Historic Images of Louisiana Tech


Entrance sign to Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (circa 1966)
Entrance sign to Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (circa 1966)

Louisiana Tech University, often referred to as Louisiana Tech, LA Tech, or Tech, is a coeducational public research university located in Ruston.

It opened as The Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana in 1894. Four years later, the state constitution changed the school's name to the Louisiana Industrial Institute.

In 1921, the college changed its name to the Louisiana Polytechnic Institute to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger " technical institute".

Under the leadership of Dr. F. Jay Taylor, the college continued to grow and change over time, and the name was changed to Louisiana Tech University in 1970.

Folliwing Dr. Taylor as president was Dr. Dan Reneau, who served in that role from 1987 to 2013.

Louisiana Polytechnic Institute Lagniappe Yearbooks
Louisiana Polytechnic Institute Lagniappe Yearbooks

In 1994, Centennial Plaza was constructed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Louisiana Tech's founding. It includes "The Alumni Walkway" which contains a brick for every Tech graduate, starting with the one for Harry Howard, class of 1897.

The president of Louisiana Tech today is Dr. Les Guice, who took on that position in 2013.

The current enrollment is about 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its men's "Bulldogs" and "Lady Techster" teams compete in Conference USA.

Today, in 2020, the campus continues to evolve, expand and improve, with many new structures such as the Integrated Engineering and Science Building, the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, Davison Hall, Tech Pointe, the Micromanufacturing Building and new residence halls.

Included below are several earlier images of the campus. Also shown are some more recent ones that bring back memories of our years at Tech, and where we lived, studied, watched sports and dined!

Historic Louisiana Tech Campus Buildings, Images, Postcards and Photographs

Administration

The main building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute ... early years

Louisiana Polytechnic Institute ... earlier years

Architect's drawing of the new administration building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston Louisiana (circa 1939). Later named Keeny Hall. (Photo courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana archives)

Architect's drawing of the new administration building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston Louisiana

Keeny Hall, on the Quadrangle at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana, seen in this vintage postcard. Named after John E. Keeny,  president of the school from 1908 to 1926. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 20, 1998.

Historic image of Keeny Hall, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston Louisiana

Around Campus

Howard Auditorium and Our Lady of the Mist at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana.

Early image of Howard Auditorium and Our Lady of the Mist at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana

Howard Auditorium, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana. Completed in 1940 it is named after Tech's first graduate, Harry Howard. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 20, 1998.

Black and white image of Howard Auditorium, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana

The "Old" Education Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, on the Quad

The "Old" Education Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana

Carson-Taylor Hall, Louisiana Tech ... chemistry, physics, biology, human ecology classrooms and labs.

Carson-Taylor Hall, Louisiana Tech

The Student Center ... The Tonk, across from Harper Hall and adjacent to the Quad

The Student Center ... The Tonk, at Louisiana Tech in Ruston

Bogard Hall was completed in 1940 and named it after Frank Bogard, the former Dean of Engineering at Louisiana Tech from 1910-1918, and again from 1923-1937. The building continues to serve as the home of the College of Engineering and Science.

Bogard Hall at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston

Architect's drawing of the new Engineering Laboratory Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1965). When construction was completed in 1967, the building was named the Electrical Engineering Building. In 1970, it was named Nethken Hall in honor of Dr. Harley J. Nethken, the dean of Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering during World War II.

Architect's drawing of the new Engineering Laboratory Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1965)

Architect's drawing of the new School of Business Administration Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1965).

Architect's drawing of the new School of Business Administration Building at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1965)

Architect's drawing of the proposed 16-story Tower of Learning at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1969).

Construction ended in 1973, and named the Wyly Tower of Learning in honor of Charles Wyly, Sr., whose sons Charles and Sam contributed funds toward the construction costs.

The new tower would be attached to Prescott Memorial Library, named in honor of Arthur T. Prescott who served as president from 1895 to 1899.

Architect's drawing of the proposed 16-story Tower of Learning at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1969).

Architect's drawing of the proposed new Educational Complex at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (circa 1969). Later named Woodard Hall.

Architect's drawing of the proposed new Educational Complex at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1969).

The "LA TECH" Water Tower ... Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston Louisiana. Demolished 2009.

