Farrington Building

Farrington Building
1908 Avenue J
Map | News | ID#: 0007


1958 Building named for Farrington [1]
1959 Constructed
1985 Observatory removed
2004-06 Renovated


Claude Farrington


Wirtz, Calhoun, Tungate & Jackson


H.A. Lott, Inc.


Farrington Building

People scurry about on an open field surrounded by, from north to east, the Education Building, water tower, Avenue J, men's gymnasium, Greek amphitheatre, and Estill Library. One can only guess but if officials hadn't chosen to build the new gym almost on the site of the old, then the Farrington Building might not have been so land-locked in the 2000s when it wanted to expand.

Farrington Building

The newly constructed Farrington Building, nestled in between the library and gym. Note the small observatory at the southern end of the roof.

Farrington Building

During the 1970s, Farrington sat against a parking lot to the north and had a pocket of its southern lot dedicated to electrical utilities. Some of this area would be given over to the Science Animal Lab building in the mid-1980s.

Farrington Building

A photo from the late-1990s shows a pre-renovated exterior, notably the blue-gray coloring seen in the north and western windows.

Farrington Building

The south-eastern corner of Farrington (or rear-entrance).

Farrington Building

The dedication plaque inside the western entrance.


[1] Minutes from the Board of Regents (Feb. 28, 1958)
[2] Today@Sam (Nov. 8, 2002)
[3] Today@Sam (May 9, 2003)
[4] Houstonian (Nov. 30, 2004)
[5] Lone Star Observatories: A History of Astronomical Observatories in Texas (1997)

The Farrington Science Building is a 51,000-plus square foot building on the southeast corner of the quadrangle, situated between the Estill and Marks Buildings.

Science classes, originally held in the Austin College Building, moved to a newly created Science Building in 1916. When more space was needed for the chemistry and physics departments, the Farrington Building was created four decades later at a cost of $2.5 Million.

Astronomy classes fall under jurisdiction of the Physics Department and star-gazing facilities for the public include both an observatory and planetarium. There was originally a small observatory on the roof that was used for astronomy classes, but expanding city and campus light rendered the telescope obsolete [5]. In 1985 the observatory moved to Country Campus; in 1997, it was relocated to off of Highway 19 near Riverside. The planetarium located in room 102 also provides plenty of fun at Farrington.

In addition to science classes, the building is home to both the Reading Center and the Sam Houston Writing Center. Farrington has also served as a "jumping off" point for members of the Bearkat Battalion, housed in nearby AB3, that use the building for rappelling.

In 2002, the Board of Regents approved funds for both renovations as well as the construction of an addition [2]; renovations were initially limited to only the first floor [3]. By early 2003 the addition was redesigned as a separate facility that became the Chemistry & Forensic Sciences Building, located just south of Farrington. By 2004, funds were approved to expand renovations to the entire building [4].

The Farrington Pit, a sunken garden area, takes its name from its closeness to the building.

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