One Stormy Day on Campus

15 12 2008

I’m not a holiday person. But I am halfway done with finals, which is reason enough to celebrate.


Malott Hall, built in 1963, is named for Cornell’s sixth president, Deane Waldo Malott (1951-1963) [1]. The primary donor was William Carpenter ’10, but Carpenter Hall was built six years earlier, so apparently we went with the next best thing. The north building, pictured here, is classic 60’s architecture- notice the giant fishbowl lamps. Malott Hall originally housed the Johnson school until that moved to Sage in 1998; afterwards, the math department moved from White Hall to Malott. The rather Soviet looking north wing was part of a 1977 addition to the original structure. Malott is slated to be torn down under the Cornell Master Plan.

Old Deane Malott, who passed in 1996 at the ripe age of 98, was a conservative, even by 1950s standards. However, he is credited with significantly modernizing Cornell’s liberal arts programs, as well as overseeing a major construction period of the university’s history [2]. Prior to serving at Cornell, Malott was the president of the University of Kansas from 1939 to1951; as a result, they also have a Malott Hall (which houses their pharmacy school).


It was a really blustery day.

For the record, this temp parking lot has only been here since the early 2000s, and the site is on the short list for development—after the economic crisis ends, of course. Originally suggested for a Bradfield-mass development (from Carol Kammen, author of Cornell Then and Now), the current master plan proposes a building of only one or two floors that offers general functions, like a visitor’s center.


 I never actually discussed Caldwell Hall in the previous Ag Quad entry. Caldwell was built with state money in 1913 [3]. Named for George Chapman Caldwell, an early professor of Agricultural Chemistry, the building housed soil sciences until it moved to Bradfield in 1969, and residual duties were picked up the entomology department in then-Comstock Hall. Today, Caldwell houses Cornell Abroad, the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, and an LGBT resource center.


Surprise! This went under the radar. In September, Cornell renamed this wing of the ILR Extension building in honor of Jonathan Dolgen ’66 [4]. So, we now have Dolgen Hall. Anyone want to take a guess at the price tag for this?

The building itself was built in 1911 [5], then part of the Vet School. ILR moved in during the late 1940s. The buildings underwent a significant renovation from 2002-2004, but because they were designated landmarks, the exteriors were relatively unaltered.


Teagle Hall looks older than it is, in my opinion. The building opened as the men’s sports facility in 1954, and is named for Walter C. Teagle 1899. Apart from going co-ed, the building maintains much of its original use [6,7]. The building is faced with Llenroc and is designed to harmonize architecturally with neighboring Barton Hall. For those bold explorers out there, there is an underground tunnel connecting Barton and Teagle below Garden Avenue.

That’s a clock on the stone wall, by the way.





The Robert A. and Jan M. Beck Center  is a 35,000 sq. ft addition to the Hotel School that was completed in late 2004, at the cost of 16.2 million dollars [8]. The modern design is similar to the one currently being applied to the  south facade of the school (which is undergoing a 14,ooo sq. ft currently) [9]. Which make sense since both were designed by KSS Architects.


Rhodes Hall was completed in 1990 as the Engineering and Theory Center building, and then rededicated to former president Frank Rhodes in 1995 [10]. The building is home to the Computing Theory Center, which housed at one time one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Today, I think it just barely cracks the top 500, but then again, pursuit of the most powerful supercomputer is a costly expenditure we probably shouldn’t be dabbling much with at the moment.

Rhodes Hall caused quite the complaint back in the day because of its size. Locals and some faculty/students complained that it overwhelmed the neighboring gorge and was too massive for the site. Not that the overbearing blank wall on the southwest side helps (but it is functional- that’s mechanical space ,and the supercomputer is on the other side of the wall, so they climate-controlled it a-la Bradfield, behind a windowless wall.














see:August 4, 1987



3 responses

16 12 2008

Have you ever seen the large picture-map of the campus at the Cornell police station in Barton? I don’t know when it was made, but in it is shows the old Roberts/Stone Halls AND the new Roberts/Kennedy Hall. It looks like they originally were going to only tear down one of the three original buildings to make new for the new ones. It looks like the other two were going to be kept up where the parking lot is now. I wonder why they tore them down.

16 12 2008

As a matter of fact, I have seen the map! A second copy is kept in the back offices of the Cornell Store. If I had to guess, I would say the map was produced in 1987 or 1988.

It is possible that they originally intended to save the buildings. But, there were two issues with that. One, the buildings were largely made of wood, which in the age of insurance, can be very expensive for unrenovated older structures. Two, there was a lot of wrangling between those who wanted to save all the buildings and those who didn’t. The map may have been created with one of the possible solutions being discussed at the time, but by the time it was produced the campus administration had gone with the choice of only renovating two of the buildings (Old Comstock/CCC and Caldwell).

21 06 2013
King-Shaw Hall | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] if this was anything like the sudden change they made with the ILR Extension Building becoming Dolgen Hall in 2008, then I can’t be blamed too much, as that one almost flew under the radar while I was […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: