The Housing Units Building was built as a response to the lack of affordable student housing in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its innovative adaptation of the covered street, first used in Europe almost 200 years ago, attracted considerable public attention. Almost the length of three football fields, HUB was built straddling 112 Street from 89 Avenue almost to the edge of the river valley. Viewed from either end, it forms a massive 'H' - each side a bank of housing units; the crossbar, the floor of the arcade separating the housing rows. Protecting the arcade is a single-dome skylight running the entire length of the mall - 292 metres.
Original: History Trails
The long-range architectural plans for the early physical development of the campus were designed by Montreal architects Nobbs and Hyde, with Cecil Scott Burgess acting as the supervising architect. In some instances, such as with Pembina Hall, Burgess designed the building and supervised construction. The early elegance of these buildings combined a classic elastic and collegiate gothic style. Open spaces, landscaping, residential living, and allowances for pedestrian traffic were key elements in the overall plan.
The campus continued to grow without a definitive long-range plan. Ad hoc campus plans and new buildings emerged as needs, student enrollments, and budgets allowed. The post-war campus grew substantially. By 1960, the University of Alberta comprised 133 acres and had 12 major teaching buildings. No one then could have projected how many inner roads, cars, and surface parking spaces would dominate the campus of the 1960s.
The old Rink was removed in 1960. In the same year, the new Physical Education complex opened. This complex, with a pool, rink, and other facilities was considered the best in the country. Also in 1960, the Physical Sciences buildings opened. These buildings were extremely important because they provided chemistry and physics students with lab space to develop their graduate and research programs to an international standard.
In 1963, the Edmonton Normal School was renamed Corbett Hall in honour of Ned Corbett, a former and influential director of the Department of Extension. Extension moved from the South Lab into Corbett Hall and remained there until 1989. Extension gained Faculty status in 1975.
The Education Building was completed in 1963 and a year later, sod was turned over to make room for the Faculty Club.
Lister Hall was completed in the mid–1960s.
Named for the University’s illustrious first President, the Henry Marshall Tory Building opened in 1966.
In the early 1960s, students planned the second Students’ Union Building; it was completed in 1967.
Also in 1967, a Vice-President ( Planning and Development) was appointed. In 1969, the Hot Caf was demolished to make room for the Central Academic Building (CAB). CAB was opened in 1971.
In the early 1970s, a long-range plan was developed for the University by Toronto architects and planners A.J. Diamond and Barton Myers. Harkening back to the Nobbs and Hyde plans, the Diamond-Myers plan promoted a system of pedestrian streets and heated linkages to buildings. The plan called for a concentric design that arranged buildings according to their interaction with other faculties and to relevant libraries.
Construction of the Biological Sciences Centre was underway by 1970.
The newer Windsor Park residential community, located immediately west of the main campus, remained intact. Older homes in the Garneau area, especially those built between 111 and 112 Streets from Saskatchewan Drive south to 87 Avenue, were demolished to make way for new buildings such as HUB, the Fine Arts Centre, and the Law Building. Only Rutherford House was spared. In 1970, the Tuck Shop, a traditional favourite campus hangout, also located on 112 Street, met its demise: in 1973, the Fine Arts Building opened on the space it once occupied.
In the early 1970s, the University did not own property south of 87 Avenue, and a substantial part of 112 Street from 87 Avenue to 82 (Whyte) Avenue still remains in private hands to this day, although the houses have now all gone.
The Students’ Union Housing Commission worked closely with Diamond and Myers to meet the housing needs of students. Initially, the innovative Housing Union Building (HUB), completed in 1973, was owned and operated by students who had a major voice in operating policies, residence rules, and social programming. In 1976, the Board of Governors bought HUB from the Students’ Union for $1.00.
In 1974, Rutherford House, the lovely restored home of the University’s founder, Alberta’s first premier, and past University Chancellor, was opened to the public. The University wanted to demolish the house; however, a campaign started by History Professor Lewis G. Thomas managed to raise enough money for its restoration.
Athabasca and Pembina Halls had been condemned. However, in 1974, after a valiant battle by student residents, the historic structures received major renovations and modern retrofits.
The Power Plant opened in 1978 as a dynamic social centre for the Graduate Student' Association. In the early 1980s, more construction took place, especially in light of the forthcoming World University Games.