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Old Main, North Dakota State College of Science (Red River Valley University)

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Red River Valley University
1891, John M. Coxhead; 1909 expansion, Haxby and Gillespie. 6th St. at 8th Ave. N
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

The state constitution established the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS), one of the oldest public two-year colleges in the nation. The campus incorporates the former site of the Wesleyan Red River Valley University (which closed in 1905 and relocated to a new campus in Grand Forks in 1906), with Old Main as its centerpiece. Old Main has experienced alterations, including the removal of two ogee-shaped parapets on the gable-end side wings and a diminutive dormer from the tower, but the distinctive “S” logo (for Science) now ornaments the tower on all four faces of its spire. The building sits on the north side of the main campus oval that was designed by Minneapolis-based landscape architects Morell and Nichols. In 1909 three buildings were added to the campus: a women’s dormitory, chemistry building, and central heating plant. Building upon a 1921 study of the academic program by Dean Earl J. Babcock of the School of Mines at the University of North Dakota (the Babcock Plan), NDSCS continues to serve as the state’s most up-to-date, comprehensive technical/trade school.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Old Main, North Dakota State College of Science (Red River Valley University)", [Wahpeton, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 55-55.

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