Indiana University’s campuses have changed so much over the years that it’s hard to grasp the full extent of their transformation. Here are before and after photos of a particularly remarkable transformation of the space that is now the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox Arboretum at IU Bloomington. Before it was the Arboretum, this site housed IU’s first Memorial Stadium.
IU’s first Memorial Stadium was dedicated during the IU vs. Purdue football game on November 21, 1925. In fact, the stadium’s dedication occasioned the origin of the Old Oaken Bucket tradition. In keeping with the practices of other schools, a group of Indiana and Purdue alumni of Chicago decided, as part of the dedication ceremony, to present a victory trophy for future games. A committee recommended an oaken well bucket to symbolize rural Indiana.
In 1960, a new Memorial Stadium was erected on 17th Street, but the old stadium continued to be used for Little 500 and other activities. Eventually the old stadium had deteriorated so badly that it had to be demolished. Structural work on the Arboretum was completed in 1984.
The photos below were shot from almost the same perspective, 52 years apart.
For more information about IU Bloomington architecture, check out the first Bicentennial Well House Series publication, Indiana University Bloomington: America’s Legacy Campus, by J. Terry Clapacs, BA’65, MBA’69, available from IU Press.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of 200: The IU Bicentennial Magazine, a special six-issue magazine that highlights Bicentennial activities and shares untold stories from the dynamic history of Indiana University. Visit 200.iu.edu for more Bicentennial information.