Pittsburg State University Walking Tour

Looking for a place to walk that will take you past lovely landscaping, works of art, a scenic lake, and a beautiful blend of historic and modern buildings? This is it!

Pittsburg State University Walking Tour

Pittsburg, Kansas 66762, United States

Created By: Pittsburg State University

Tour Information

Whether you're an employee, community member, visitor, a graduate who has returned to campus to see what's changed, or are a current or future parent or student, we welcome you to take a walk on campus to enjoy the landscaping, the artwork, the blend of beautifully preserved historic buildings with state-of-the-art new ones, and the Gorilla statues!

Pittsburg State University began in 1903 in one building in a growing town called Pittsburg, Kansas, that got its start thanks to mining and industry. It was called the Kansas State Manual Training Normal School, and it was unique in the state and the nation: it was the first teacher training school of the manual arts (woodworking, metal work, art, cooking, and sewing) for which public money was appropriated.

Today, the university prepares graduates for the workforce in a range of occupations and includes more than 30 buildings across campus, as well as a renovated historic district in Downtown Pittsburg called Block22 developed in partnership with the City of Pittsburg.

In many ways, the university is the hub of the community — it's the largest employer, and it offers the bulk of the area's athletic events, performances, guest speakers, and other opportunities.

The charm of the campus and the friendliness of the students, faculty, and staff, make it an ideal place to visit, work, live, attend events, and walk!

Learn more about the university at pittstate.edu

Let's take a walk!

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

One of the oldest buildings still standing in Pittsburg and beautifully preserved, Russ Hall was built in 1908 and named in 1912 after the university's founder and first principal. A fire caused by lightning in 1914 left it nearly destroyed... Read more
The Senior Walk, completed and dedicated in 2012, was made possible by a gift from the Student Government Association and features plaques for each Outstanding Senior Award recipient. The selection process begins with nominations from facu... Read more
Porter Hall is home to the PSU Art Department, including three art galleries. Built in 1927, it was named for a state legislator, Ebenezer Porter, who sponsored a bill in 1903 that paved the way for PSU to be built and who helped to get fu... Read more
On the east side of Porter Hall in a picturesque, shaded area is Night Song, a bronze sculpture of a Native American playing a flute, designed by professional artist and PSU graduate Joe Beeler (Class of 1957). It was dedicated on Oct. 11, ... Read more
The Wooster Gorilla has overlooked the Oval from its position at the main south doors of the Overman Student Center since 1965, when it was installed there as a gift from the 1965 senior class. The iconic statue’s sculptor and namesake wa... Read more
Located just outside and to the left of the south-facing central doors of the Overman Student Center is a champion tree – a tree that is the largest of its species in a given year, according to a database maintained by the Forest Service.... Read more
Need a snack, drink, or place to rest indoors while on your walk? The Overman Student Center, named after a longtime beloved Gorilla, includes a food court on the main level, an Einstein Bros. Bagels on the lower level, spacious meeting ro... Read more
The garden beds are a must-see on a walk across campus, especially in the spring when hundreds of crimson and gold tulips are blooming, and in the summer and early fall when they're replanted with a jungle theme — we even have banana tree... Read more
Located in the heart of campus, it is named for the shape the sidewalk loop makes when seen from above. It’s a green space with a diverse array of shade trees and landscaping beds (known for tulips in the spring and tropical “jungle” ... Read more
On the third floor of Heckert-Wells you'll find Nature Reach, based in the PSU Biology Department since 1985. In a room filled with live animals under the care of a credentialled environmental educator, and a curriculum of programming desi... Read more
The L. Russell Kelce Planetarium opened in Yates Hall in July 1964 and saw 10,000 visitors the first year — most from area schools. Today, the planetarium, which can seat 50 and is wheelchair accessible, still provides programs for scho... Read more
The Centennial Bell Tower, located between the Axe Library and Carnie Smith Stadium, was a gift from the senior classes of 1993 through 1996. Tradition is for incoming freshmen to ring it when they’ve enrolled and for graduating seniors t... Read more
Home to the winningest football program in NCAA Division II, this is hallowed ground for thousands of alumni, coaches, and fans and one of the most beautiful stadiums you’ll ever visit.   Built in 1923 with 5,000 seats on what was then ... Read more
Unveiled in October 2014 east of Carnie Smith Stadium, the plaza was designed to honor the passion that Pittsburg State students and alumni feel for their university while at the same time celebrating the achievements of the university’s ... Read more
Gorilla Village encompasses several structures east of Carnie Smith Stadium, including the Gazebo, the East Shelter (the shelter closest to the brown parking lot), and the West Shelter (the shelter closest to the stadium). It can be accesse... Read more
This 2-acre, kidney-shaped lake was built by the Civil Works Administration in 1934. It’s now surrounded by a grassy lawn dotted with mature trees and shrubs. Nearby, you’ll find two shelter houses and a gazebo, as well as picnic tables... Read more
If you'd like to return to your starting point at Russ Hall, turn west (left) and stay on the hike-bike path, to continue on the tour by turning east (right).
Peek in the Weede Gymnasium, home to the John F. Lance Arena.
The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts is a premiere destination for the region. Peek inside whenever the building is open to see the stunning architecture and learn more about upcoming performances, and to view a 1987 serigraph of Andy Wa... Read more
The Robert W. Plaster Center is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts a variety of university and community events, including national track and field championships, career fairs, Special Olympics events, and Commencement.   Dedicated on... Read more
Opened in 1997, this sprawling, state-of-the-art facility is home to PSU’s College of Technology. It includes Automotive Technology, Engineering Technology, Graphic and Imaging Technologies, Technology and Workforce Learning, and the Scho... Read more
The sundial was given in memory of longtime technology professor George Ray Brooker, designed by longtime art professor Robert Blunk Jr., and dedicated on March 14, 2000, at the Kansas Technology Center’s North Entrance. 
The sculpture was designed by Tom Corbin and dedicated on April 22, 2005, in the Kansas Technology Center Courtyard. Corbin also is the sculpture of the massive bronze sculpture “Champion Gorilla” east of Carnie Smith Stadium. 
A permanent tribute to all Americans who have served in one of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Services, the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial is one of the most often-visited sites in Southeast Kansas.   It features a half... Read more
The Galloping Horse of Gansu was installed at the University Lake in May 2003. The statue was a gift of Huo Baozhu, president of the Shaanxi Five Rings Sculptural Art Company.  The home to the east of the sculpture is called The Crossland ... Read more
This Gothic-style, all-faiths chapel was completed in 1966 as a gift to the university from longtime benefactor Beth Spiva Timmons. A quiet place for meditation, solitude, and worship, it provides a beautiful setting for a small wedding. It... Read more
The Centennial Mural, designed by Mark Switlik (BFA ‘79) to celebrate PSU's 100th birthday, was completed in 2004 and can be found in Lindburg Plaza, on the north end of Nation Hall at Pitt State.   Switlik is known for his big art, and... Read more
In the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall, in McCray Hall, you’ll find a remarkable 3-manual, mechanical action Fisk Pipe Organ, installed in 1995 and funded by private donors through the PSU Foundation.   It was designed and built by internat... Read more
You're back to Russ Hall, the "front door" of Pittsburg State University! Thanks for taking this tour with us. Learn more about Pitt State at pittstate.edu, or on social media at: Facebook @PittState Instagram @pittsburg_state Twitter @pitt... Read more


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