Slides, Film, and Negatives of the Auditorium Fire, January 1970.

GACA Collection 139

Slides, Film, and Negatives of the Auditorium Fire, January 1970.  GACA Collection 139.  1/2 Hollinger.


This collection consists of slides, an eight millimeter film, negatives, and contact prints showing a fire that destroyed the Auditorium Building on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College.  These images were taken at the time of the fire and during its aftermath on 8-9 January 1970.  Gustavus students J. Kirk Metzger (’70), Eric Stokhuyzen (’72), and James Bolmgren (’70) are credited for capturing these scenes.  Damage left the building as nothing more than a brick shell.


Built through a partnership between Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Peter residents, the Auditorium Building opened during January 1905.  According to an article in College Breezes, the building cost $30,000.  The edifice housed a number of departments, the chapel, and several classrooms.  During the formal dedication ceremony, Governor John A. Johnson remarked that the building’s opening was “an extraordinary occasion, an epoch in the history of Gustavus Adolphus college [sic], of the state, and of the nation.”  When the building was last mentioned in the College Catalog of 1969-1970, the grandeur had diminished.  It was listed as “among the older buildings on the campus. . . .”  This description sharply contrasts the portrayal of other campus structures.  At the time of the fire, the building housed administrative and faculty offices, the president’s office, an 800 seat auditorium, and a data processing center.


There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of the College Archives, the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, and Gustavus Adolphus College.


Slides, Film, and Negatives of the Auditorium Fire, January 1970. GACA Collection 139.  Gustavus Adolphus College Archives, St. Peter, Minnesota.


Steve Waldhauser transferred this collection on behalf of J. Kirk Metzger during April 2006.


Jeff A. Jenson processed this collection and developed the finding aid during April 2009.


Fires--Minnesota--St. Peter--Gustavus Adolphus College--Photographs.
Fire fighters--Minnesota--St. Peter--Photographs.
Gustavus Adolphus College--Buildings--Photographs.
Metzger, J. Kirk, photographer.
Stokhuyzen, Eric, photographer.
Bolmgren, James, photographer.

GACA Collection 139



Film, 8mm, Taken by James Bolmgren, January 1970



Contact Prints of Negatives, January 1970



Negatives, Black and White, 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ and 1 ½ x 1 ½, Taken by Eric Stokhuyzen (2 ¼ x 2 ¼) and J. Kirk Metzger (1 ½ x 1 ½), January 1970



Slides, Color, Taken by J. Kirk Metzger, January 1970