Opened April 1915
Grawn Hall is the oldest building at Central Michigan University. It was dedicated as the Science and Agriculture Building on July 8, 1915 by Governor Woodbridge Ferris.
The building is one of the very few on campus that was not designed by Roger Allen of Grand Rapids. Grawn's architect was E.W. Arnold of Battle Creek.
When it first opened, the building housed the departments of Agriculture, Psychology, Geography, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Until 1965, it housed the various science and mathematics disciplines. During this time, a small greenhouse stood on the present site of the Applied Business Studies Complex attached to the building. It also housed the university's print shop for some time.
The building narrowly escaped destruction by fire on two occasions. The first happend on January 31, 1933, when the memory of the Old Main fire was still fresh in the minds of the administration. The other, which did $25,000 in damage on March 10, 1954, started in a chemistry laboratory.
In 1965 the building underwent a $600,000 addition designed by Roger Allen. At this time, the business department moved into the building. 1989 saw another addition. This one, a twenty thousand square foot addition called the Applied Business Studies Complex, cost $1.7 million. It was funded in part by a $400,000 donation from the Dow Chemical Company of Midland.
The building was named for Charles T. Grawn, the son of Swedish parents, who was born in Salem in Washtenaw County, Michigan, on October 4, 1857. Stating his educational career at eighteen years of age as a rural teacher in Kent County, where he taught for one year, he entered the state normal school at Ypsilanti, graduating from the Classical course in 1880. After serving as superintendent of public schools in Plymouth, he accepted a similar position in Traverse City, where he remained for fifteen years, leaving in 1899 to become superintendent of the training school at the State Normal College. A year later, when the position of principal became vacant with the resignation of Charles McKenny, the State Board of Education appointed Grawn to the post. He remained the head of Central until 1918, when he resigned in order to devote his full time to business interests.