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6. Old Chemistry Building

Photo of the old 
chemistry building

The vines around the building when this photograph was taken are thick. Another noticeable feature of the building is the number of chimneys: seven are visible. Telephone poles bring wires into the Administration Building. Indistinguishable in the scanned image are two men walking across the campus. One stands next to the circular structure jutting from the left side of the building. The other is walking in front of another campus building in the background.

This building, the first to be built after the original three buildings, is now called Gillis Hall after Ezra Gillis. Gillis was the first registrar at the University. He served the University from 1910 to 1937 and is responsible for establishing and directing the university archives.

The building was erected in 1889 at a cost of $20,000 to be the first experiment station. The funds for this building were money saved out of the University's income plus legislative appropriations. In 1891, it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt immediately on the same plans. A second Experiment Station was built between Washington and Virginia Avenues off Limestone Street. The second experiment station building was later named Scovell Hall.

Besides its use as an experiment station, the building was used by the chemistry department beginning in 1903. In 1927, the building was remodeled and equipped for the College of Law. It was also home to the department of hygiene, the department of public health, and an infirmary in 1939 (Cone, 1989). Now, it houses the registrar's and admissions office.