University of Miami’s First Campus

anastasia building

In coordination with the current Richter exhibition “This Space, This Place,” the University Archives is offering a mini exhibition titled “University of Miami’s First Campus” at the Special Collections Reading Room on the 8th floor of the library.

The featured item in the case is an appraisal report of the university properties from 1953. It contains a detailed map of Coral Gables that pinpoints the original location of the first campus of the university at the University Drive and Riviera Drive. The Anastasia Building was located there, which served as the home for administrative offices and classrooms of the University of Miami from 1926 through the late 1960s.

After the devastating hurricane of 1926 passed over South Florida, University officials knew that they would never be able to finish the Merrick Building and open on time, so they set their sights on the Anastasia Building, which was originally planned as a hotel but construction had been halted for lack of funds. The University leased the building and quickly installed room dividers to make the building function as a school. The building thus became known as the “Cardboard College.”

We hope this exhibition is going to be a good introduction for new students and employees to our collections and the university’s history and heritage.

exhibition case