UNT: The First 50 Years : Campus Buildings

This plate features an image of the first building on campus, the Normal Building, which opened in 1891. Denton was still a prairie town at the end of the 19th century and a barbed wire fence was installed around the building to keep out livestock. The Normal Building was located on the corner of Hickory and Avenue B, today the site of Hickory Hall. In 1907 the Normal Building was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

Marquis Hall, located between Mulberry and Sycamore streets, opened in 1936 as the first dormitory on campus. It housed 100 women and contained two large dining rooms, two banquet halls, a grill, and a large reception room. Funds for construction were provided by the Public Works Administration. The building is named after Dr. R. L. Marquis, who served as the college’s president from 1923 to 1934.

The college’s outdoor swimming pool was completed in 1926 as part of Eagle Park, a recreation area that also featured an archery range, tennis, basketball and croquet courts, a miniature golf course, and a practice football field. The pool was filled with artesian spring water until a water purification system was installed in 1956. The pool closed in 1986 when the repairs required by the Texas Department of Public Health proved to be cost prohibitive. The Eagle Student Services Center (1997) now occupies the pool’s former site.

A bandstand designed by O’Neil Ford was dedicated at North Texas State Teachers College on July 14, 1928. Seating 3,000 people, it was located behind the former outdoor swimming pool, roughly between the University Union and the Eagle Student Services Center. The bandstand’s adjoining projection booth allowed students to be entertained by a performance from the Stage Band and a motion picture in the same venue.