After almost two years of construction, the renovation of Pillsbury Hall is complete. Made possible by $24 million in capital investment funding from the State of Minnesota and $12 million raised by the University of Minnesota, the community will celebrate its reopening on Friday, September 17, 2021.
Pillsbury Hall will be the new home for the English Department and will launch the innovative new Liberal Arts Engagement Hub (The Hub), demonstrating a deepened investment in the humanities and culture of engagement with the Minnesota community.
“As The Hub’s new home, Pillsbury Hall will serve as a dynamic space where University members can learn from and partner with the external community,” said John Coleman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We hope Pillsbury can serve as a friendly front door to the U of M where people can enjoy classes, workshops, listening sessions, exhibitions and lectures, around critical topics of shared interest.”
Built in 1889 and the second oldest building on the Twin Cities campus, Pillsbury Hall’s renovations converted the building’s outdated and inefficient laboratories, classrooms and study spaces into forward-looking, flexible and technology-rich environments. These modernizations open new academic opportunities for teaching, learning, research and discovery. The large, vaulted attic space has also transformed into a new venue for readings, gatherings and performances.
"The humanities are such an important part of our University's mission, as well as my own journey, and I am proud we are demonstrating that commitment with the renovation of Pillsbury Hall," said President Joan Gabel. "The Minnesota community — a leader in community-engaged learning and scholarship — is one of the many reasons we're dedicated to supporting community-based learning and the exchange of ideas."
The University will host an open house on Friday, September 17, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and will include readings, performances and student-led tours.
Those who are unable to make it to the reopening celebration can visit Pillsbury Hall’s website for a 360 degree tour of the building, recorded remarks from President Gabel and Dean Coleman, along with those closest to the project.