History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings
Prince Street Campus Carnegie Laboratory


Carnegie Laboratory from Rochester Public Library

The Carnegie Laboratory was donated by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and opened in the fall of 1911 and was also known as Carnegie Hall..  The building was renovated in 1930 for the study of geology, psychology, and sociology, and in 1944 the upper floors were converted for dormitory use by the College for Women.  The building and the adjacent heating plant was sold to Peter Laiosa in 1955.  A fire on January 27, 2015 severely damaged the structure and it was demolished. 


References
1911 "New University Building Ready," Democrat and Chronicle, August 7, 1911, Page 9.
New Carnegie Laboratories provide ample quarters for new Department of of Mechanical Engineering.

1927 Rochester, the making of a university, by Jesse Leonard Rosenberger, with an introduction by President Rush Rhees.
Page 280:  In 1905 Andrew Carnegie made an offer to the university, to give to it $100,000 for the erection and equipment of a building for applied science, on condition that the university should raise another $100,000, to be added to its endowment. President Rhees stated in his report of June 1 of that year that this offer came through the good offices of William R. Willcox, postmaster of New York, who had been for a time a member of the class of 1888. According to an address to the citizens of Rochester, this offer meant an invitation to the university to branch out into a new field and to give, in addition to the course of instruction being offered, full training for students in mechanical and electrical engineering, or the scientific applications of power in modern industry. This was a field of education which many young men of Rochester and elsewhere were asking the university to enter. It was, moreover, a field of education for which the city of Rochester was peculiarly adapted because of its large and varied industries. The Carnegie Building, erected under this offer, was completed in 1911.

1929 "University Engineers' Shop Burns," Democrat and Chronicle, December 30, 1929, Page 15.
Basement machine shop in Carnegie Hall.

1944 "Growing Prestige of Women's College Send Dorm Occupancy up 700 percent," The Rochester Alumni-Alumnae Review, 23(1):8 (October-November 1944) | also cover |
Also in 1944, the Women's College has taken over Allton House in University Avenue, opposite the Art Gallery, to serve as another temporary dorm - the fifth of this type.  Formerly used by Eastman School students, the house can accommodate fifteen students.

1955 "Rezoning of UR Buildings for Commercial Use Asked," Democrat and Chronicle, October 18, 1855, Page 22.
Peter Laiosa purchases old heating plant and Carnegie Hall.

1977 History of the University of Rochester, by Arthur J. May (on-line version with footnotes)
Chapter 15, Widening Horizons
It was revealed on March 28, 1905, that the steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, would donate $100,000 for an applied science building on condition that the U. of R. acquired an equal amount in endowment. William R. Willcox, non-graduate 1888, a lawyer and politician of New York City and an intimate of Carnegie, helped to obtain the offer. Notwithstanding Carnegie's almost complete commitment to financing libraries, Willcox and Rhees, working in double harness, managed to get the promise of $100,000, which would be adequate not only to erect but also to equip a building for both mechanical and electrical engineering, it was optimistically supposed. A substantial start, in any event, could be made in the direction of creating a full-fledged school of technology. The President interpreted the Carnegie pledge as "primarily a mark of friendship" for Willcox. Rhees met Carnegie for the first time in 1908 as the guest of the manufacturer at his Skibo Castle in Scotland. 9
It was clear to Rhees that it would be an exceptionally hard task to match the Carnegie offer, not least because two wealthy Rochester friends of the college, George Eastman and Hiram W. Sibley, had just promised to finance other University projects, as is explained later. Trustees estimated that if alumni and friends living outside of Rochester contributed $30,000 to the "Applied Science Fund," the rest could be secured within the Genesee community itself. Great reliance was placed upon the graduates in the New York City area, for whose information, primarily, a special brochure, "The U. of R.: its Story," was prepared. In synopsis form, the pamphlet reviewed the history of the institution (not accurate in every detail) and it contained an attractive "Plan for Progress." A diagram of the college grounds depicted the existing academic structures and spotted sites that had already been selected for residence halls, an auditorium, an art museum, and other buildings without designation. Photographs of university buildings, homes of the fraternities among them, embellished the most elaborate production on the University, that had yet been printed.
According to Rhees, without the Eastman Building the University corporation would not have felt justified in seriously considering an offer of Andrew Carnegie to contribute $100,000 for an applied science building and in branching out into a new area of education. It was not until 1909, four years after the Carnegie proposal, that planning of the structure got underway; irritating delays were partly due to the Fabian architect, Henry D. Whitfield, Carnegie's brother-in-law. Actual construction began in the spring of 1910, Rhees, as was his wont, overseeing every detail; the building was built of brown brick with stone trimmings. In January, 1911, the facilities were partly occupied, though the finishing touches were not applied for several months; greatly to the disappointment of Rhees, Carnegie could not attend the opening ceremonies. Especially planned for instruction in mechanical engineering, the building had two floors for classroom purposes and abasement for laboratories; it had space for up to one hundred and twenty students. Until 1930, this structure served the needs of engineering education (certain rooms were used by other departments) and subsequently it was converted into a residence hall for women. In 1965 a professorship in physics was assigned the name of Carnegie; "Carnegie's name," President W. Allen Wallis remarked, "was part of the daily life of this University for nearly fifty years, and we are eager to restore it."

Andrew Carnegie Wikipedia page


2021 Morris A. Pierce