Skip to main content

Ambrose, Fred



  • Existence: 1893-1959


Fred Walter Ambrose was superintendent of Grounds & Buildings at the State University of Iowa from May 15, 1941 to 1944, where he was in charge of the campus architectural planning and the maintenance performed by the Physical Plant. He then served as business manager and secretary of the University from September 1944 to December 1, 1954, when poor health led Ambrose to change his position to chief of Plant Utilization. He held this title until his death on August 26, 1959, at age 66. His poor health also led him to tender his resignation to E. F. Lindquist in May 1955 from his post as treasurer of the Measurement Research Center, Inc., and his membership on the Board of Trustees of the corporation. Ambrose previously worked as superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the University of Wyoming from 1926 untl April 1941. According to his obituary from the Daily Iowan student newspaper, Ambrose was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Stevens Point Normal School. He also graduated from Stout Institute in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and studied architecture at the United YMCA Schools. Ambrose married Laura Agnes Kearney on April 21, 1920. They had one son, John Frederic Ambrose. The Ambrose family attended St. Mary's Catholic Church, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Fred Ambrose Papers

Identifier: RG99.0339
Scope and Contents

These papers include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, floor plans, and campus maps relating to the planning of campus classrooms and dormitories during the 1940s and 1950s. The file labels and alphabetical organization exist as they were assigned by Ambrose. Of note is the 1955 space utilization study, conducted for all offices and classrooms in all campus buildings. In addition to the enormity of the project, this study is noteworthy for the standardization of building names Ambrose apparently brought about. He and his staff found that four resources -- the 1954 Financial Report, the Staff Directory, the Schedule of Courses, and the SUI section of the telephone book -- were not in agreement regarding the nomenclature of some campus buildings (see Box 10, folder 1). This collection provides a view of campus growth, as well as evidence of cooperation between institutions as they grappled with the same challenges.

Photographs: Boxes 13, 20

Dates: 1918 - 1959; Majority of material found within 1941-1959