Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hughes Science Hall

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Dakota Wesleyan University
Original/Historic Place Name: Science Hall
Location on Campus: west side of campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1911cornerstone laid; August 1 Unknown
1912completion and dedication; June 5 Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: Sioux quartzite
Walls: Sioux quartzite
Roof: wood; slate tiles
ca. 1912chapel
1912-present (2007)other (science laboratories)
1912-present (2007)classrooms
1912-present (2007)academic department building (science, history, communication, theater, and music)
ca. 1950-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 1970-present (2007)other (greenhouse)
ca. 2004-present (2007)theater (Patten-Wing theater, which used to be the chapel)

Significance: architecture, culture, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterDakota Wesleyan University (1976)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Hughes Science Hall is a four-story Sioux quartzite building. The cornerstone was laid on August 1, 1911, and dedication ceremonies marking its completion were held June 5, 1912. Science laboratories and classrooms were on the lower two floors, while the upper stories housed the School of Music and a new chapel.

During World War I the basement of Science Hall was temporarily converted into barracks for the campus Student Army Training Corps. Later, a basement room temporarily housed the library after College Hall burned in 1955.

Three beautiful, large stained-glass windows in the chapel were covered, possibly in the 1940s, and left hidden for decades until 1976, when Science Hall was renovated. Labs and offices were renovated in 1960, and a small greenhouse was added to the south side of Science Hall, just off the door to one of the laboratories, in the late 1970s. The biology labs were remodeled in 1984.

Ambassador George McGovern, the democratic presidential candidate in 1972, is a 1946 graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University and served on the faculty at DWU from 1950-1955. His office was on the third floor of Science Hall.

In 1996 Science Hall was renamed Hughes Science Hall in honor of Dr. Clifford Hughes, a 1927 graduate of the university. The music department has been housed in the basement since 1997, when the music program was restored at DWU. Music and theatre productions are held in Patten-Wing Theatre, which used to be the chapel. The theatre is named after Darryl Patten, class of 1960, a long-time associate professor of communication and theater, and Mary Wing, a former associate professor from the same department who taught for more than 16 years and was also Patten's teacher.

In 2002, the doors on the north side of Hughes Science Hall were replaced and restored to their original appearance in a project funded in part by the South Dakota State Historical Society through the Deadwood Fund grant program. Hughes Science Hall is a contributing (historically significant) building within a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Coursey, O. W. A History of Dakota Wesleyan University for Fifty Years (1885-1935). Mitchell, SD: Dakota Wesleyan University, ca. 1935.

French, Edith M. Dakota Wesleyan University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.

Goering, Violet Miller. Dakota Wesleyan University: Century I. Sioux Falls, SD: Pine Hill Press, [n.d.].

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections
Government Offices

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006