Ivey Hall was the original teaching, administration and residential building on the Lincoln campus. The foundation date, 1878, can be seen above the main entrance, and the well worn step beneath attests to the hall's constant use over the years since then. The building is named after the first director of the School of Agriculture, William Edward Ivey (1838-1892).
Ivey was born in Australia but educated at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. The building opened with the first intake of students in July 1880. The style is Jacobean with characteristics of Flemish design and it was designed by Frederick Strouts, a foundation member of the Canterbury Association of Architects. Saved from demolition as an earthquake risk in the 1970s, largely through the energy of Ruth, Lady Burns, wife of Sir Malcolm Burns, the building underwent a complete internal renewal, and external strengthening and cleaning, starting in 1986. The $4.5 million project was completed over the span of two years and the library took up residence in the third term 1988. There have been additions and further refurbishments since that date.