The Foundation for the Gator Nation

2 Mar

Buckman Hall

Just like any good story begins with a vivid setting, our school began with a place to gather, organize and educate. Buckman and Thomas Halls were just that for the University of Florida. The original two campus buildings were dedicated on September 27, 1906. Buckman Hall, pictured below, was dedicated to the memory of Henry H. Buckman, member of the Florida Legislature and author of the Buckman Act.

The Buckman Act consolidated all state institutions of higher learning into three state universities: the University of Florida (men), Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University), and Florida A&M University.

Designed by an architectural firm in Atlanta and built by a contractor from Jacksonville, the two gothic-tudor or collegiate gothic-inspired Buckman and Thomas halls cost $75,250 to construct. Yes, both of them.

Though they were designed to house student residents, the structures first served to house all of the University’s operations for many years. This included everything from an infirmary, gym, and professor living quarters. Students lived there too, paying a whopping $2.50 per month. Today, students pay about two-hundred times that. And they still don’t have air conditioning. Yet, students pay to live in these historic landmarks and enjoy the proximity to the heart of campus, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and University Avenue.

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One Response to “The Foundation for the Gator Nation”

  1. mchipman March 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    I loved this post, and I think you are a beautiful photographer. I lived in Murphree my freshman year, so I was in the same area as these historic dorms. It’s fascinating to learn more about their background and beginning at UF. These dorms continue to be high on freshmen living priority lists because of their campus location and the homey atmosphere surrounding them.

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