Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

that reliable Worcester architect, Stephen C. Earle, was given charge of design and construction.

The new building was designed to be spacious and rugged - no one has ever termed it beautiful. It was laid out on a line with and 125 feet north of the Washburn Shops,. a main building, 100 by 60 feet, with an ell, 84 by 67 feet, on the west side. Millstone Hill granite and brick were specified as building materials, in conformity with other campus structures. The first of its four floors was arranged for Mechanical Engineering laboratories, with an assay department, boiler, engine, and dynamo rooms. On the second floor were to be a drawing room, model room, reading room, and smaller laboratories for electrical work. Physics laboratories and lecture room were to occupy the third floor; Chemistry laboratories and lecture room, the fourth floor.

In his letter of gift, Mr. Salisbury mentioned his desire to recognize the deep interest and constant laborious effort" of his father during his years as president of the Corporation. The trustees were equally desirous of honoring the memory of this staunch benefactor, so they voted to name the building the Salisbury Laboratories.

The money contributed was sufficient to provide for another structure - much desired by Professor Kimball - a small building for sensitive electrical measurements, entirely free from iron and steel. So the beautiful, little Magnetic Laboratory, later to be used for a variety of purposes and eventually as the "Skull tomb," was erected near the Boynton Institute gateway. The construction of an electric railway on Boynton Street about 1898 completely destroyed its nonmagnetic properties.

Construction of the Salisbury Laboratories began in the summer of 1887 and the cornerstone was laid in June, 1888, amid elaborate ceremony. Judge P. Emory Aldrich, president of the Board of Trustees, gave the principal address, followed by a brief speech by Mr. Salisbury. The judge spread the traditional trowelful of mortar, and the stone was lowered, cover


[WPI] [Library] [Contents] [Back] [Forward]

Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999