Excerpt from Building A College: An Architectural History of Berea College
Charles Martin Hall Science Building, 1927-1928
Architects: George H. Groy of Gray and Lawrence, New Haven, CT
Built by: A. C. Harrington Superintendent of Construction ond Woodwork
Cost: $180,000 with equipment
Dedicated: April 28, 1928
North & East Wing of Hall Science Building, 1953-1954
Architect: Charles Cellarius, Cincinnoti, OH Mechanical
Engineer: William E. Bodenstein and W. W. Shuster, Cincinnati, OH
Construction: Hargett Construction Campany, Lexington, KY
Dedication: April B and 9, 1954 Cost: $485,000
In 1950, College enrollment had increased 141% since 1928, but enrollment in science classes had increased 169%. All students were now required to study physical and biological science. Consequently, the College was in desperate need of classroom and laboratory expansion in the Science Building (BTM, November 17,1950; April 13, 1951). A gift of $100,000 came from the General Education Board of New York City to assist in the construction of this 373,000 cubic feet addition (1952). An eighty by fifty feet north wing and a forty-six by twenty-four feet east wing were begun in 1953 (Berea Citizen, November 6, 1952, 1) and completed in 1954. Twenty-eight years following the completion of the first section, Science Professors Burroughs, Bangson, Capps and Noll again assisted with the planning for this later construction. The new equipment cost approximately $50,000 and Woodcraft Industry built about one fonrth of it. The addition was dedicated during ceremonies on April 8-9, 1954, where Charles E. Kettering, inventor and Vice President of General Motors, and Horace Trent and Edward Cooper, both scientists and alumni of Berea College spoke (Berea Citizen,April 1,1954, l; April 8,1954).
In 1953, a greenhouse ($10,000) was given to the College by Donald Kettering and was attached to the south edge of the building. The earlier Edwards Building greenhouse was razed in 1954. The original observatory on the building's central section (1927) was equipped with a new four-inch refractor telescope whose origin remains a mystery. However, this telescope was replaced in 1972, with a sixteen-inch Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector telescope; at the same time, a poured concrete pillar and pier was constructed to support the weight and the original wooden floor was removed. The new telescope, a gift given in memory of Wilbert J. and Ida S. Austin by their children ( Berea Alumnus, July-August, 1973, 5-7) had been used at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. A bequest from Eugene Kettering paid for the installation by Barco Construction of Lexington (Berea Citizen, July 27, 1972). The Gustavus Pfeiffer Science Research and Reference Library on the second floor was established from a Peiffer Research Foundation grant ($13,000) and was dedicated May 30,1964 (PAR, 1964).
Charles Martin Hall, 1863-1914, an Oberlin College pupil of William G. Frost (class of 1885), invented a technique to produce large quantities of aluminum by the electrolytic reduction process.He was one of the founders of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) and at his death (19H) he gave Berea one-sixth of his estate, 15,000 shares of this company's stock. His estate was not to come to the College until 1934, though small amounts were paid annually. "Charles Martin Hall's bequest to the College was of such importance that the College itself, to a large extent, is a memorial to him." The College trustees, recognizing this munificence, dedicated the Science Building to him during a ceremony on November 24, 1956 (Berea Citizen, November 22, 1956,1).
For all intents and purposes, Mr. Hall's estate is the foundation of Berea College's considerable endowment. During the time of the construction of this new wing as a completion of the original design and its renaming to honor Charles Hall in 1954, Kentucky House Bill 25, the Day Law, was amended by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and most importantly, the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in education was in violation of the American Constitution. Berea College under the leadership of President Francis S. Hutchins returned to its founding principle of admitting Black students (PAR, 1949-54). Also in 1954, Americans, and especially persons living in Madison County, KY, became increasingly concerned about the disposal of radioactive waste and learned that smoking could be related to increased cases oflung cancer. Ultimately desegregation, radioactive waste and tobacco would have a direct impact on the underlying "culture" of Berea College.
Expansion and renovation, 1984-87
Architects: Johnson and Byron Romanowitz, Lexington, KY
Berea College was constructionmanager and coordinated the schedule
Contractors: Staggs and Fisher Consulting Engineers/White, Walker and McReynolds Structural Engineers
Cost: $5.5 million
Rededication: October 22-24, 1987
Ground was broken on June 20, 1984, and the whole of the Hall Science Building was expanded and refurbished by 1987. This was the largest single capital project ever undertaken by the College to that date. The building was divided and renovation was completed in stages, beginning with the south stairway in 1984, and the north stairway in 1985; those sections were gutted and construction and renovation begun. Walls were built to seal sections of the building so that some classes could continue to be taught in the building; the mechanical and electrical services had to be maintained at all times during the construction. Steel studs, gypsum wallboard, ceramic tile, and some marble and terrazzo were used in the renovation. A new elevator with a two thousand pound capacity was installed in the north central part of the building (in the wing constructed in 1953-54). When moms were gutted, new larger rooms were built; e. g. two original rooms became one large room. A new physics laboratory and a planetarium dedicated to retired College President Willis Weatherford, as well as new laboratory equipment were included in the project. A Faucault Pendulum was installed in the front entrance to give a graphic demonstration of the earth's rotation.
Science classes were relocated to different floors than those used in earlier years. Reliant on requisite laboratory equipment, Physics occupies the first floor and the basement; the Geology Museum is on the first floor; Anatomy and Physiology is taught on the first floor; Biology, Zoology and Botany use the second floor; Chemistry is on the third floor and offices are scattered throughout the building so that science faculty members are close to the rooms in which they teach. Laboratory equipment incorporated petstone and labstone, stainless steel and hard maple. A single chemistry work station cost about $50,000. The Weatherford Planetarium occupies a two-story space in the southeast corner of the new three-story addition and can be reached by a new back entrance that opens to the parking lot; a new greenhouse was attached to this new addition. A student lounge was created upon entering the south door off the Campus Quadrangle. During late 1984, funds came from numerous sources: AT&T Foundation; Westmoreland Coal Company and Penn Virginia Corporation Foundation; Parker Hannifin Foundation; Pew Memorial Trusts; Jesse Ball Dupont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund; and Eastman Kodak's Education Program. Important contemporary scientists, James Burke and Carl Sagan spoke at the rededication ceremonies (Berea Citizen, June 28, 1984; September 24, 1987).
 Citation: Boyce, Robert Piper. Building A College: An Architectural History of Berea College. Self-published. Berea, Ky: Berea College Printing Services, 2006, p136-139.
NOTE: This content is reproduced here with permission of the author and is COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. Fair Use access granted for educational purposes only, therefore, this content may be used in the classroom or classroom assignments without prior permission as long as proper citation is provided. For commercial use, publication, or reproduction, permission must be obtained from copyright holder or owner.
Boyce, Robert Piper. Building A College: An Architectural History of Berea College. Self-published. Berea, Ky: Berea College Printing Services, 2006, p136-139.