The Aggie Auditorium

The Aggie Auditorium

It was a hexagonal building located just east of the Agriculture Building and was demolished in November, 1962.

The Aggie Auditorium's main entrance, as related earlier, was designed by Lyman and Place. Bristow and Lyman are listed as the original architects.

It was the UA's first auditorium. Completed by the Winget Construction Co. in March, 1915, it was used for student affairs and assemblies. It was also a gathering place for freshmen and pep rallies, although the freshmen didn't take to their use of the structure heartily.

Lew Place remembers when he was attending the university in the early 1930's. Lew tells a story of one Monday night when the pledges (freshman) of his Sigma Chi fraternity were told to join other university freshmen at the Aggie Auditorium.

"The head of the Bobcats, Harry Chambers (now a retired Tucson engineer), got up and said, 'I don't quite know how to tell you fellows, but I'd better just blow it out and let it go. The entire sophomore class is outside waiting for you. And they're going to take you on, all of you.'"

Place said the freshman class was small that year, but feisty. "We came out of that auditorium like bees out of the hive and there was a fellow there named Dave Durand, a fraternity brother of mine, a big husky fellow. The crowd was milling around, everyone fighting each other, but where I was it was kind of quiet.

"I said to Dave, 'You go around the corner of the Aggie Building and stand there and I'll go up and hit a sophomore in the back and then I’ll run around the corner and when he comes after me, you’ve got him!”

They put their plan into operation. Place said that he has forgotten how many surly sophomores were dispatched that night by the feisty freshmen in the cat-and-mouse game. But he agrees that the sophomores’ belligerency was softened by him and Dave Durand.

Since the Aggie Auditorium was demolished in 1962, one may where the surly sophomores meet the feisty freshmen today, or even if they do.

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