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First Floor Entrance

Pillsbury Hall, built in 1889, is the second-oldest building on campus and easily the most iconic. Designed by LeRoy S. Buffington in the Romanesque style of Henry Hobson Richardson, it is considered his finest work still in existence. The walls are sandstone set in a broken-range ashlar pattern with a geometric pattern capping the central rectangle. The tile roof delicately shelters the massive blocks. A variety of carvings and motifs can be found around the building. These include small faces on the front arches; a carving of a lion with a dragon-like body; the head of Medusa, sea serpents and gargoyles.

The Regents Seal was adopted by the Board of Regents in 1939 as the corporate seal of the University of Minnesota. The lamp represents the metaphysical sciences, the telescope the physical sciences, the plow the industrial arts, and the palette and brushes the fine arts.

L’etoile du Nord (translation: Star of the North) is the motto of the state of Minnesota.

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Pillsbury Hall is named after John S. Pillsbury, Minnesota’s Governor from 1875 to 1881. It was his donation that paid for its construction. John S. Pillsbury’s association with the University of Minnesota began as a regent in 1863 and continued for the next 50 years. He is called “Father of Our University.”

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