By Janelle Higdon
North Central University has a beautiful campus located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. When you visit, you’ll love the vibe of the Christian community and the up-and-coming energy of East Town. You can come to campus and be confident that you’ll earn a top-notch degree in business, education, music, or one of the other 60 areas of study.
But there are some secrets of campus that you might not know. So we caught up with one of our campus experts, Chris Woelfle, the resident director of Carlson Hall, to hear about some of the lesser-known facts about North Central.
15 fun facts about North Central University’s campus
- Three of North Central’s campus buildings were originally constructed as hospitals. Both Miller and Carlson Halls were built by and for Asbury Hospital; Mensing Hall was built as St. Barnabas Hospital.
- Contrary to the popular myth, the TJ Jones Library building was not built as a private residence (or a ‘mansion’). It was actually built by Harriet Tourtellotte in memory of her husband, Dr. Jacob Francis Tourtellotte, to serve as a residence for deaconesses serving the Methodist Church and its hospital, Asbury.
- You can access the laundry room for Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) through the basement of Mensing Hall. (Don’t worry, the entrance is all locked up.)
- The Elliot Park soccer field was a collaboration between the Minneapolis Park Board and North Central. And what is now a beautiful turf soccer field used to be a great spot for ice skating in the winter months.
- Multiple spots across North Central’s campus were featured in the classic 90’s movie, Mighty Ducks.
- When it was a hospital, the fourth floor of Carlson Hall was the birthing ward.
- During North Central’s second year in operation (when it was still North Central Bible Institute), tuition for the whole school year was $51. This included books, but not housing or meals. Yes, tuition has gone up a bit since then (but we are still one of the most affordable private, accredited Christian universities in the state).
- In 1937, the first year that North Central operated out of the building now known as Miller Hall, the college catalog celebrated the fact that the new facility included 20 typewriters, 22 pianos, and one organ.
- When North Central was named North Central Bible College, students would jokingly rework the acronym NCBC to stand for “North Central Bridal College”. The expression “ring by spring!” is now common at Christian colleges across the nation.
- The parking lots known as “the Chapel Lot” and “the Danny’s Lot” were both purchased after the buildings located there were destroyed by fire.
- During Spiritual Emphasis Week in 1972, students contributed $25,000 (an eighth of the total costs) to help complete construction of the F. J. Lindquist Chapel. These donations came from students, some of whom sold televisions, stereo systems, and even cars to raise funds.
- The iron material for the skyways around campus was donated to North Central before there were even any plans for building a skyway system.
- The Orfield Apartments were sold to North Central for 65% of their appraised value by a local landowner named Wallace Orfield. They have been known as “the Orfields” ever since.
- When North Central Bible Institute was housed in just Miller Hall, the cafeteria was located in what is now the Registrar’s Office. What used to be the refrigerator room is now a storage space for admissions materials.
- Classy wood floors were recently discovered under carpeting in the admissions office, and they are currently being restored to their former glory. Campus is filled with architectural treasures and historical details!
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