SFA Story: The History of Stephen F. Austin State University

Historical Markers

The Rusk Building

Built on the homestead lands of warrior statesman Thomas Jefferson Rusk, Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College (SFA) was swollen with success shortly after taking over its new facilities, the Austin Building and Aikman Gymnasium, in 1924. The board of regents had approved the erection of the Rusk building in their original plan, but cost-cutting measures in the State Legislature led to a delay in its construction until 1926. Designed by architect W. E. Ketchum, it was built by F. A. Mote, the same contractor who had completed the Austin Building in 1924.

An excellent example of a classical revival public building, the Rusk Building features a fifteen-bay primary facade, a grand staircase, pedimented three-bay entry, Doric columns and cast stone details. An important academic facility for a variety of SFA programs, it initially housed the college library, departments of education and business, and the demonstration school for teacher training. In later years it was home to the departments of applied arts and sciences, communications, continuing education, social work and criminal justice, as well as administrative offices of the registrar, admissions staff and student services. The Texas Folklore Society and university printing services have occupied the basement.

An extensive renovation project in 1987 returned the Rusk Building to its original grandeur. The structure retains a high degree of architectural integrity and remains a central facility on the StephenF. Austin State University Campus.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1998