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First completed in 1903, the Child Development Building was originally the School of Mines Building for ten years. After a 1913 fire destroyed most of the interior, the rebuilt structure was home to University High School for almost 40 years. University High School was a laboratory school run by the College of Education, and the high school eventually moved to Peik Hall in 1953. Since then, the building has been the headquarters of the Institute of Child Development, a nationally renowned program founded in 1925. As of 2020, a $42 million renovation and addition to the historic building is awaiting state approval.

  • The current Institute of Child Development
  • It was the School of Mines Building from its construction in 1903 until a fire in 1913
  • The building was designed by Minnesota architect Clarence H. Johnston, Sr.
  • A pre-conceptual drawing of the proposed renovation
  • If approved, the new building could open in 2023
  • The building was the home of University High School from 1915 until 1953

Although the the School of Mines was established in 1888, it did not have its own permanent home for 15 years. In 1903, the School of Mines Building was constructed on the northwest portion of campus for $61,000. Architect Clarence H. Johnston, Sr., designed the red brick building that housed the school for a decade. In 1913, however, a serious fire destroyed most of the building’s interior. The building was subsequently rebuilt, but the School of Mines relocated to a new facility.

The College of Education moved into the renovated structure, which became the new University High School building in 1915. University High School, founded by the Board of Regents in 1908, was one of the University’s laboratory schools. These schools were run by the College of Education in an effort to train instructors and research effective teaching methods. University High School was located in the former School of Mines Building until 1953, when it moved to the newly built Peik Hall.

Following University High School’s departure, the building became home to the Institute of Child Development (originally called the Institute of Child Welfare). When it was founded in 1925, the institute was one of only three such programs in the entire country. Originally based out of the old Student Christian Association Building, the institute has remained in the former University High School building since 1954, and the building is now named after the institute. 

Since its founding, the Institute of Child Development has been a leader in its field, and as recently as 2018 was ranked as the nation’s top child psychology and brain development program. Despite its success, the institute is still operating out of a building that has remained essentially unchanged for over a century (besides one addition made in 1967). In the past few years, the University has begun planning and fundraising for a massive renovation and addition to the building. The proposed changes would substantially renovate the 1913 structure, add approximately 46,000 square feet of new space, and demolish the 1967 addition. If funding is approved by the state legislature in 2020, the new state-of-the-art facility could open in 2023.

  1. State Historic Preservation Office Staff. National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form, National Park Service. August 23rd 1984. Accessed April 24th 2020.
  2. Federal Writer's Project. Minnesota: A State Guide. New York City, NY. Viking Press, 1938.
  3. Moore, Erik. University High School, University of Minnesota. August 16th 2018. Accessed April 24th 2020.
  4. Jim and Carmen Campbell pledge lead gift to renovate U of M’s world-renowned Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. January 15th 2019. Accessed April 24th 2020.
  5. Wilson, Erin. Despite legislative uncertainty, UMN asks state for $28 million for ICD project, Minnesota Daily. January 27th 2019. Accessed April 24th 2020.
  6. Alumni Blue Book, School of Mines and Metallurgy, Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. Alumni Association, 1913.
  7. State of Minnesota Final Capital Budget Requests, State of Minnesota. January 2020. Accessed April 24th 2020.
  8. Buildings -- East Bank Chronological, University Digital Conservancy . Accessed April 24th 2020.
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