UF Named Facilities
Peter Rolfs Hall
Peter H. Rolfs was born in Le Claire, Iowa in 1865. He earned his bachelor's of science from Iowa State College of Agriculture, and his master's of science from Iowa Agricultural College. His career began at the Agricultural Experiment Station at the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City as a researcher and instructor in Botany and Horticulture. After a stint at Clemson University, Rolfs returned to Florida as head of the USDA's Plant Introduction Station and Subtropical Laboratory in Miami, subsequently serving as the Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Director of Agricultural Extension in Florida, and Dean of the College of Agriculture.
Rolfs accepted an invitation to establish and direct an agricultural school in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in 1920, and he held various positions relating to agriculture in Brazil until his retirement in 1932. Rolfs passed away in 1944.
Originally called the Horticultural Science Building, Rolfs Hall housed the Agricultural Extension Service, the Agricultural Station, the State Plant Board and related classrooms. The building was named for Peter H. Rolfs, Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1906 to 1920, and was designed by William Edward in 1927.
Narrative as displayed on the commemorative plaque:
Rolfs Hall was designed by Rudolph Weaver, Architect for the Florida Board of Control, and was completed in 1927. Originally known as the Horticulture Building, it housed the administrative offices of the University's agricultural programs as well as the Agricultural Experiment Station Library. Rolfs Hall would also serve as the headquarters of the Florida Agricultural Extension Service and Florida 4-H. A fourth floor was added in 1937 that provided office space for the School of Forestry. In 1955, the building was named in honor of Peter Henry Rolfs, Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1906 to 1920.
Peter Henry Rolfs was born April 17, 1865 in Le Claire, Iowa. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Iowa State University. Rolfs' first academic appointment was to the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City in 1892. He left Florida in 1899 and served briefly as a botanist at Clemson University. He returned to Florida in 1901 as head of the Plant Introduction Station and Subtropical Laboratory in Miami. In 1906, he was appointed Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Florida and, later, Director of Agricultural Extension. In 1920, Rolfs accepted an invitation to establish and direct an agricultural school in Brazil and ended his distinguished career there as a consultant on agricultural affairs. He died in Gainesville on February 22,1944.
This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.