Faculty Office Building (FOB)
Often confused for a utility building, the Faculty Office Building, or FOB, was a small building on the side of BYU campus. Seated next to one of the much-hated long flights of stairs, the FOB is exactly what it claims to be: mostly faculty offices. One of the more recent buildings, it’s history ranges from BYU football, to the President’s offices, to most of the colleges on campus.
In 1929, the BYU Stadium was completed on the hillside west of campus. Two massive flights of stairs flanked the stadium. The permanent stands held 5,000 people, with the possible of 7,00 more seated on the temporary bleachers, reaching a grand total of 12,000 people. At the time, BYU had almost 1,500 students, growing despite the ongoing Great Depression. Within a decade, it had doubled again. The stands were not often filled, as football had only been recently resurrected at BYU. In 1900, an accidental death related to football caused the LDS church to ban all football activities from its schools. However, in 1919, it was reallowed with Alvin Twitchell as the new head coach. By 1921, it was admitted to the Rocky Mountain Conference, and in the first year of the new stadium, finally had a winning record. This launched a period of great success on the football field, with new coach G. Ott Romney wining over half of the games he coached. By the 1960’s, BYU football had grown in size and popularity, causing the creation of the new Cougar Stadium in 1964. At the time, it could hold 28,000 people, and eventually was expanded to over 63,000 people. No longer needed the old stadium, it was demolished in 1972, though the press box was left over and incorporated into the FOB, a new building that was being built.
As the new stadium was built, BYU began to build new building on the top of the hill. With the continued increase in enrollment, the administration decided that they needed to make a building dedicated to office space. In 1955, two bathrooms had been added to the area around the press box, and BYU did not want to waste those resources. They built offices between the two bathrooms, making sure that every office had a window. The press box was converted into research rooms. The building was originally used by research assistants, but eventually turned to professors. It was used as office space for professors in the psychology, language studies philosophy, international relations, political science, and others. After a few years and after retirement, Ernest Wilkinson’s main office was in the middle of the FOB. In 1983, the Economics department joined the FOB, along with the Institutional Analysis & Data Administration and the Social Work department. In the early 2000’s, everyone left the FOB to the Economics department.
Now, the Faculty Office Building houses the Economics department and the occasional odd professor whose office is under construction or unavailable for some reason. One of the smaller and lesser known buildings on campus, the Faculty Office Building has served useful to the school and marks an important part in the history of BYU.
It was demolished in the Summer of 2019 to be rebuilt.