Built in 1914 in the Collegiate Gothic style, the Music Hall stands above a section of Carleton’s now off-limits tunnel system. Connecting most campus buildings constructed before the 1980s, the heated tunnels were used as paths by students and…

Jeff Barber’s “Para-Pillars” memorializes thirty years of St. Olaf’s Paracollege, which provided innovative, individualized, interdisciplinary learning. The sculptor, class of 1978, is himself an alumnus of the “college within a college”…

Since its construction in 1868, the Scriver Building on Bridge Square has housed numerous businesses and has attracted countless visitors—including members of a nefarious gang. The two-story limestone structure was built by merchant Hiram…

The old City Hall and Fire House building was erected at 302 Division Street in 1876, the year of the attempted bank raid by the James-Younger gang. The building’s construction was part of an effort to transform the look of Division Street from…

The Northfield Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building has served as a community gathering spot since its construction more than a century ago. The YMCA building at 304 Division Street opened to the public on December 10, 1885. It was…

In the wake of the death of St. Olaf College Professor of Religion and Philosophy William “Bill” Narum in May 2000, his family established a fund to honor his belief in community cooperation and to promote integration between faculty and staff.…

The Northfield Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has anchored the southwest corner of Bridge Square for nearly eighty years. Its construction by the federal government generated controversy in the 1930s, and…

Bertolt Brecht’s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle held its world premiere in Carleton’s Nourse Little Theater in May of 1948. The play is set in Soviet Georgia near the end of the Second World War and was based on a fourteenth-century Chinese…

Controversy flared up in the summer of 1992 when local doctor Stanley T. Kucera had a striking mural painted on the side of the Medical Arts Building. Kucera had moved to Northfield in 1939. Nine years later, he had built the Medical Arts Building…

Taft Greeted by Elephant, 1908 One of the more interesting events to take place at the Northfield Depot was the brief whistle-stop presidential campaign tour in 1908 of Republican William H. Taft, then secretary of war and Theodore Roosevelt’s…

In 1992, Carleton student Jimmy Chin—now an internationally recognized climber, mountaineer, skier, director, and photographer—signed up for a climbing trip to Joshua Tree, California. He was an immediate natural. While others warily inspected…

On September 3, 2006, Carleton student and varsity swim team captain Ted Mullin lost his battle with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Beloved by students and faculty alike, he was completely invested in college life. He exhibited a strength and love…

To attract extra help with the weeding each spring, Farm House, the sustainable-living interest house, hosts an event known as “Farmstock.” The well-known, popular event began in 1982. During the day students come and get their hands dirty while…

In the summer of 1932, Arnold Flaten '22 returned to campus after studying art in Europe for two years. Charged with creating an art department, and supported by a generous gift of $5,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to the college, Flaten designed…

On June 2, 2010, student pranksters transformed Goodsell Observatory into a giant replica of R2D2 (a character from the acclaimed Star Wars universe). Using a virtual scale model of Goodsell for precise measurements, the students painted butcher…

Where else but in a homecoming parade do you see female students in puffy pastel crinolines perched on an Army jeep, or the physics club's gigantic "Amazon Queen of Science" float? In the decade-plus following World War II, Oles crafted chicken wire…

The Central Block, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Division Streets, is an excellent example of a historic building that has remained true to its original architecture and uses. It stands in a location that has played a central role in the life…

The Faculty Club, built in 1928, was the brainchild of D. Blake Stewart (Stewsie) then superintendent of buildings and grounds. Before World War I, while female students lived in Gridley Hall (1882-1967), most male students and single faculty members…

Designed by Minneapolis architect A. R. Van Dyke and built in 1937, the house of Leal and Harriet Marston Headley at 815 East Second Street was patterned after Mrs. Headley's childhood home in San Diego, California. Mrs. Headley’s family had owned…

It was the summer of 1989. Behind Watson Hall, the student dormitory built in 1966 by American architect Minoru Yamasaki, a group of Japanese students gathered on the lawn for a picnic. They were at Carleton to improve their spoken English. As a…

Designed by award-winning architect Minoru Yamasaki and completed in 1961 at a cost of $1.51 million, the Olin Hall of Science was designed to serve the college's physics and biology departments. The building had two main entrances. The one at the…

The nine townhouses along Highway 19 look, from a distance, like traditional late-nineteenth century houses. Built on the side of a hill, they contain a lower apartment for one student in the basement, complete with kitchen, bathroom, and living…

Ninety-one years old, Stewsie was seen on a rain-soaked spring of 1974 working on and directing a landscape project near Carleton’s main campus. A “peripatetic dynamo of a little man,” D. Blake Stewart (affectionately known as Stewsie) left an…

In 1982, a truck arrived behind the Gould Library carrying the parts to a brand-new German-made tower crane. It was to be used for the construction of an addition to the 1956 Carleton library that would double its size. The problem was that its…

The State Bank building at the west end of the Fourth Street bridge is one of Northfield’s most distinctive buildings. Harry Wild Jones, the Minneapolis architect who designed it, said at its opening in 1910 that “another building just like it…

The area on the west bank of the Cannon River where the Ebel Block is located was once a thriving commercial district that contained dozens of stores and service businesses. But when automobile travel replaced passenger train travel in the 1950s,…

The intramural fields located behind the Carleton Rec Center are home to Carleton’s two most famous games—Ultimate Frisbee and Rotblatt. Despite being a small school, Carleton boasts six competitive Frisbee teams. The Division I men’s team,…

Beginning in 1927 and working over the next decade, Professor of Botany Harvey Stork sketched out his conception of a wildlife plant and nature preserve on the north side of Lyman Lakes and Bell Field. He called it the Upper Arboretum. His idea was…

In 1957, the year in which Scoville Memorial Library was turned into a classroom building, a student named Bruce Herrick, class of 1958, found a bust of the late eighteenth century German poet Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller in the storage…

The Carleton water tower, located behind the Rec Center and next to the baseball field, is one of the college’s most iconic structures and the source of endless pranks. Built in 1928 to provide the college with a source of water independent of the…