Somsen Hall

Winona State University’s Somsen Hall and Phelps Hall have been accepted into the National Register of Historic Places by the Minnesota Historical Society.

This designation highlights the history of WSU as an educational innovator going back to 1858. According to Denis Gardner, the National Register Historian at the State Historic Preservation Office at the Minnesota Historical Society, both Somsen Hall, also known as College Hall, and Phelps Hall, also known as the Model School Building, retain essential integrity of structure, and meet the criteria of historical significance given WSU’s history as the birthplace of the normal school movement in Minnesota.

Somsen Hall and Phelps Hall are large brick and stone buildings adjacent to each other on the WSU campus. Somsen Hall is a three-story Collegiate Gothic style building constructed in 1924. Phelps Hall is a three-story Jacobethan Revival structure built in 1915. Both buildings were designed by Clarence H. Johnston in his role as chief architect for the State Board of Control.

The National Register is a listing of districts, buildings and structures deemed worthy of preservation. More than 1,600 properties and districts in Minnesota are listed on the national register. About 40 of those properties are located in Winona County.

For more information, contact the WSU Communications Office at 507-457-5024.

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Maire McMahon

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