It was quite a sight --- that small newborn
brick building with its spotless four white Doric columns
rising on the mesa-land, a respectful distance south of Old
Main. Such dignity for a gymnasium on the rough western frontier!
Plans for this modest structure were drawn by the University’s
own Professor of Mechanical Arts, David H. Holmes, and constructed
for $6,675, of which $5,000 was contributed by Dr. James Douglas
and his associates of the Copper Queen Mining Company. This
gift was arranged by Col. William Herring, Territorial Lawyer
and legal counsel for the company, and for whom the building
was named at the suggestion of Dr. Douglas. The basement contained
96 lockers and five hot-water shower baths.
1903 Arizona Legislative Assembly appropriated $2,000 for
equipment, purchased from a Rhode Island firm, that included
weights, bars, climbing ropers, chest developers, mats, basketballs,
and fencing foils. What a bonanza! It was shared by both men
and women for many years, and often used for social hours,
class dances, and military balls. During Christmas vacation
in 1906, a balcony was installed at the west end. The building
has endured many interior changes which have made it, over
the years, a women’s gym, a theater, a radio-television
studio, and an outpost for assorted crowded departments.
the last decade the basement has been used by College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences graduate students and the remainder of the
space for storage purposes. After a year long rehabilitation
supported by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,
Herring Hall is ready to reopen its doors as the new home
of the UA Herbarium and the Campus Arboretum.
Hall is included in the University of Arizona’s West
Campus Historic District, which was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1986.