Engineering Hall Burns (1911)

1911 provided several setbacks for Highland Park College. I’ll discuss three of them in the coming weeks.


Electrical Shop After Fire (1911)The first began in the early snowy morning of of January 31. A fire erupted in the Machinery Hall. Two tractor engines and two automobiles were pulled from the flames, but the building couldn’t be saved. There was little the fire department could do with a building filled with oil waste and rubber. Instead, the firemen worked on saving what they could; the dormitories adjacent to it. Once the flames died the building was a total loss with estimates running as high as $50,000.00 in damage. Luckily, the building was insured. Heavy canvases were draped over the walls and basement to warn people away from the dangerous debris. That left 240 students in limbo until a new engineering hall could be built.


  • “240 Students Leave School, $50,000 Fire Loss At Highland Park College Destroys Engineering Hall.”Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 31, 1911, pg 1.
  • “Highland Park Machinery Hall Runs Tomorrow.”Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 1, 1911, pg. 1.
  • Piper, The. Des Moines, Iowa: Kitchi Gammi Literary Society, 1911.
  • “Machinery Hall Burns.”Register & Leader, January 31, 1911, pg. 1.

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