CHAPTER 14: Old Buildings at St. Olaf College

HERE are now in the late 1960’s only four old buildings at St. Olaf. I have traveled all over our great country and I don’t believe I have ever seen any first building as dignified and as fine architecturally as the “Main.” It is truly a landmark atop its hill for the surrounding country to admire — a castle on its heights.

Ytterboe Hall was the second building erected on the campus. It, too, is an interesting building. It has good proportions; the brick has a lovely patina and if you will pause and look at the roof, it reminds you of something Christopher Wren might have designed with its tower and cupola and the way the dormer windows are set in the roof.

Steensland Library, a Greek revival with its dignified columns, has an air of elegance both inside and out.

The girls gymnasium, designed by Cousin Edward Mohn, is a good solid building and is often used as a concert hall because of its excellent acoustics. It is one of the few buildings that has the St. Olaf Seal and Motto carved on its facade. The Seal must have meant much to Edward because even as a young boy he carved it on the “Big Stone” using only the inadequate tools of those early days.

These four buildings should be preserved. They are not only good examples of architecture: they are a history of the growth of the College.

The Old Main


Mohn and Ytterboe Family Connections
The Old Synod
The Reverend Bernt Muus
Young Professor Ytterboe
The First Bathtub at St. Olaf College
A New Day and A New President
Chapel Prayers by H. T. Ytterboe
Erik Hetle and Ole Rölvaag
Hoyme Chapel
Old Buildings at St. Olaf College
1300 St. Olaf Avenue
Agnes Margaret Kittelsby
Professor O. G. Felland
Agnes Mellby
Town and Gown
Music at St. Olaf
St. Olaf’s First Rhodes Scholar
My Mother, Mrs. H. T. Ytterboe