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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: Construction

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.

Project details:

  • Demolition of the structure.
  • Site-restoration with lawn, sidewalks, benches and commemorative signage.

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

Site restoration details

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

Commemoration plans

  • Morrill Hall bricks will be sold with a Certificate of Authenticity through the MSU Surplus Store following demolition. Check the Surplus Store's website for updates.
  • Commemorative plaques will be included in the site restoration plans. The plaques will provide a brief historical account of the significance of the Morrill Act and Women’s Studies at Michigan State University.
  • The university will retain the exterior building signs as well as several fireplace mantels and tiles; and furniture that has been relocated to Linton Hall and the MSU Auditorium.
  • The site restoration will include the re-use of some of the red sandstone.
  • The MSU Board of Trustees at its April 2013 meeting approved the renaming of Agriculture Hall to the Morrill Hall of Agriculture. A dedication event occurred in September 2013.
  • The dedication of Morrill Plaza is planned for early 2014.


Start of construction: May 2013

End of construction: October 2013

Site dedication: Spring 2014

Questions, comments, concerns?

Design representative:

Construction representative:



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