For this week’s What’s New Wednesday photo, we have this brick found in our collections. But this brick is no ordinary brick. This is one of the original bricks from the Agricultural Engineering Building that was built in 1889 and burned down in 1957. According to A History of South Dakota State University 1884-1975, a Board of Regents meeting was held the day of the fire. According to the book:
“The Board  had no more than returned home from its regular January meeting [when] the news broke that the Agricultural Engineering Building and all the equipment it contained  had been destroyed by fire the night of January 22, 1957. The Regents called a special meeting on February 6, 1957, at which time a request was made for $24,045.11 from the State’s Emergency Building Fund for the purpose of salvage, clean-up, and replacement.  At the same time the Regents made a request to the Legislature, then in session, for funds to replace the destroyed building. This body responded by appropriating $692,000 to provide a new Agricultural Engineering Building.”

Incised in one of the stretcher sides of the brick is “2/20  1886” which is when construction began of the building. The building was located East of Berg Agricultural Hall is (see the photo below. A closer view of the photo:

Ag_Engineering_fire_1957 (2)

View of the burned remains of the old Agricultural Engineering building that is covered with ice and frost after the firefighters put out the fire. Copyright 2014, South Dakota State University U.S. and international copyright laws protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder. For permission to use the digital image, please contact South Dakota State University Library Archives and Special Collections at