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Inside Iowa State
September 24, 1999

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Q: There are brick columns on the west side of campus, on either side of Union Drive where it meets Sheldon Avenue. What are they from, and why are they still in place?

A: The four pillars of red brick and white stone are part of the former "West Gate," built as a traffic determent during the mid-1920s. At the time, townspeople heading to Boone or points farther west exited Ames via Knoll Road and Union Drive. The traffic through campus at all times of the night and day created a nuisance, so the gate concept was devised. Gifts from the senior classes of 1920-1923 paid for the gate (these class dates are etched into the pillars). Large iron gates, which no longer are there, were closed at night and opened during the day. (In 1938, alumnus W. G. Lane provided money for a brick and iron gate to the former Clyde Williams Field. The stadium gate was connected to the south half of West Gate.)

Source: Special Collections, Parks Library

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