OSU's Campus Looked Amazing Even in the 1930s

By DJ Byrnes on February 18, 2014 at 11:55a

Here's your daily reminder that Ohio State isn't kidding when they talk about their tradition:

Ohio State has come a long way from the 1930s, but the Horeshoe still dominates campus. Just a little reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

Source: @NCAACathedrals

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DNARCO's picture

As long as there is a chance for change, i'm good.  Picture is awesome, too. 


OSU_ALUM_05's picture

What's that building that looks like a collapsing row of books?

Yeti's have feelings too.

+1 HS
GrayDay's picture

That's the old "Sawtooth" chemistry Lab, can't remember its real name but that's what we called it.  Were told it was built as a temporary "20-year" structure long ago, but it was still there in the early 80s.  We'd cut through it on way from north campus, but remember our chemistry friends refused to do so regardless of weather as they thought it too dangerous. 

Gusman's picture

That building was McPherson Lab if I recall correctly.

Gusman's picture
Aerial View of McPherson Lab - Circa 1947

Obviously this picture shows the old building after an expansion built around it.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

cool - thanks for the information - good find

Yeti's have feelings too.

SaudiBuckeye's picture

I haven't been on campus, or to Columbus for that matter, in the past 23 years except once to the stadium for the 2013 Nebraska game, so my recollection is faint. However, I remember Robinson Lab having that sawtooth roof design and being very old. 

I think I took physics classes there or was that Smith Lab. 

-1 HS
GoBucks10's picture

Robinson was replaced about 5 years ago by Scott Lab.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

GoBucksToledo's picture

Thanks for sharing this, it's awesome.  This is probably pretty close to what my father saw when he went there and played on the freshman football team before running out of money and having to transfer to Case.

CALPOPPY's picture

Wow, your Dad must not have been too impressive to drop out of OSU to have to go to Case.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

FROMTHE18's picture

cool bit with the baseball stadium right out front

One Bad Buckeye's picture

Wow! Somebody built baseball stands in the middle of Woody Hayes Drive!!!!!  

So cool to see this, I had no idea that when I walked out of Morrill Tower I was basically walking onto an old baseball diamond, haha! 

It's crazy to think that since this picture was taken, Larkins was built and demolished and the RPAC was built in its place....among many, many other things.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

stevepoland's picture

Obligatory posting of my favorite shot of the stadium in 1925:


+3 HS
cal3713's picture

Also, if you go down south by the medical buildings, that Sycamore tree is still there... but a lot bigger.  Someone should create and post a then & now side by side image.

osu07asu10's picture

I think it is cool to look West and North in the picture and see the built neighborhoods that surround campus. Those homes are still the ones surrounding campus today. Pretty neat.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+1 HS
GrayDay's picture

It is very cool, although Woodruff was the northern edge in this border.  I think the original Ohio Field was in the NE corner where Woodruff and High meet.  I'm guessing they plowed down everything between Woodruff and Lane sometime in 50's or 60's to make North Campus?

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Was this picture taken from a flying DeLorian??? Or some lunatic in the Hindenburg?

I love these old pictures. I cant imagine how grand and intimidating these old football cathedrals must have been to people who didnt interact or gather like we do today, or have internet/television to see other stadiums, or mostly live in rural areas where their scope of life was much smaller from a social interaction standpoint.
This must have been totally mind blowing back then as it is still chillingly impressive today.

cabanaboy925's picture

awesome... but there isn't a car in sight.   without that revenue stream, a water must have cost like $8

it's Miller time....

+3 HS
TMac's picture

As Usual, the place looks packed!!

ONE Not Done!

+1 HS
Jpfbuck's picture

Actually Ohio Stadium rarely sold out in the 1930's. one exception was the Notre Dame game in 1935, so this may have been that game. As an example, these were the home attendance figures for the 1930 season.

Mt Union - 16,000

Indiana - 24,716

Michigan - 68,549

Wisconsin - 40,488

Pitt - 39,581

given that the capacity back then was over 66K, that means only the Michigan game was a sell out

other games that sold out the Shoe in the 1930's were Navy in '31, Michigan in '34, Notre Dame in '35, NYU and PItt in '36, TCU and NW in '37

1938 had several games at or near capacity including Indiana, USC, Chicago, Purdue and Michigan

and no games sold out in '39, '32 or '33

The lack of sell outs was fairly routine into the late 60's, we opened the 1968 national titles run by failing to sell out the opening 2 games against SMU and Oregon.

in '67 when the stadium held 81,455 we played in stadium 1/4 empty vs Wisconsin with an official attendance of only 65,470, 1966 had 3 games not sell out

so constant sell outs is a fairly recent phenomenon at OSU, same as most schools



+2 HS
TMac's picture

Interesting, Thanks!  My memories are the past 50 years. IIRC, during the late 70s & early 80s when I was there for every home game we had an impressive string of home sellouts. 

ONE Not Done!

AJBor41's picture

The JP in your name doesn't stand for Jack Park does it?  Well done on the attendance history.

+1 HS
One Bad Buckeye's picture

Are those railroad tracks approximately where WH Drive currently runs?

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

GoBucks10's picture

No building, besides Ohio Stadium, will ever come close to eclipsing the glory that was the Armory. A legitimate castle on campus. The "tribute" to the Armory incorporated in the Wexner center is disgraceful.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
hawkins.326's picture

I'm just as interested to see what some of those off campus houses looked like back in the day. 307 E 15th was probably a bit nicer in the 1930s than when I moved out in 2011.

Baroclinicity's picture

Looks like they had temporary scaffolding for the south stands even back then.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

AndyVance's picture

Kinda makes you want to tear down the South Stands, doesn't it?

EDIT: Okay, since someone clearly didn't understand my meaning, I'll say it more plainly: Without the South Stands, the old picture of the Horseshoe really looks like a horseshoe... 

-1 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

If you look close, you can see some flapper girl co-eds showing some lower calf on the Oval.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+2 HS