The President’s Cottage

The Presidents Cottage was completed in 1891. The first family to live in the house was President Seerley, pictured above.


The President’s Cottage was completed in 1891. The first family to live in the house was President Seerley, pictured above.

NI Archives

Editor’s Note: This is an article about the building of the Presidents College; it was published in Jan. 19, 1892. It was one of the first few buildings on campus. When this was printed UNI was still the Iowa State Normal School, and the Northern Iowan was called the Normal Eyte. Campus looked a little different, it was full of prairie, savannah, pasture and cultivated land that was open at least as far as what is 12th street today in Cedar Falls.

Chiefly for the benefit of old students who have not been back since it was erected, we give this week a short a description of the President’s residence build last year, together with a cut of the same. 

The last general assembly made an appropriation for this purpose and the board erected ata cost of $6,000, a very neat and comfortable cottage and furnished it with all modern conveniences. 

The building is nicely located just a little north and east of the center of campus and commands a very pleasant view of the surrounding country. It is constructed of solid brick upon a boulder foundation, 54 ft. by 38 ft, and has a slate roof. There are two front doors, to the east and to the south. Although not overly ornate nor profusely decorated the building presents a very cozy and handsome appearance. It is heated by the Pease system, a combination of steam and hot air is supplied with water from the city works and a No. 2 Gem water motor for pumping rainwater, etc. 

On the ground floor are double parlors, dining-room, study, halls for both fronts, kitchen, etc; on the second floor, chambers, bath-room and sewing-room and on the outside verandas and balconies from which in summer may be had most delightful views of the landscape and the city lying in the valley toward the northeast. There is an entire basement containing furnace room, laundry, vegetable room and storage. 

The new cottage affords rather a more comfortable residence for the President and family than did the rooms in South Hall and it is no doubt appreciated by them. The building is certainly a credit to the state, and we only hope that she will favor us still further by providing for a new school building which is sadly needed.