The "LA TECH" Water Tower (Demolished 2009) ... Louisiana Polytechnic , Institute, Ruston Louisiana

Scotty Robertson Memorial Gymnasium, Louisiana Tech University

Scotty Robertson Gymnasium, Louisiana Tech University

Hale Hall, Louisiana Tech University. The building was originally constructed as a 2-story women's dorm in 1898, and later became a men's dormitory.

It has now been rebuilt in its original likeness, and is the home of the School of Architecture, and the Office of Admissions.

Hale Hall, Louisiana Tech University

The Ropp Center ... The oldest existing building on the Tech campus

It is named in honor of Dr. R.L. Ropp, the 10th president of Tech, serving from 1949 to 1962. Built by the State of Louisiana in 1911, the residence housed seven university presidents until the new president’s home was built on the north campus in 1972.

The Ropp Center, Louisiana Tech

Where We Lived

Shown here is the original Harper Hall at the Louisiana Industrial Institute, Ruston, Louisiana, built in 1910.

The original Harper Hall at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana

Here is the dormitory that was formerly known as the "New" Harper Hall, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, circa mid-1960s. Construction on this 8-story women's dorm was completed in 1964 at the site of the original Harper Hall.

The residence hall was named in honor of Jean Maud Harper, who served as a professor and was appointed as the Tech Dean of Women in 1929.

The dorm was demolished in August, 2020, along with the T.H. Harris Hall (completed in 1957, originally used as the infirmary and later student housing).

"New" Harper Hall, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, later Louisiana Tech, Ruston Louisiana, Circa 1960

Aswell Hall, named for James B. Aswell, the 4th President of Louisiana Tech (1900-1904)

Aswell Hall, women's residence dorm, Louisiana Tech

Architect's drawing of the new 8-story women's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston (circa 1966). Later named Kidd Hall. Located at the corner of South Homer Street at California Avenue. Demolished in the summer of 2003.

Architect's drawing of the new 8-story women's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1966). Later named Kidd Hall.

Hutcheson Hall men's dormitory, built in 1964, seen here at night, during study hours, at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston (circa 1969). It housed 400 male students.

Hutcheson is now demolished, along with nearby Jenkins Hall (named after Professor Edward Swinton Jenkins), and McFarland Hall.

The other two residence halls in the "horseshoe" that contained five dorms were and Richardson Hall and Cottingham Hall.

Hutcheson Hall men's dormitory, built in 1964, seen here at night, during study hours, at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1969). It housed 400 male students.

Richardson Hall, Louisiana Tech, located between Cottingham Hall and the now-razed Hutcheson Hall. Named after the 9th Tech President, Edwin Richardson (1936-1941).

Richardson Hall, Louisiana Tech

Cottingham Hall, in the Louisiana Tech "horseshoe" of men's dorms. Named after the 10th Tech President, Claybrook Cottingham (1941-1949).

Cottingham Hall, Louisiana Tech

Mitchell Hall, Tech Drive, Louisiana Tech University.

Mitchell, Cottingham and Richardson are slated for demolition, perhaps in the summer of 2021, to be replaced by new housing, green space, intramural areas and parking.

Mitchell Hall, Tech Drive, Louisiana Tech University

Architect's drawing of the new 8-story men's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston (circa 1966). Later named Caruthers Hall in honor of Shreveport businessman John D. Caruthers, Sr. Demolished in 2013.

Architect's drawing of the new 8-story men's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1966). Later named Caruthers Hall.

"Tallest and Newest"

The new "modern" 11-story men's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, opened in 1968. Named Neilson Hall in honor of Patrick Douglas Neilson, former Dean of Men and head of the Physics Department at Tech. Demolished in 2013.

Architect's drawing of the new 11-story men's dormitory at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in Ruston, Louisiana (circa 1969). Later named Neilson Hall.

Where We Dined

Tollivar Hall, named after Tech's first full-time dietitian, Irene Tolliver. We all remember "Upper Tolliver" and "Lower Tolliver".  Added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 20, 1998.

Tollivar Hall

Wilson Cafeteria, on Tech Drive (circa 1965), next to the site of the old football stadium.

Wilson Cafeteria, on Tech Drive at Louisiana Tech in Ruston (circa1965)

 

More About Ruston and Louisiana Tech
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Ruston Lincoln Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau

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