The Hale Science Building, named for the second president of the university, Horace M. Hale, was built from 1890 to 1894 and was one of the first buildings on the Boulder campus. The center section of the building was conceived by the architectural firm Varian and Sterner in the Richardsonian Romanesque style; the wings, designed by Gove & Walsh and added in 1910, complemented the original vision. Varsity Lake, which features in many photographs of Hale then and now, was added in 1888 after the damming of Hale Gulch.
Hale Science, then called the Hale Scientific Building, originally housed the physics, math, biology, civil engineering and law departments. The fourth floor featured a museum as well as one classroom and a geology lab.
Some of the earliest research done inside Hale involved radio signals and transmissions. To this end, the eastern part of the building was constructed without iron nails, as ferrous metals would distort the earth’s magnetic field and interfere with the experiments. An early triumph came in the spring of 1899, when three CU students transmitted electromagnetic waves from one end of Hale to the other without the use of wires.
The interior of the building was significantly altered during a renovation in the early 1990s. Helmed by architectural firm Midyette/Seieroe & Associates, the renovation set the stage for the anthropology department’s occupation of the building. Today, Hale houses the entire anthropology department: faculty, staff and graduate student spaces, seven classrooms, and a variety of laboratories.
Two pieces of original roof flashing from the Hale Science Building which has signatures of Harry Gamble, A.C. [Alwyn Charles] Smith and John W. [Weber] Flintham all with the date of April 1892 are located in the CU Heritage Center, 4th floor, Old Main, Boulder 80309.