Barnes Hall (Central Michigan University) – Mt. Pleasant MI


Barnes Hall on the campus of Central Michigan University was constructed during the Great Depression with the aid of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds. The PWA supplied a $119,250 grant. Construction occurred between October 1938 and 1939.

“Barnes Hall started life as the dormitory wing of the new Student Union, known then as Keeler Union, which is now Powers Hall. Grounbreaking for the new student union occurred on October 31, 1938 when President Warriner turned the first shovel of earth. The building was funded through a Public Works Administration Grant, one of the programs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The architect was C. William Palmer of Detroit. The cornerstone was laid in February 1939.

The dorm wing opened in September of 1939, but the Union section was not ready until November. Despite the fact that it was the first and only men’s dormitory on campus, its 90 beds remained partially empty that first year. It was difficult for the college to convince men who were used to living off campus to move in and conform to the myriad regulations of dorm life. For those who did move in, room and board was $45 per semester.” (

(PWA Docket No. NY [X]1573)

Source notes

National Archives: Record Group 135: Public Works Administration; Projects Control Division; Entry 52: Indices to Non-Federal Projects; Report No. 5: Status of All Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, page 62.

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on November 28, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

Coordinates: 43.590660, -84.777234

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