Rolla Division of the Bureau of Mines Headquarters

Rolla, Missouri
Phelps County

In 1920 the Federal Bureau of Mines (BOM), in their mission to study various types of mining across the country, opened a branch in Rolla on the campus of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (currently Missouri University of Science & Technology). When more space was needed, local civic leaders came together to purchase land near the campus to construct new BOM facilities.  A new headquarters was completed in 1947, destroyed by fire in 1948, and rebuilt as a Georgian Revival style building in 1950.  For many years the Bureau worked closely with the University to develop advancements in mining and metallurgy that worked to improve the nation’s metal and mineral industry. The BOM was dissolved by Congress in 1995. In 2000, the University gained ownership of the property. In 2015 six BOM buildings remained on campus. While the headquarters building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, the University demolished three of the six standing BOM buildings shortly thereafter to create space for new residence halls. The BOM Headquarters is now in peril as the University has recently decommissioned the building and rendered a and master plan that will remove the structure. Two additional remaining BOM buildings adjacent to the headquarters will also be demolished. Currently there is no known organized effort to preserve this building and it is likely that the community is not yet aware of the University’s intentions. It is hoped that listing the building as a property in peril will bring attention to the threat. Raising public awareness will hopefully build advocacy for the retention and adaptive reuse of the BOM Headquarters.

Leave a Reply