The Changing Campus

Firehall Downtown Houghton
Firehall, 2004 

The first classes were held using leased space in the Continental Fire Hall in downtown Houghton. This building still stands and is currently being used for storage. It can be seen on Montezuma avenue, right next to the old Portage Lake District Library.

Hubbell Hall

The first building on campus, completed in 1890, was originally known simply as “The Mining School.” Once a second building was constructed to house engineering disciplines, it became known as “The Science building.” For most of its existence, it was known as Hubbell Hall. Hubbell Hall was demolished in 1968. It was approximately where the MEEM building is currently located. This archival photo can be found in numerous MTU publications.

Hubbell Hall
Hubbell Hall, 1890 

By 1928 there were more than a half-dozen buildings on campus. The 1928 Library later became known as “academic offices and the library,” with an addition built to the north. Now it is the home of Social Science, Business, and Education. The Gymnasium, next to Hubbell Hall, currently houses ROTC. The Chemistry and Metallurgy buildings shown are replacements for earlier Chemistry and Metallurgy buildings which burned in 1920 and 1923 respectively. Both Chemistry buildings were known as Koenig Hall. The new metallurgy building would be known as McNair Hall (not to be confused with the current residence hall of the same name).

By 1955, some of campus has spilled over to the south side of College Avenue. The President’s House (Bldg 9, at the corner of Oak St and Houghton Ave) is approximately where Fisher Hall’s large lecture room, Fisher 135, is currently located.

Around 1970, US41 was routed around campus as a four lane highway. Shortly after this, most of College Avenue through campus was removed. 

In 2002, the Rozsa Center for the Performing was built to the East of Walker Arts Center (which itself was a “remodel” of Sherman Gym). A major building project was undertaken in 2004 between Fisher Hall and the Van Pelt Library to add computer facilities, classroom space, and to improve the Library. Phase II of this work will be a remodelling of Fisher Hall. A second floor walkway connects the new construction and the library.

Campus Maps

A current campus map is available. While we provide some examples over the years, older campus maps and other historical descriptions of the campus can be found in a number of places, one convenient location is within the University catalogs, a collection of which can be found at the MTU Archives and Copper Country Historical Collection located within the Van Pelt Library

Fisher Hall

Fisher Hall
Fisher Hall in 1981, from the US-41 Side (the back)

Construction began on a new Physics and Mathematics Building in 1962. Shortly before the groundbreaking, James Fisher, Jr., passed away. Fisher had been Professor and Department head of Mathematics and Physics for over 40 years, on the faculty for 50 years, and after his mandatory retirement in 1944, he remained active, especially with the alumni association. He was a Michigan Mining School graduate (1893) and Hancock native and he was much respected in the community. In recognition of his contributions to Michigan Tech and the community, the new building was named for him and was dedicated to him when it opened in 1964. 

Fisher Hall currently houses the departments of Physics and Mathematical Sciences. Up until 2004, it also housed Computer Science. Fisher Hall has a large number of classrooms which are used by many other departments on campus. Of the academic buildings on campus, it is now one of the oldest.

An addition, named the Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Computer Science Hall, was added during 2003-2004 to the West side of the building (to the left in the picture above) largely to house computer science faculty and classrooms. During the summer of 2006, some of the classrooms and public areas inside Fisher Hall received a much-needed face lift. For a more detailed history of Fisher Hall see Michigan Tech News, 50 Years of Fisher Hall.

Statements of Purpose

Curricula - Catalog Listings

Physics Course Descriptions Through the Years


Faculty, staff, graduate students, graduates, and achievements

Selected Brief Biographies

We have a listing of selected brief biographies and in memorial of past physics facilities on our Biographies page


These reflect endowments we have had in the past. For our current endowments and scholarships please refer to our Giving Opportunities.