Harvey Ingham Hall of Science

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Harvey Ingham Hall of Science

Originally submitted by: Aaron Keith, Drake University, September 2, 2010

Harvey Ingham-Copyright-WikiSource.com (History of Iowa)

History of Mr. Harvey Ingham

Harvey Ingham was born September 8th, 1858. Growing up in Algona, Iowa he was interested in journalism. After his basic education in Algona, Mr. Ingham attended college at the University of Iowa, and graduated from law school in 1881. He returned home to Algona following graduation. Harvey Ingham soon became editor of the Upper Des Moines newspaper, also serving as the postmaster of Algona from 1898 to 1902. Mr. Ingham served as a member of the University of Iowa governing body from 1892 until 1902. Harvey Ingham's memorable success came when he was selected as the managing editor of the conjoined Iowa State Register and Des Moines Leaders newspapers. The newspaper became known as the Des Moines Register. [1]

Harvey Ingham Plaque

Harvey Ingham (The Building)

Harvey Ingham Hall, along with >Fitch Hall of Pharmacy, was built in 1947. Following World War II, the nation was calling for top-of-the-line science research. Therefore, Drake University decided on adding two state-of-the-art buildings in the field of science. The buildings were designed by Saarinen, Saarinen and Associates out of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Saarinen is known throughout the world for his work. Most notably he was the designer of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, as well as many airport terminals throughout the country. The construction of the two buildings totaled a bill of $1.4 million and included a very rare glass-enclosed walkway. The design of Harvey Ingham and Fitch Halls was among the first in the country to feature modern style buildings compared to the usual Gothic style that most colleges had grown accustomed to. The Saarinen Firm's work is found throughout the campus of Drake University. Charles Medbury Hall and [[Oreon E. Scott Chapel] are other examples of the unique style that the Michigan company used. [3]

Harvey Ingham Hall was opened to Drake University students in February of 1949. The building was such a big deal that Henry G. Harmon, the president of Drake University at the time, called for a series of events dedicating and opening Fitch and Harvey Halls. The ceremonies included multiple luncheons, guided tours and a formal dedication for the general public. The open houses were three days in length. [2]

In 1949, the equipment that was installed in Harvey Ingham Hall was that of the future. The third floor of Ingham Hall was dedicated to chemistry classrooms and laboratories. The second floor was devoted to biology laboratories and classrooms. The first floor was home to physics classrooms and labs, instrument rooms and the two beautiful auditoriums. [6] Full information of exactly what was originally located on each level of the building is included below. Many renovations have taken place throughout the existence of Harvey Ingham Hall. In 1987 there was talk of razing Harvey Ingham Hall of Science and building a brand new science facility. Harvey Ingham Hall survived the scare due to the high costs of a new complex. Currently the main lecture hall in Harvey Ingham Hall is being renovated. A current picture of the progress is placed below. [4]

Harvey Ingham Floor Guide

Harvey Ingham Lecture Hall Renovation


Anatomy, histology, embryology, electronics laboratories, advanced physics classroom, stockroom, general physics laboratory, reception room, five offices (each with private research laboratory), physics shop, instrument room, power room and photographer's shop.


Two physical science laboratories, stock room, two classrooms, four biological science laboratories, two additional stock rooms, and offices similar to those located on the first floor.


Qualitative and physical chemistry laboratories, stock room, classrooms, general and organic chemistry laboratories, and offices.


Lecture auditorium that seats 355 and a lecture hall that seats 144. [6]

The Bombing of 1970

During the 1970's, the Des Moines Police Department reported that 285 sticks of high-powered dynamite had been stolen from a general supply shop in the city. Des Moines, soon after, was rocked by multiple dynamite explosions. One of them occurred only a few feet away from Harvey Ingham Hall of Science. The blast took place on an early Monday morning. No one was injured in the bombing; however, Police Captain at the time, Kenneth Kline estimated that up to $200,000 in damage was done. The damage was so costly due to the amount of windows located at the sight of the explosion. Fitch Hall, Medbury Hall, Hubbell Dining Hall and Herriott Dormitory also had windows shattered. The explosion was so intense that Ron McFall, on-duty Drake security guard, reported being blown off of his feet standing 150 feet away. All of the Des Moines area bombings were thought to be related to militant groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). [5]