Ring House History
The Ring Houses, four red brick buildings located on the northwest corner of the University of Alberta campus, have a long and diverse history of use. In the early years of the University of Alberta, these homes were built to provide housing for some of the University's first faculty and staff. Since that time, they have housed offices, dormitories, music studios, and research facilities.
The first faculty house, Ring House 1, was built in 1911 for University President Henry Marshall Tory and his wife Annie. Designed by the Strathcona architectural firm of Wilson and Herrald, the house cost approximately $10,000 to build. It was designed with Edwardian elegance and had ample space for both living and entertaining. The largest of the faculty houses, it contained a ladies' parlour, a conservatory, six bedrooms, and four fireplaces. In total, ten faculty homes were built in the area that was known as "Campus Circle" or "Campus Crescent".
In 1928, President Tory retired from the University of Alberta to pursue his work with the National Research Council. Subsequent presidents lived in the house until 1959. During the 1960s, the houses became offices for various departments on campus, including music and mathematics. For a short time, Ring House 1 was used as a residence for female students. In the summer of 1970, many of the houses were demolished to make room for the new Windsor Car Park.
In 1971, Ring House 1 housed the newly created University Art Gallery and Museum, later known as the Ring House Gallery. When the Gallery closed in 1988, the Museums and Collections Services retained the house for its offices.
Today, Ring Houses 1 and 4 are home to offices of the LSE Group, which includes Museums and Collections Services, the NEOS Library Consortium, and the Information and Privacy Office.