Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Solomon L. Loewen Natural Science Center

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Institution Name: Tabor College
Original/Historic Place Name: Solomon L. Loewen Natural Science Center
Location on Campus: northeast section of campus, north of Lohrenz building
Date(s) of Construction:
1998original construction Howard & Helmer
Designer: Howard & Helmer
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: re-enforced concrete, set on pillars
Walls: exterior: steel frame with brick veneer; interior: sheetrock, drywall
Roof: composition
ca. 1998-present (2006)academic department building (sciences)

The Solomon L. Loewen Natural Science Center was built in response to a long-term need for adequate facitilites for the Tabor College science program. The natural sciences were taught from the beginning of Tabor College in 1908, and the founding president of Tabor College, H.W. Lohrenz, was also the college's first science and biology professor. Initially science instruction took place on the third floor of the administration (now H.W. Lohrenz) building. In the 1960's the Lohrenz building was remodeled to include a science laboratory and classrooms in the basement. Despite woefully inadequate facilities and perhaps primitive resources, those graduating from Tabor College with a science major received excellent training and have had a near perfect record of acceptance into medical schools.

In 1950-1951, S.L. Loewen chaired a building committee for a proposed "science hall" on campus and sketched the first plans. William Johnson served as secretary for this committee. It was not until the late 1990's, however, that these plans, long dormant, came to fruition. In 1993, a capital campaign was begun and in February of 1996, the decision was made by the Tabor College board to name the new science center in honor of Solomon L. Loewen, and the atrium of the building in honor of William J. Johnson, two men known for their exemplary service to the college, and pioneers in the science field. Loewen taught at Tabor for 43 years, and Johnson for 35 years. The building was dedicated in October of 1998.

The thoroughly modern building was designed by Howard & Helmer, Wichita, Kansas, with massive front and contrasting red and cream brick work, to be compatible with the neoclassical buildings already established on campus.


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Last update: November 2006