Skip to Main Content

Architectural History of SRU

Exhibit of a history of the buildings on SRU campus.

The Second Wave of Brick & Stone Buildings

The buildings featured in this section represent the largest construction project at Slippery Rock University. Much of the work was thanks to the dedication to Emma Guffey Miller, a long-term trustee of the school and prominent member of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

The Lowry Center

Built in 1928, the Lowry Center was originally the private residence of Professor Howard Headland. After the college purchased the building, it became home for the Office of Alumni Affairs. Over the next few decades, the building housed the offices of the Dean of Academic Services, Graduate Studies and Research, and the Office of Continuing Education.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1940s)


Dr. Robert Lowry

In 1988, the Headland House was renamed the Robert Lowry Center in honor of Dr. Robert Lowry for his years of service to the college. Lowry graduated from Slippery Rock in 1948, became the first Director of Admissions in 1957, and was appointed Acting President in 1968.

Today, the Lowry Center is home to the Slippery Rock Army ROTC/Department of Military Science.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1960s)

The Secondary Education Building

In the late 1920s, the number of students in the teacher preparation program significantly increased, creating the need for a new education building. As a result, the college built a new Education Building in two phases: the elementary training facility in 1929 and the secondary training facility in 1938. Originally, the Education Building housed both college courses and the local school. The College of Education still uses the building for classes and department offices.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1929)



Miss Maree McKay

In 1979, Slippery Rock State College dedicated the Education Building in honor of Miss Maree McKay, who served as the college registrar from 1921-1961 and devoted her career to helping students succeed.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1961)

The Hut in the 1970s

Built in 1930, the Hut served as the recreational center for the college. The wood-framed building had a completely furnished lounge with a stone fireplace. The Hut, as students in 1930 knew it, no longer exists. Transformed in the 1970s, it is now known as the Art Building.

(Photograph, color, c.1970)


The Hut in its Day

The Hut as students of Slippery State Teachers College knew it.

(Photographs, collage, black and white, c. 1940)


The Hut Today: The Art Building

In 1996, the Art Building was renovated once more. Despite the changes, it still retains some of the original character but with modern accents of design and color.    

(Photograph, color, c. 2000)


Maltby Library

In 1939, construction of the Maltby Library was complete. At this time, the rectangular building consisted of a main floor and basement. The large windows provided illumination for reading and reference rooms. The college expanded the library in 1960.

(Photograph, color, c. 1970)

A Look Inside Maltby Library

This mid-twentieth century photograph features the reference desk of Maltby Library.

(Photograph, black and white, c. 1960)


The Reading Room in the Maltby Library

 The reading rooms of Maltby Library.

(Photograph, black and white, c. 1960)

The Second Floor Addition

This photograph shows the construction of the addition to Maltby Library in 1960.

(Photograph, black and white, c. 1960)

Albert E. Maltby: Slippery Rock Normal School's Second Principal

Maltby Library was given its name in honor of Dr. Albert Elias Maltby, the second principal of Slippery Rock Normal School.

(Photograph, black and white, c. 1900)

The Strain Science Hall

Built in 1938, the red brick Science Building was used by the Physical and Chemical Science Departments for their classes. In 1979, the building was dedicated to Dr. Warren G. Strain, who brought fame and national recognition to Slippery Rock State College during his tenure as the chairperson of the Geography Department. Today, the Strain Safety building has been renovated and is currently used by the Department of Safety Management for office space and classes.

(Photograph, black and white, c.1930s)