Below is information from two of the IBF Barns Tours which included ISU Horse Barns and Dairy Barns. Only the Horse Barns remain active on the central campus – and they are a great show when the foals are born.
For more, look at the ISU website, Barns at Iowa State.
Horse Barn at Iowa State University - 2008
Directions: From south of Ames: from Highway 30 at Ames, take Elwood Drive exit north (Elwood Drive is 3 miles west of I-35). Remain on Elwood Drive north for 2.2 miles. Elwood drive crosses South 4th, Lincoln Way, and veers west at the railroad tracks, coming directly to the horse barn parking lot.
The Iowa State University horse barn is of major architectural importance to Iowa and Iowa State. The center wing was designed by Proudfoot, Souers, and Rawson of Des Moines in the mid-1920s. The Proudfoot firm became distinguished for major buildings around Iowa and beyond. The firm designed the noteable courthouse in Wichita, Kansas.
The roof is outfitted with striking metal ventilators and lighting rods. The interior of the building is largely original. The haymow covers the entire building. The two wings, designed to house animals, were built in 1923 by an unknown builder. The building was recently repaired. Many Iowa historians believe this barn should be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
But there’s also another ex-barn now converted for classes and offices, as well as a handful of other sites that might interest someone who cares about barns and agricultural history.
Dairy Barns at Iowa State University - 2003
Barn 7 on the map. From Highway 30 at Ames, take Elwood Drive exit north. Approximately 0.2 miles north on Elwood, turn left (west) at the first light to Mortensen Rd. Proceed 0.75 miles on Mortensen road to find the Dairy Barns on the south side of the street. The Iowa State University Dairy Barns are on Mortensen Road, south of the campus.
The dairy farm site was developed at this site in 1908. The original dairy barn, built in 1908, is still in use. A large dairy barn and milking parlor was built during the 1930's and completed in 1937. The magnificent building remains in mostly original condition inside and out. The barn is U-shaped in design and has a classical gambrel roof. The haymow is over the entire structure.
Horse Barn at Iowa State University - 2003
Barn 8 on the map. From south of Ames: from Highway 30 at Ames, take Elwood Drive exit north (Elwood Drive is 3 miles west of I-35). Remain on Elwood Drive north for 2.2 miles. Elwood drive crosses South 4th, Lincoln Way, and veers west at the railroad tracks, coming directly to the horse barn parking lot.
From north of Ames via Highway 69: proceed south through Ames to the intersection with 13th Street. Turn west on 13th St. and proceed 1.3 miles to Stange Road. Turn left (south) onto Stange Road and proceed 2 blocks to the ISU Horse Barns. The parking lot is immediately to the east of the barns. (Alternate: From north of Ames via I-35: exit at 13th Street, proceed west for 3.7 miles to Stange Road, then south two blocks.)
Iowa State University Horse Barn is historically and architecturally important to Iowa and Iowa State University. The clay tile barn with gambrel style roof and turned up eaves was designed in 1923 by Proudfoot, Bird, and Souers of Des Moines, a nationally-recognized firm that designed many of Iowa's important historic buildings. The roof has numerous gabled and shed dormers that accommodate ventilation windows and haymow doors. The interior with box stalls, tie stalls, and group housing stalls is original.
Some of the original wood block floors remain. The haymow covers the entire building. The center wing was built in 1926 to house machinery and is still used for that purpose. The barn is in poor condition, and an effort should be made to restore it.
UPDATE: Repairs were made to the Iowa State University Horse Barn in 2006. The barn now has a new roof, windows, doors, fencing, and repaired cupolas.