This four-story building on the University at Buffalo Main Street campus was built in 1903 as a nurses dormitory at what was then the Erie County Almshouse.
The building was converted to educational use after UB purchased it and associated buildings in the 1920s.
The building, which today houses UB's Department of Biology, was renovated by the university in 1931-32. The original porch on its west side was removed and replaced by a Classical stone portico.
Townsend Hall is named for Harriet Townsend, founder of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union in Buffalo.
UB's original Townsend Hall was situated at Niagara Square. When that building was vacated by the university in 1954, the name was transferred to the biology building.