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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Rendering of the commemorative space planned for Morrill Hall.

Morrill Hall Demolition and Morrill Plaza

Project phase: Archived

In June 2010, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved a plan to demolish venerable Morrill Hall on the campus’s north side.

Close monitoring of the internal wooden structure of Morrill Hall revealed irreparable deterioration, indicating that the more-than-100-year-old building was approaching the end of its useful life. The university determined that reconstruction and restoration of the building, which was built in 1900, would not be economically feasible.

The replacement of Morrill Hall offered the university a unique opportunity to significantly upgrade the quality of space for its former occupants, and to achieve a more efficient use of space through effective design and allocation: The award-winning addition to Wells Hall was completed in August 2012 and renovations to Old Horticulture were completed in December 2012.

Originally opened in 1900, Morrill Hall is named in honor of Justin Smith Morrill, the Vermont senator for whom the Morrill Act is named and what brought about the establishment of the land-grant university. The Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. For the past 110 years, Morrill Hall has served MSU well, originally as a women’s residence hall. The MSU Board of Trustees at its April 2013 meeting approved the renaming of Agriculture Hall to the Morrill Hall of Agriculture.

The site restoration plan was developed by MSU students as part of a 2011 design competition. The restored site, called Morrill Plaza, features a terrace with green space and extensive landscaping; special paving; seat walls and piers that hold commemorative plaques. The seat walls and piers are constructed with lime stone and salvaged red sandstone from the building.

Morrill Plaza is located on the corner of Auditorium Rd and West Circle Drive in the North Academic District.


  • Construction for this project was completed in October 2013. 

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Interactive detour map with current closure information for motorists and pedestrians.