With enrollment increasing in the 1850s, the university built two new dorms to house the additional students. They were placed on either side of the east and west buildings and were called New East and New West. As New East was on a downhill slope, architect William Percival designed it with an additional story to balance the height of the buildings on the landscape. New East was not without its critics. The supposedly modern heating system failed to work as designed. When a committee surveyed the campus in the 1870s in preparation to reopen the university, New East was called "the most ill[-l]y constructed of all the buildings." In addition to dorm rooms, New East also housed the debating hall and library of the Philanthropic Society. Students lived in the building until the 1890s, when it was converted to serve as office space and classrooms for academic departments. Several departments have used the building at different times, including biology, geology, and most recently, city and regional planning. The Philanthropic Society continued to meet in the building for many years, and at one point New East hosted meetings of the student legislature.
Date Established: 1861
Date Range: 1861 – Present