An architectural draft of the Arts Building, circa 1958

Time travel: January 1961

Pack your bags and set your sights on memory lane, because this year’s On Campus News back page features landmark moments and events from our storied 110-year history.

By Lesley Porter

January 1961: the Arts Building opens

Spanning 11 stories high, the Arts Building (also known as the Arts Complex) is the tallest building at the University of Saskatchewan and an easily recognizable part of campus.

A building for the liberal arts was of importance to President Walter Murray, and a tender was originally put out in 1930. However, the economic decline in the province ultimately led to the cancellation of the project, and it was shelved for more than 20 years.

In 1957, funding became available from the Canada Council, specifically targeting liberal arts and humanities-related facility projects at Canadian universities.

With funding in hand, the Arts Building was constructed in
four stages from 1958 to 1967, costing $758,491. The first phase, a classroom wing, opened in September 1959. The next phase, completed in 1960, featured the first seven floors of the tower, a theatre and a link between the tower and classroom wing.

The tower officially opened on Jan. 16, 1961. Between that time and 1967, four more floors were added to the tower, as was a second classroom wing.