Brigham Young College: The Campus
The BYC initiated plans for its first permanent building in 1882 when an enrollment of over 200 students stretched existing facilities. In response, the trustees purchased over seven acres of land known as the Thatcher property on First South Street in Logan for use as a campus. There were “two handsome and commodious structures” located on the property, a large stone barn, and a number of other buildings, one the school later used as a boarding house.
While the college held classes in the basement of the tabernacle, crews began constructing the East Building at the corner of First West and First South, which they completed in 1884. The trustees also acquired another 16 acres on the corner of First West and First South from the Thatcher family, enlarging the campus to over 23 acres. Evidently, this second acquisition greatly influenced the decision to move the college campus to Logan City instead of out on the college farmland south of Logan as the trustees had originally planned.
Arnold K. Garr describes the campus at the end of its principle years of growth (1894–1909) with “the north end of the Logan river [running] through the school’s property, naturally dividing it into the upper and lower campus. The upper campus was beautifully landscaped with walks, driveways, shrubbery and flowers. On this campus was situated the president’s house, the Mechanical Arts Building, the East Building, the West Building, Nibley Hall and the Laboratory Building. These buildings contained over one hundred rooms including a large library, a well-equipped gymnasium, a swimming pool, and an excellent auditorium.” Garr also describes the lower campus “as a level area across the river from the buildings. It provided an ideal athletics field second to none in the state. It was equipped with a new stadium with a seating capacity of a thousand. The lower campus also had a cinder track, a well-kept football and baseball field and a cement tennis court.”
Timeline of the Main Buildings Utilized and/or Constructed by BYC
1878: BYC opened in rented rooms of the Logan City Hall (Lindquist Hall)
1883: Classes held in basement of the Logan Tabernacle
1884: The East Building is constructed
1897: The West Building is erected
1906: The Mechanic Arts Building is completed
1907: Nibley Hall is constructed