The University Art Gallery building has quite a history. Constructed in 1902, it once housed coal-fired boilers and generators, which provided steam heat and electricity for Sherman Hall, the first building on campus. When construction on a new powerhouse began in 1925, President Walter P. Morgan decided to convert the original powerhouse into an academy building, which would serve teachers in training. This project included extensive remodeling of the first floor to accommodate four classrooms and the addition of a second story to be used as an assembly room.
From 1937-1980, many other departments used the building for office space, including the College of Education, the Western Courier, the Office of Public Safety, Alumni Affairs, the Placement Bureau, and Academic Services. The university's art collection, previously housed in Browne Hall, was moved to the current building in 1980.