Pioneer Hall, 615 Fulton Street, Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Pioneer Hall

South Entrance - 2017
Address: 615 Fulton Street SE
Neighborhood/s: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1930
Primary Style: Colonial Revival
Additions: North side, 1934
Major Alterations: Significant Alterations
Historic Function: College/university
Current Function: College/university
Current Function: Student Dormitory
Other Current Function: Student Dormitory
Architect or source of design: Clarence H. Johnston Sr. & Jr.
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Minneapolis Hennepin


Pioneer Hall is the second oldest dormitory on the University of Minnesota campus and was built in two halves, with the South-side completed in 1930 and the North-side completed in 1934. Pioneer was built as the first male dormitory on campus serving males of all ages. The housing wings of the building were built as 16 row houses, eight on each side, that were connected to enclose a courtyard in the center of each side with a lobby connecting each side back to back.

The Architect of the building was Clarence H. Johnston Sr. who was commissioned in 1927 by the University to design a new form of living for males at the University. Johnston was also the Minnesota State Architect until 1931 and worked on other projects around the University of Minnesota including; Williams Area, Northrop Auditorium, and Fowell Hall among others.

After the South-side was completed in 1930, Clarence H. Johnston Sr. passed the completion of the North-side to his son, Clarence H. Johnston Jr. The dormitory was built in a Colonial Revival style that featured an axial design, two copulas, two courtyards, columns, arches, and many architectural pediments.

The entirety of the original project cost the university about $275,000, plus an additional $25,000 for furniture. Over the years there has been two major renovation projects, the first was in the 1970’s and the other is starting June 2017 and completing August 2019.

The first renovation included a new heating system, finished basement, and destruction of the interior row house partitions, which allowed for inside access to the lobby and dining hall, among many others. Although the second renovation project, which is just getting underway will include tearing down the middle sections of the building to make one continuous building without the separate halves. This includes a new 2800 seat dining hall, 65 additional beds, and many common study spaces within the housing portions of the building.

This is the work of Jason Mulvey


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