Townshend Hall was officially named on May 19, 1896, to honor Dr. Norton S. Townshend, one of seven founding faculty when the University opened its doors in 1873. He also was one of the first Board of Trustees members, a position he resigned to become the University’s first professor of agriculture. Townshend Hall served as the home of the College of Agriculture until the Agricultural Administration Building was completed in 1956.The building was completed in January 1898, and it is an example of the Second Renaissance Revival style, characterized by a Doric entry porch, hipped clay-tile roof and wide eaves with arcaded windows. In 1984, the Department of Psychology, which had been divided between four different buildings, was consolidated into Townshend and Lazenby Halls. (The psychology department moved into its own building in 2005.) Also, ever notice its odd positioning? The Rail-Light Company was considering extending its streetcar line through campus on Neil Avenue to serve the former Olentangy Amusement Park (now Olentangy Village). The University’s Board of Trustees was not so keen on this plan and decided to block it—literally. This explains why Neil Avenue, though continuous, is not straight behind the Thompson Library. The building is currently the home of the Department of Sociology.
John H. Herrick Archives: Townshend Hall