A History of SJU Buildings

Maps of the Saint John’s University campus showing the location and names of buildings through time.

SJU Map 1992-2009 1992-2009
In 1992, two buildings on campus were moved. The Seidenbush apartment building was moved to Flynntown to make room for Joe Hall, and Joe Hall was then moved to its spot behind Tommy Hall. This was done to make room for the new Sexton Commons, which was built on the old site of Joe Hall near Mary Hall. The Vincent Court Apartments were constructed between 1996 and 2000 in Flynntown, and the Sts. Maur and Placid Apartments were added to the upper campus. In 1997 the McNeely Spectrum was added on to the Warner Palaestra and an all-weather track was put in. Also in 1997, the New Science Center was completed. In 2006 a new Guesthouse (not shown) was created for the Abbey.
SJU Map 1972-1991 1972-1991
The early 1970s saw even more big changes to the St. John’s campus. The Warner Palaestra was added, along with the Bush Center, better known as the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML). The Quad underwent more renovations and additional student housing was constructed. The Seton and Metton Apartments were added to Flynntown, and the Virgil Michel house was built on the upper campus. The new art center was constructed in 1989.
SJU Map 1958-1971 1958-1971
1958 was an important year for St. John’s. It was this year that the new Abbey Church was completed. A true engineering feat, its defining feature is the massive concrete bell banner. The architect, Marcel Breuer, continued to add buildings to St. John’s, including St. Thomas Hall, Alcuin Library, Peter Engel Science Center, St. Bernard, Boniface, and Patrick Halls, and the Ecumenical Institute. While not part of St. John’s University, in 1962 the St. John’s Preparatory School was built.
SJU Map 1939-1957 1939-1957
The Edelbrock and Gagliardi Houses were built in the early 1940s. Both housed coaches.  (The Edelbrock house was later moved to make way for student housing; it was eventually razed, and the Gagliardi House met a similar fate.) The 1950s saw many changes. Emmaus Hall was built as a seminary for priesthood students. After the end of WWII there was an influx of students attending Saint John’s on the GI bill, so temporary barracks were brought to campus in 1946.  In 1951 Saint Mary Hall was completed to deal with the rising student population. In 1955 and 1956 two important buildings were added, the Liturgical Press and the new Monastery Wing, both designed by the renowned architect Marcel Breuer. Breuer made a lasting impression on the campus which would see many more of his buildings. 
SJU Map 1906-1938 1906-1938
The Quad continued to be improved upon, including a connecting link to Wimmer Hall and the addition of the cold corridor on the south side of the Abbey Church (later the Great Hall). St. Gregory House was built as an infirmary for students, but would eventually be used as student housing. St. Benet hall was built and attached to the Quad for use as student housing. The Flynn and Leonarz houses (not shown) were built establishing Flynntown.  Homes built there provided housing for lay employees and their families. Flynntown would become populated with more student housing as the years went on.
SJU Map 1887-1905 1887-1905
St. John’s continued to grow. Multiple additions were made to the Quad including Wimmer Hall (which was originally the campus library) and Luke Hall. St. John’s also built Guild Hall. At the time, it was used as a Gymnasium. There was also an increased need for housing on campus, not just for students, but workers as well. St. Francis House was built to help house twenty-four sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis. They assisted with the dining services. St. Joseph Hall was built to house buggies. But both buildings would eventually be turned into student housing, with St. Joseph Hall being used for a short time to house lay employees.
SJU Map 1857-1886 1857-1886
St. John’s was officially founded in 1857. During its early periods, St. John’s was a quickly changing assortment of makeshift buildings. It’s hard to tell what the campus actually looked like in these early years. It wasn’t until the Quad was built in 1868 that the campus really began to take shape. During this time period an assortment of other buildings were constructed like the Frame House, Stone House, and various barns. Most of the buildings from this period no longer exist, with the main exception being the Quad.