Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Carnegie Hall

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Institution Name: Lake Forest College
Original/Historic Place Name: Physics Building
Location on Campus: Middle Campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1908construction completed Frost & Granger
Designer: Frost & Granger (Chicago)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, engineering, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: brick, Bedford limestone
1908-1962academic department building (originally math and physics, later chemistry and biology)
1962-present (2006)academic department building (foreign language and English, including Writing Center and Study Abroad Advisor's office)

Andrew Carnegie donated the funds for the construction of this physics building in 1906 to President Richard Harlan, son of U. S. Supreme Court associate Justice John Harlan, who had friends among the officers of the Carnegie Foundation in Washington. This high-profile donation from a major donor lent prestige to the College's efforts in the period. The style of the building is English Renaissance, William and Mary (Dutch) period, with brick balusters typical of other Granger designs before and after that time.

Perhaps the most notable physicist to teach in Carnegie was R.E. Harris, 1925-1946, one of the inventors of television, who gave important demonstrations in NY and Chicago in 1927. He was responsible for the development of several steps leading up to the modern television, and photographs record his involvement with students in experiments and demonstrations. Also, in the 1920s and 1930s a small bi-plane hung in the third floor lecture hall for the edification of students studying aviation.


Lake Forest Historic District [including Lake Forest College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.

Schulze, Franz, Rosemary Cowler, and Arthur H. Miller. 30 Miles North: A History of Lake Forest College, Its Town and Its City of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.


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