Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Research Building, 1895-2000
|The Research Building was constructed in 1895 to serve as a temporary home to the Department of Chemistry. The building survived until 2000, when it was demolished to make room for a new, permanent facility for the Department of Psychology.|
In 1895, in order to expand the laboratory facilities of the Department of Chemistry, the administration approved plans to construct a temporary, one-story laboratory building. The new building was meant to serve only until a permanent structure could be built. Because of its temporary status, it was rather cheaply constructed. Its doors were left over from , and its laboratory tables came from Ballou Hall. The building was a rectangular one-story building with a large basement. The top level housed the chemistry laboratory, as well as department offices, a library, a stockroom, and an area for advanced lab work. The East end of the basement was dominated by a large lecture room. The room was often a source of complaint for students, as the ceiling consisted of exposed pipes, and trains passing by on the neighboring tracks often made it impossible to hear the professor.
Even though the building was supposed to be temporary, it housed the Department of Chemistry for thirty years. Chemistry finally moved out of the old building after the Pearson Chemical Laboratory opened in 1923. For the next few years, the building was used by a number of departments. The Department of Civil Engineering moved into the lecture room in the basement and converted it to a new low-head hydraulic laboratory, and the Department of Dramatics moved into the old laboratory, using the space to build sets and store materials.
In 1930, when Goddard Hall was turned over to the Fletcher School, the Department of Music moved into the Research Building. Music took over the top floor of the building, and the entire facility became known as the Music House.
During the Second World War, the Department of Civil Engineering took over the rest of the basement, after their facilities in were turned into the Navy mess hall.
After the Department of Music moved to 20 Professor's Row, the Department of Psychology turned the old laboratory into their department headquarters. The building, even then regarded as temporary, housed various faculty offices, as well as animal experimentation facilities; and became known as the Research Building. Members of the department repeatedly requested that a new psychology building be constructed, but for years the request was denied. The department's offices remained split between the Research Building and North Hall, and later between the Research Building and . Finally, in 2000, the administration approved a plan to build a new psychology building.
Over the summer of 2000, the Research Building was demolished to make way for a new psychology building, which will house both the department offices and laboratory facilities.
Source: RNTB2, TW