Corbin Education Center

Building Info

Internationally, the most-recognized building on the WSU campus is the Corbin Education Center. It was one of the last buildings by one of America's best-known architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, and was one of the last construction projects completed by the Municipal University of Wichita. At its dedication in 1964, it was named for President Harry Corbin, who led the University through its battle to gain entry into the Kansas state system of higher education. The building was designed to house offices and classrooms while a second building, never constructed because of a lack of funds, was designed as a laboratory school for grades kindergarten through six. Wright also designed faculty desks, benches, and conference tables for the interior. Other equipment, such as student desks and file cabinets, were selected by Wright’s wife, Olgivanna, following her husband's death. The exterior concept of the laboratory school was used by Mr. Wright's student, John Hickman, when he designed the Century II Convention Center in downtown Wichita. The structure of the Corbin Education Center is actually two separate buildings connected by an esplanade. The building features 27,257 square feet of interior space with an additional 13,000 square feet of sheltered outdoor balconies and terraces. The belvedere roof is 28 feet from the ground and two 60-foot-tall light needles stand in the center section of each building. The buildings rest on 200 concrete bell columns and grade beams with a reinforced concrete slab covering the beams. Steel encased fireproof columns and brick walls support the steel framed, reinforced concrete roof and balconies. A fountain runs down the center of the esplanade.