dulles Hall (Bldg. S 017). Later used as Service Dept. and then Alumni House. Demolished in 1972.
025 Present Derby Hall. Completed as third Chemistry Building in 1906. Enlarged and converted to classroom building in 1930.
028 Present Faculty Club. Completed in 1940.
029 Present Women's Field House. Opened in 1927.
037 Present Hagerty Hall. First unit completed in 1924.
038 Present Hamilton Hall. First unit occupied in 1924.
039 Present Hayes Hall. First occupied in 1893.
041 Present Lazenby Hall. Formerly called Horticulture & Forestry (H & F) Building. Completed in 1914.
042 Present Hughes Hall. Completed in 1949.
050 Present Main Library. First unit completed in 1912; opened for use January 6, 1913.
054 Present Mendenhall Laboratory. First unit completed in 1905 as Physics Building.
055 Present Mershon Auditorium. Opened in April, 1957.
060 Present Orton Hall. Completed in 1893.
061 Present Page Hall. Completed in 1903.
087 Present Townshend Hall. Completed in 1898.
088 Original University Hall. First occupied in September, 1873. Demolished in 1971 and replaced by Building S 016.
149 Present Hopkins Hall. First unit completed in 1959 and remainder in 1962.
399 Present Weigel Hall. First occupied in June, 1979.