Even if you’ve lived in Indiana all your life, you may not be aware that Purdue University is BIG in entomology. That’s the study of insects. In fact, this weekend marks the Bug Bowl Centennial Celebration of entomology at Purdue, an annual extravaganza enlarged in honor of the milestone with an insect art exhibit, tours and a production of “The Insect Play,” a 1921 work in which all but two characters are insects.
Entomology Hall, the Purdue landmark most closely associated with insect science, was built in 1901 for the School of Agriculture. The second oldest building on campus, it was designed by architect Robert Frost Daggett who also designed the Chicago Art Institute.
Entomology Hall appeared on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list in 1992 when it was slated for demolition to make room for a new food science facility. The subject of a decade-long preservation battle that succeeded, it was restored and rechristened Pfendler Hall in 2004.
If you love or hate bugs, give a salute to Pfendler Hall when you’re next on campus, where decades of research on ants, bees, wasps, termites, cockroaches, beetles, weevils, moths, borers, mosquitos and other critters produced pest control methods and products.
For details on the Bug Bowl and other entomology centennial events, visit http://centennial.entm.purdue.edu/events.
About Hidden Gems Indiana
Each week Indiana Landmarks uses insider knowledge to highlight historic places worth a visit, from the quirky to the sublime: small towns, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, parks, cemeteries, scenic drives, museums -- you get the idea. Learn more about Indiana Landmarks at www.indianalandmarks.org.