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Ellis Old and New

There are seven pictures on this page. Scroll down to see them all.

Pictures of 1916 Building

University Archives, Collection C:20/8/6

This picture is from 1914 or early 1915 and shows the building being constructed.

Another view of construction


University Archives, Collection C:20/8/6

Another view of the construction.

The alley to the left of the building preexisted the construction and you can barely make out some buildings, either sheds or perhaps garages, on the left. The residential buildings on the Sanborn map do not seem to have been removed yet.


The Completed Library


University Archives, Collection C:20/8/6

The building is now complete, but from the stone work on the edges of the building it is clear that the building was designed for additions on the east and west. From contemporary documents it seems that everyone thought the wings would be added much sooner than they were.

You might ask when the official centennial of the Library should be celebrared.The inscription on the architrave near the roof of the building says it was erected in MCMXIV, 1914, and we know from pictures that the building was being used in 1915, but the library was not officially dedicated until January 6, 1916.

The inscription over the door says LIBRARY, and the building was known simplly as the Library or University Library until 1971 when it was named in honor of  Elmer Ellis the thirteenth president of the University of Missouri.

Another view of the completed library

University Archives, Collection C:20/8/6

The ground was always intended to block out the windows on the ground floor. What is unclear is if this was intended to be the base of a patio shown in the "postcard" picture of the library.

View of the Book Stacks being built

University Archives, Collection C:20/8/6

This view is looking north from what was then Conley Avenue. The dome of Jesse Hall is on the left.  The small building seemingly underneath Jesse is the Missouri Store.  The back of Ellis is now mostly hidden by the south addition. The book stacks, now the Central Stacks, are being constructed.The books stacks are the same height as the rest of the building, but they had more floors wedged into them. There is a ground level, then 1, 1A, 2, 2A, and 3 floor.  

The windows on the south of library building flood the rooms natural light. Looking at the main building and going from right to left you can see windows for the men's toilet and the men's coatroom on the 1st floor. On the 2nd and 3rd floors these windows are for the seminar rooms. Left of those two windows, where part of the library juts out slightly are the  staircases. They have three windows between each of the floors. The big windows to the left of the stairs illuminate the Exhibition Lobby. The west side of the building is a mirror image of east and has the same number and style of windows.

The brick paved road in the foreground is Conley Avenue.

1925 aerial view

University Archives, Collection C:0/47/2

This was taken from Jesse Hall in 1925 and shows the construction of the Memorial Union Tower. Lowry Hall is in the foreground on the left, Lowry Street runs up the middle of the picture to the tower and Ellis Library in on the right. There are still residential buildings across from the library and also west of the library on 9th Street. The buildings east of the library seem to have been taken down and there is now open grass.  If you follow the walkway through Memorial Union Tower, the building at the end, on College Ave, is probably the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The other house to the far right at the top of the picture is probably the Sigma Nu fraternity house.

Aerial View from 1932

University Archives, Collection C 0/47/2  (enlarged)

This is an aerial view dated 1932. The library is left of the Memorial Union tower, which in the center of the picture. The West Stacks and West Wing were not built until 1936, so what is the roof extending beyond the University Stacks?  It is the roof of the Missouri Store. From the 1914 Sanborn map we know that the Missouri Store was on the southwest corner of that block and from the 1931 Report of the Librarian we know that the University first used the building as a cafeteria. The Report also mentions that the Library next took over the building and used it as the "Library Annex" with 15,000 books.  It continued to house books until the West Stacks were built.