The Washburn Shops
Worcester industrialist Ichabod Washburn owned the world's largest wire-making operation. Like John Boynton, he dreamed of establishing a school for technically-minded young people. He merged his dream with Boynton's by agreeing to put up WPI's second building.
Originally, this was a working manufacturing plant where students made products for sale under the tutelage of professional mechanics. Elbridge Boyden, architect of Worcester's Mechanics Hall, designed the elegant building with its distinctive arm and hammer weather vane. The building was completely renovated in 1984, when the north wing was christened the Stoddard Laboratories in honor of the Stoddard family and its long service to and generous support of WPI.
Today, Washburn, the oldest building in the nation used continuously for engineering education, houses programs in Manufacturing Engineering and Materials Science, along with the Department of Management. Its facilities include the Metal Processing Institute, which incorporates laboratories in aluminum casting, powder metallurgy and semisolid materials processing, the Manufacturing Laboratory and a 10 kilowatt Nuclear Reactor Facility.