National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County
See Wellman Hall for more information about this complex.
Hilgard Hall, one of three buildings in the Agricultural Complex, was named for Eugene W. Hilgard who established the first United States agricultural experiment station at the University and who served as the first Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1874-1904.
In his design for Hilgard Hall, John Galen Howard incorporated Northern Italian Renaissance motifs into an academic, Neo-Classical design. The building was to be sheathed in granite like Wellman Hall, but economy measures imposed by World War I changed the material to cement-washed concrete.
Hilgard Hall was intended to house seven divisions of the College of Agriculture: Agronomy, Citriculture, Forestry, Genetics, Pomology, Soil Technology, and Viticulture. The ground and main floors were devoted to lecture halls, classrooms, and laboratories, while the third and fourth floors would contain offices.
An inscription dominates the west elevation. Several phrases were considered and rejected including the prosaic Given by the People of the State of California A.D. 1915 and the poetic To bring food for the peoples from the breast of the earth. The chosen inscription reads To Rescue for Human Society the Native Values of Rural Life.