Building the University Auditorium

The footballer and engineer gargoyles in the auditorium

The University Auditorium was initially proposed by UF President Albert A. Murphree in 1921. At the time, there was no one place on campus large enough to meet the university’s needs for an auditorium, and so President Murphree suggested a new multi-purpose building, which would contain administrative offices, the library, a museum, and an auditorium.

In this month’s blog post, University Archivist Sarah Coates shares the fitful construction behind one of UF’s most beautiful interior spaces — the University Auditorium. Visitors today would never know that the building was in a state of disrepair merely 40 years after its completion; however, the efforts of President Stephen C. O’Connell to restore the auditorium breathed new life into the building, while preserving much of its original fixtures.

For more historical photographs of UF campus, be sure to check out the University Archives Photograph Collection on the University of Florida Digital Archive.