In September 1887, work was begun on the construction of the
normal school building. It was a large brick building, consisting
of three stories and full basement. It was of Romanesque design
with Elizabethan gables and artificial stone trimmings. A. J.
Bryan was the supervising contractor.
All of the activities of the school took place in this building.
Administrative and faculty offices, an assembly hall, classrooms
and laboratories, a library and a museum occupied most of the
space. Wide stairways connected the floors. A training school
was held in the basement.
In 1903 an addition was erected to provide for two laboratories,
a lecture room for 70 students, and a gymnasium. The assembly
hall was converted into an auditorium to seat over 600 people,
with a platform to accommodate a chorus of 100.
On August 12, 1927 fire destroyed the building leaving only a
skeleton of brick walls.
This two-story wood and stucco building was constructed on the
east side of the Normal School building and was connected to it
by a covered walkway. The structure was 50 x 118 feet and contained
22 classrooms, a domestic science room, a metal shop, and a library.
Chico children enrolled in the Training School received, beside
a Bausch education, classes in industrial arts, home economics,
physical education, and gardening. Student teachers, besides teaching
classes, planned and took charge of school activities and functions,
spent an hour a day supervising playground games, gave illustrative
lectures and conducted the school library.
The training school building was demolished in 1950 after the
opening of the Amyer J. Hamilton building.
Kendall Hall --ca 1980. Source: Meriam Library Special Collections
The administration building was built on the site of the Normal
Building, which burned in 1927. The original cornerstone was incorporated
into the building along with a new one. Chester E. Cole designed
it in the Romanesque style, to match Laxson Auditorium
and Trinity Hall which were built at that
It is a two-story building with a rotunda in the middle. It is
constructed of brick with a Spanish tile roof and decorative columns
and arches. Although the exterior has had only minor changes,
the interior has been remodeled to contain more offices and the
utilities have been upgraded. In 1964 a spiral staircase was added
under the dome of the rotunda. There is a central hanging globe
in the dome representing the earth. The underside of the dome
was created to represent heaven so as you climb the spiral staircase
you ascend past the earth towards heaven.
The motto "Today Decides Tomorrow" is above the central arch
leading into the entrance
The building originally contained offices and classrooms. Over
the years the classrooms have moved to other buildings and it
is used only for administrative purposes. It was renamed Kendall
Hall in 1979 in honor of former President
|Built in the brick style similar
to the original structures of the campus, Ayres Hall included forty-six
rooms that spanned two stories. Main construction of the building
took place in two phases. In 1932, offices had been adjoined to
the back of Laxon Auditorium. Contractor A. Fredrick Anderson was
in charge of the first phase, which cost $30,000 to complete.
The second phase of building took place in 1950.
A two-story structure was designed to accommodate the multiple
departments that would be housed there. Some of the departments
included biology, chemistry, music, drama and photography. The
name of the building became the Music, Speech and Science Building,
reflecting the many uses the structure would provide. Included
the second phase of construction were the addition of classrooms,
laboratories, rehearsal rooms, a radio studio, a 250-seat theatre,
and a 140-seat lecture hall, which was to be the largest on campus.
At a cost of $750, 000, the contractor, B and R Construction Company
out of San Francisco, completed the building in January of 1951.
By the 1960s, the college planned to expand the
campus as enrollment dramatically increased with the baby boom
generation. In 1960, remodeling had begun on the building as new
science buildings were completed. Science laboratories were converted
into art studios and classrooms and the addition of the foundry-sculpture
lab was built. The building received the new name of Tehama Hall
in 1971 because of the removal of the science departments. In
the late 1980s, additional building renovation took place. The
building's name was changed to John C. Ayres Hall, in honor of
the influential Chico State art teacher on April 29, 1979.
John Ayres taught for thirty-two years at Chico
State, retiring in 1976. He specialized in medieval art and studio
painting. From 1946 to 1967, Ayres served as chair of the Art
Department. There was some controversy over naming the building
after a person still living, but in the end people believed Ayres
deserved the honor.