Regents Tower Dormitories, with Brunsdale Lounge




Luther College

Building Name

Regents Tower Dormitories

Year Built


Architectural Style

Midcentury Modern

Collectively known as Regents Towers, the two 9-story towers were planned at the same time but constructed sequentially. The lowrise building that connects the two by walkways at the upper campus level is called Brunsdale Lounge, constructed about the same time. The towers are “carved out of the bluff” that separates the upper from lower campuses. The foundation is low on the bluff and the residential floors rise up above the bluff to become a prominent part of the upper campus. Pedestrian walkways or bridges at the 4th and 5th floors connect to the upper campus, while elevators vertically link the floors.The Towers have a reinforced concrete frame and are clad in red brick trimmed with a light-colored masonry. The three buildings are free-standing and only attached to one another by pedestrian walkways.

Given these buildings’ dates, it is difficult to know who did the actual design. In a 1965 newspaper article, Roger Olson is identified as “representing the architects.” In his Feb. 23, 1978 Decorah newspaper Red Book Notes on the occasion of Altfillisch’s death, though, Bill Hart writes this:

New dormitories came up for consideration, and Altfillisch was again called in for conference. The college authorities wanted to build these new buildings east, across old Highway 52. Charles fought to have them built in their present locations, hanging on the north edges of the bluff and much closer to the center of the other buildings on the campus. These two north dormitories are master pieces of architecture, not to be found on any other college campus.

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