Willard Straight Hall is the student union building on the central campus of Cornell . It is located on Campus Road. adjacent to the Ho Plaza and the Gannett Health Center. The concept of a 'student union' building was a recent invention at the time--the first student union in North America, Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, had opened in 1896. William Adams Delano was a Yale graduate who built buildings on that campus in the Collegiate Gothic style.