Friday, June 15, 2012

Carnegie Science Hall

Do you know where Carnegie Hall is located? Maybe if I said Malicky Center. Carnegie Hall and Philura Gould Baldwin Library were joined together a little over a decade ago to create the Malicky Center.
Carnegie Hall has had quite an interesting history dating back to the 1800s. Originally the building was used as a boarding hall and was located near the first Baldwin University Campus (present day metro parks.) The building itself was constructed on present day South Rocky River Road.
Ladies Hall, as it was formerly known, had a front porch before it was relocated.
Photo Circa 1888
Carnegie Hall Photo File 01.7.1 Baldwin Wallace Archive

The 1874-75 Baldwin University Directory mentions the building, known as Ladies Hall and describes it as follows: “An elegant and commodious Boarding Hall for ladies is in process of erection. This building, which is to consist of a basement of stone, already erected, and two additional stories of brick, will be pushed forward to completion as rappidly(sic) as the collection of the subscriptions will justify.”
When the building was complete, it featured a unique front porch. Under the porch were steps that went to the basement.

The big news came in 1888 when Baldwin University finally sold the University’s land to the Cleveland Stone Company. The quarrying had encroached to a point where it was not viable to stay at that location. The news was included in the 1888 Baldwin University Directory:
“Within the past year this campus was sold to the Cleveland Stone Company, along with some other college quarry land, for the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, and this amount was added to the permanent endowment fund of the University. But the University does not give possession of the campus until the expiration of five years from the date of the sale.
Within this period a new campus of from twenty-five to fifty acres in extent will be selected and new building erected
Ladies’ Hall, the finest building owned by the University, is not located upon the campus and was not included in this sale of property.”

Obviously when the campus moved to the current location (North Campus), Ladies Hall was in an inconvenient location.

Luckily for Baldwin University, Steel Tycoon and Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated money for a science hall to be built on campus. The decision was made to move Ladies Hall to North Campus and turn it into a Science Hall. As the legend goes, John Baldwin Jr. (John Baldwin’s son) supervised the relocation of the hall and numbered each stone so that the building could be reassembled exactly as it stood. The only casualty of the move was the front porch.
Science Lab in Carnegie Science Hall
Carnegie Hall Interior Photo File 01.7.3
Baldwin Wallace Archive

The 1905-06 Baldwin University Directory now referred to the newly named hall:
“The Carnegie Hall of Science is just being completed. It is a commodious hall and will contain ample room for the best of science work. The first floor contains a large lecture room, and large well-lighted chemical and physical laboratories.

The chemical laboratory occupies the entire north end and the physical laboratory the entire south end of this floor. The second floor will contain recitation rooms for mathematics and biology, the biological laboratory and a museum. One room of the basement is to be used as a nature study laboratory.

Science Lab in Carnegie Science Hall
Carnegie Hall Interior Photo File 01.7.3
Baldwin Wallace Archive
The building is provided with electric lights and is heated by steam. Ample provision is made for the ventilation of the chemical laboratory.”

By the time of completion, the 1907-08 Baldwin University Directory described the building:
“The Carnegie Science Hall, the gift of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, is a three-story stone structure, containing laboratories and recitation rooms for scientific work. Every modern convenience is to be found in this building. The chemical Laboratory occupies the north end and the Physical Laboratory the south end of the first floor. Between these two and connecting with them is a lecture room capable of seating one hundred students. This room is equipped for class demonstrations."

Carnegie situated near Bagley Road. On the left is the
 platform that contains the large piece of sandstone.
Carnegie Hall  Photo File 01.7.2
Baldwin Wallace Archive
An interesting aspect of the hall concerns the platform that is located on Carnegie’s west side. The platform is said to contain  “largest piece of prepared stone in the state, weighs ten tons, is 14’ long by 10’ broad and 9” thick. It was quarried in Berea and required specially made trucks to haul it to its place.”

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