Originally submitted by Emily Notturno on October 20, 2011, Drake University
Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center

Harmon_FAC
Harmon Fine Arts Center, Photo taken and provided by Emily Notturno, 2011
Introduction

Sitting perfectly on Drake University’s campus, the Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center is a building constructed for learning, self-expression and entertainment. And it does just that, many students from around the world, walk into the structure and are inspired to sing, act, and play instruments.

Ground Breaking
The ground-breaking for the Fine Arts Center (not dedicated to Dr. Harmon, yet) was held on June 12, 1970. The rain stopped just long enough for the, $6,100,000 project to start at 1:30 in the afternoon. Many were in attendance, Drake trustees, faculty, students, administrative and clerical staff and special guests, to see the beginning of a massive addition to Drake University. [1] The ground-breaking lead the way for Harry Weese and Associates’ design of the 130,000 square foot building to be built. The building was constructed from 1970-1972. [2]

Harmon_Henry_headshot.jpg
Henry Gadd Harmon. Photo Provided by The Quax,1959, page 78
Opening

Opened October 21, 1972, the Drake University Fine Arts Center was a massive labyrinth that had its opening with a ceremony on the Sculpture Court. Presenting at the opening ceremony was Dr. Wilbur C. Miller, Drake President; Dr. Paul J. Jackson, dean of the College of Fine Arts, and David Kruidenier, chairman of Drake’s board of trustees. There was the presentation of honorary degrees to two alumni, as well. After the ceremony, tours were given of the giant Fine Arts Center. [3]

Dedication to Henry G. HarmonThe Fine Arts Center was dedicated to Henry G. Harmon on October 6th, 1974 with a formal ceremony and concert. [4] By decision from the board of trustees, Drake University named the fine arts facility in remembrance of the late Dr. Henry G. Harmon, seventh president of Drake. [5] “Naming the fine arts facility in Dr. Harmon’s memory reflects the affection felt for him but the University’s Board of Trustees as well as others on the Drake community and in Des Moines,” Dr. Wilbur C. Miller, Drake President said. He also added that “this action by the University’s trustees is a tribute to Henry Harmon’s ability and contribution to the development of Drake University as well as to his many cultural and service achievements in this city.” After October 6th, 1974, the fine arts facility was known as the Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center. [6]


Harmon_statues
Statue outside of the Fine Arts Center, Photo taken and provided by Emily Notturno, 2011
The Modern Day Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center
After obvious renovations to the Fine Arts Center due to age, the Harmon FAC still looks as beautiful as the day it was completed. Today, the H.G. Harmon Fine Arts Center is more commonly referred to as the FAC building. It houses the greater part of the Music Department, Theatre Arts Department and the Department of Art and Design. The H.G.H. Fine Arts Center has 3 theatres: the Studio Theatre, the Monroe Recital Hall and The Hall of Performing Arts.

The Hall of Performing Arts, which seats 460 people, is the central feature of the Fine Arts Center. It houses the Holtkampe Concert Organ, which is a 3 manual console organ controlling 3,000 pipes with 39 stops and 51 ranks. [7]
Harmon_Map.png
Harmon Fine Arts Center, Des Moine, IA 50311. Map provided by Google Maps


References
  1. Goodwin, James E. (1970, July). Begin Fine Arts Phase One. Drake Perspectives, Volume 2, No. 6, pp. 1, 2.
  2. Goodwin, James E. (1970, July). Begin Fine Arts Phase One. Drake Perspectives, Volume 2, No. 6, pp. 1, 2.
  3. Rowson, Sandy. (1972, October 16). Fine Arts Center Opening. Quix: Drake University’s On-Campus Newsletter, 23(8), pp.1
  4. Drake University. (1974, Oct. 6). Dedication: Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center, Drake University. [Cowles Library’s Archive Collection-Fine Arts File]. Des Moines, IA: Drake University.
  5. Rehder, Dennis L. (1974, August). Fine Arts Center named for Harmon. Drake Perspectives, Volume 6, No. 5, pp. 1.
  6. Rehder, Dennis L. (1974, August). Fine Arts Center named for Harmon. Drake Perspectives, Volume 6, No. 5, pp. 1.
  7. Drake University. (2008, April 22). School of Fine Arts: Facilities: Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center. Retrieved from Drake University, Catalog Archives on Drake University Web site:<http://www.drake.edu/catalog/archive/ugrad0708/sfa/facilities.php>
  8. Drake University. (2008, April 22). School of Fine Arts: Facilities: Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center. Retrieved from Drake University, Catalog Archives on Drake University Web site:<http://www.drake.edu/catalog/archive/ugrad0708/sfa/facilities.php>