By Robert Lucke
One of the most interesting walks this September is to take the family and spend a few evenings exploring and discovering the quirks and quarks of MSU-Northerns graceful buildings and grounds.
For many Havre folks, MSU-Northern grounds are just sledding in the wintertime at Sled Hill. But there is much, much more at this time of year to discover and enjoy. For children with imagination, it is a land of castles, drawbridges, moats and forests.
One of the most little known, yet fascinating spots on the campus is to walk to the east end of Donaldson Hall and stand on the beautiful cement parapet above the Student Union. That graceful place is little used and one of the most beautiful architectural details of the entire campus.
No walk through the campus would be complete without stopping at Kuhr Pond out in front of Cowan Hall. Notice how the trees have grown in the past years and how the entire area is taking the shape of forest and bower with the beautiful pond as its centerpiece. Old Northern presidents who struggled just to get grass growing on that prairie, would be proud of the Kuhr Pond area.
Dont overlook checking out the back of Cowan Hall. You can easily notice the change of brick pattern and indentions for doors going from the Hall out into what was to be a large auditorium and gymnasium. Faded dreams of a bygone era.
While at Cowan Hall, if you are fortunate enough to find someone who will take you up into the front tower, that is a unique place with great views looking from the campus north into the cemetery.
One thing all around the campus to note is that the architectural style of buildings has really changed through the years. Some of the first buildings built along the south cliffs are a definite art-deco style. Others built early in the history of the school are more traditional. Rather Gothic although Pershing Hall defies any single style. Later in the life of the school, the flat roofed, rambling style of the 1950s took over and in one form or another is still represented in the latest buildings. The Armory-Gymnasium was designed to look like a covered wagon on the prairie skyline and one small building, the Automotive Diagnostic Center, was designed by the wife of NMC president L.O. Brockman.
Pershing Hall itself is interesting in that the rounded portion of the building at the rear was built much later in the life of the building. Originally that portion of the Hall was an open theatre and the ground around it provided natural seating.
Early residents of the area can remember when the East Hall area of the campus was a Havre tourist station and just south of that area on the campus was a deep dell with stone stairs on either end that was filled with trees.
The tennis court just to the south of Morgan hall was originally part of the foundation of the original Morgan Hall which was a large house hauled in from the county poor farm to turn into a boys dormitory.
Back of Morgan Hall are two pretty, flat roofed houses that were built by on campus carpentry classes. The houses were originally designed to be faculty houses.
And the list goes on and on of unique and beautiful historic parts of the MSU-Northern campus. Short walks will illuminate beautiful areas all over the campus, not seen on a daily basis.