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Barton Hall

Barton Hall houses the Department of Military Science (Army ROTCNavy and Marine Corps ROTC and Air Force ROTC) and, as such, is a veritable trove of memorials to Military Veterans. Barton was built in 1914-1917 as a New York State Armory and Drill Hall. It was used as an airplane hangar during WWI and renamed in the 1940s after Colonel Frank A. Barton, one of the first two Cornellians to earn a commission in the United States Army and the first commander of Cornell’s ROTC unit. Barton Hall replaced the original Fuertes Observatory.

There are two plaques in the main stairwell that commemorate Cornellians who served in the US Army in WWI.

Col. Frank A. Barton (1891) one of the first two Cornellian to earn a commission in the US Army, with service in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection and the Mexican Punitive Expedition, as well as, the first commander of Cornell’s ROTC unit.


Major Louis Livingston Seaman, president of the class of 1872, who served in WWI.

In 1973, the Wortham Military Museum was established on the fourth floor of Barton Hall, to record and preserve Cornell’s military history.  Made possible by a bequest from Captain Howard Wortham, class of 1914 who served with distinction in the Army Quartermaster Corps, the museum is managed by the Army ROTC and contains historic photos and military memorabilia. The Wortham Museum was featured in a 2006 Cornell Chronicle article and updates to the Museum led by Maj. Trey Birdwell, Cornell’s Army ROTC executive officer, were covered in a 2016 Cornell Chronicle article.

Army ROTC also has the Hart Memorial Library, which was dedicated to the memory of 1LT Robert Bruce Hart of the US Army. 1LT Hart was the Cadet Tri-Services Commander in 1983-84 and gave his life in the preservation of peace, returning from a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai, Egypt.

Navy ROTC has the Major Richard Gannon Memorial Room.  Major Gannon was Killed in Action in Iraq in 2004 while serving as a company commander.  He is a graduate of the NROTC class of ’94. Details about Major Gannon.

Access instructions:

To view the plaques dedicated to Barton and Seaman, enter Barton Hall from the west side (facing the Statler driveway) and go up the main stair case, the plaques are located on either side of the stairs.

To view the Wortham Military Museum or the Hart Memorial Library, contact Army ROTC at (607) 255-4000 or or stop by the main office at 101 Barton Hall.

To view the Gannon Memorial Room, contact Navy ROTC at (607) 255-4202 or

You can also view a number of historic photos of Barton from as early as WWI at this Cornell University Library page.