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"Proposed Plan of Development - Hobart and William Smith Colleges"

G.Phot File.hws.cam1950.tif

Sketch of proposed plan of development for Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1950. Includes present buildings, the new chemistry building, and future buildings.  Found in the Hobart College yearbook the Echo of the Seneca, 1950, p. 152.

This "Proposed Plan of Development for Hobart and William Smith Colleges," drawn by A. V. DeFonds, was published in the 1950 Echo of the Seneca yearbook.  Pictured in the development plan are various campus buildings, some already existing and some expexted to be built in the future.  Existing buildings are shown on the plan in black and white, and future buildings are in light purple.  A few notable additions, possibly being constructed or just finished at the time, are shown in dark purple.  Unfortunately the new buildings in the plan are not identified and it is unclear who the architect or designer was.

It is possible the plan was drawn up as part of a new development program for the colleges which was announced in the Alumni News in August, 1949.  This new development program became known as the "Forward Program."  The objective of the Forward Program was to raise $500,000 to construct the chemistry section of a new science building.  Up to this time the chemistry department was housed in Merritt Hall.  Built in 1879, the laboratory facilities of Merritt Hall were inadequate to the size of the student body or to the demands of modern scientific instruction in chemistry.  Thus, the Colleges needed new science facilites.  They ultimately built Lansing Hall on the south side of the Hobart green along St. Clair St., which you can see pictured in dark purple on the plan and labeled "New Chemistry Building."


Architect's drawing of proposed Memorial Gateway.  Taken from the Alumni News, April, 1947.

Also of note in the development plan is a small gateway set back from Pulteney St. where Scandling Center is today.  It is shown in dark purple, which may indicate that like the new science building it was a recent addition to campus.  This gateway was known as the Memorial Gateway, and along with Alumni Field was part of the Alumni Fund project for the year of 1947.  The dedication of Alumni Field and the laying of the cornerstone of the Memorial Gateway was part of the Anniversary Commencement on Class Reunion Day, Friday, June 6, 1947.  The gateway was Hobart's tribute to her 34 sons who gave their lives in World War II.  Bronze tablets with the names of the men were to be affixed to the stone and iron gateway, as seen in the architect's drawing to the left.  


Architect's drawing, by John Wenrich from Kaelber & Waasdorp, Architects, of proposed Sports Facilities showing Alumni Field, Memorial Gateway, a new gymnasium and a new stadium for Boswell Field. Taken from the Alumni News, March, 1947.

Sketches drawn by John Wenrich as part of the long range Development Program, later called the Forward Program, show a new gymnasium adjacent to the Memorial Gateway on Pulteney St. and a new stadium for Boswell Field.  The gymnasium would be located where the Warren Hunting Smith Library and the Scandling Center are now.  These you can see in a slightly different arrangment in the above development plan in light purple, indicating they were to be "future buildings."   

Although the new science building was the primary goal of the Forward Program at the time, it appears it may have encompassed more in terms of campus development.  Then President Alan W. Brown told the Alumni News in regards to the Forward Program, "Although our hopes and expectation for the coming decade are extensive and ambitious, it is not our intention to attempt at any given time more than we can reasonably hope to achieve."  The college may have planned further development of the campus beyond the science building to take place over the next decade as part of the Forward Program, but these plans did not materialize according to the campus plan that was published in the 1950 Echo of the Seneca.

Drawings and Plans of Proposed Buildings
"Proposed Plan of Development - Hobart and William Smith Colleges"