UF Named Facilities
Henry H. Buckman Hall
Henry H. Buckman, chairman of the Florida House Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that essentially created the University of Florida in Gainesville. Buckman suggested that the state's resources be concentrated in an effort to create more competitive schools. The Buckman Act, passed in May 1905, consolidated all the state-funded schools in Florida into three institutions: the University of Florida in Gainesville, which was designated for white males; Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee (known today as Florida State University); and Florida A&M, also in Tallahassee, for African Americans.
In addition, the Buckman Act transferred authority over the State University System from the Board of Education to the Board of Control (now the Board of Governors).
Dedicated on September 27, 1906, Buckman Hall was one of the first buildings constructed on campus. The architectural firm of Edwards and Walters, along with contractor W. T. Hadlow, built both Buckman and Thomas Halls at a cost of $75,250. Though each building was designed to be a residence hall, both buildings were used to house the entire operations of the university for a number of years. In addition to student housing, Buckman Hall contained an infirmary with six iron beds as well as a gymnasium and living quarters for a professor known as the officer-in-charge. The rooms had hardwood floors and potbellied stoves for which the University provided wood.
The facility is divided into five sections and lettered A through E. At one time, UF's President Andrew Sledd lived on the second and third floors of Buckman A. Prior to World War II, Buckman A was still being used for classrooms.
Following the success of the student cooperative living program in Reid Hall, in Fall 1973, Buckman sections A and E became student cooperative living sections. During the summer of 1974, the remaining sections of Buckman Hall joined the cooperative living program, and Buckman Hall turned into Buckman Co-op. In exchange for lower rental rates, students in the cooperative living facilities completed routine custodial and maintenance duties. However, Buckman reverted back to a standard residence hall in fall 2003 due to a lack of interest in co-op housing.
Buckman is part of the Murphree Residence Area in the immediate vicinity of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, the O'Connell Center, the Advising Center and the Florida Gym.
Narrative as displayed on the commemorative plaque:
Buckman Hall was the University's first dormitory. It was designed by Walter A. Edwards, the University architect, to house one hundred students. Later, the north end was converted to classrooms and faculty offices that were utilized until the late 1940s when they once again became dormitory rooms. W.T. Hadlow of Jacksonville received the construction contract. Work began in January 1906, and the building was completed the following year. All the bricks were made by prisoners at the state penitentiary in Chattahoochee, Florida, and were furnished free to the University. Prison bricks, as they were called, were used on more of the early campus buildings.
Henry Holland Buckman was born in Jacksonville, June 20, 1858, the son of pioneer settler. He received a law degree from Cumberland University in 1879, and became a prominent attorney in Jacksonville. He was actively involved in state and local political and civic matters, and served as police commissioner in Jacksonville. In 1905 he was a member of the Florida House of Representative, serving as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He introduced and led the debate of House Bill 361 that would create the University of Florida. After the passage of the Buckman Act and the opening of the University in Gainesville in 1906, the Board of Control named the buiding in honor of H.H. Buckman. He died May 3, 1914.
This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.