World War II and the postwar period altered demands on university facilities. It was an era when quantity rather than quality was in demand. Klauder died in 1938 after designing his last CU building, the University Club. Following his death, facilities continued to be designed according to his style, but without the same creativity that Klauder had brought to his work. During and after the war, the successor firm to Day and Klauder, Trautwein and Howard, built austere, stripped-down buildings in the Tuscan vernacular style without the fine detail or careful configuration seen in the prewar buildings. Examples of buildings from this period include Cheyenne Arapaho Hall, Wardenburg Health Center, and the High Altitude Observatory building (now housing Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences).

CU grew rapidly after World War II. In addition to the flood of students funded by the GI Bill came families and older students. Although Klauder's original plan called for additional buildings along Broadway, growth instead occurred by repeated extensions of the university's southern and eastern boundaries. Campus growth was facilitated by the elimination in 1932 of a rail line (passing through where Ramaley Biology is now located) that had inhibited eastward expansion. At the same time, the town of Boulder continued to grow and eventually encircle the Main Campus.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the university embarked on a more expansive land acquisition program. It purchased 220 acres of farmland, now known as the East Campus and the University Research Park. It also accepted, with fiscal obligations, the Williams Village property as a location for housing students. The University of Colorado at Boulder became three campus areas - the Main Campus, the East Campus, and Williams Village - within the city of Boulder. During this period and into the 1960s, peripheral buildings were built that were not in the Tuscan vernacular style. In-house design staff designed several East Campus buildings, including Litman Research Laboratory, and Research Laboratories 2 and 3 (RL-2 and RL-3). It was increasingly obvious that a change was needed to revitalize building design for the campus.