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History of Dexter Lawn

Dexter Lawn was first introduced onto the Cal Poly land in 1938. The lawn and building next to it were named after Walter Frair Dexter. He was the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of Education. He lived from 1886 to 1945. He died while still holding the office of Superintendent. There is little information on Walter F. Dexter himself but his legacy lives on through Cal Poly's love of their lawn.

Dexter Lawn was put into the plans of Cal Poly's Master Plan starting in 1938. Above is the plan for the lawn and below is a closer look at the lawn area.

Below are pictures of the campus in the 1930s including Dexter Lawn. This picture was taken by Cas Szukalski

In 1949 the Master Plan below, changed quite a bit for Cal Poly's campus. Dexter Lawn took a big change as well with these new buildings. Dexter Lawn has changed its shape and size quite a bit.

Again, a closer look below.

Below is a picture of Dexter Lawn in 1962. Notice the huge difference because of the street that they allowed the students to drive on. The street actually went through the entire campus. Now, the campus has not allowed students to drive through campus because of environmental and safety concerns.


The Master Plan for Dexter Lawn changed again, in the plan above, in 1963. This is seen in the picture as well. This plan was kept for some time until the campus came with a new plan and a new Dexter lawn.

Here is the final Plan for Dexter Lawn above and is the lawn we know and love today! You can see, through the years, the lawn has lost some land and has had sidewalks change. There are no plans to change Dexter Lawn in the near future.

Information and pictures from:

The Master Plan and Rex Wolf. Thank you so much Rex Wolf for all of your help!

We love Dexter