Goodell Hall as a Library

Title

Goodell Hall as a Library

Subject

[no text]

Description

The University of Massachusetts has long been an institution striving toward growth and expansion, transforming from a modest agrarian college into a large, modern, and bustling campus. This spirit of growth and change is exemplified by the story of Goodell Library, which was built in 1935 to replace the Old Chapel as the campus library.

Though the Old Chapel had served as UMass’s library since its construction 1885, it had become too small to suit the needs of a growing university. Named after Henry Hill Goodell, who was a professor of Modern Languages, the first college librarian, and the seventh president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, Goodell Library was specifically designed to house the university’s growing collection of books. In 1935, construction on the university’s new, larger library building was completed.

Goodell was placed directly across from the Old Chapel on Lincoln Avenue, a historic tree-lined street which no longer exists. It was also adjacent to a large open lawn, which was located where Bartlett Hall now stands. Made possible by the Emergency Public Works Administration, the construction of Goodell was funded by both the state and federal governments. The library was built in the neoclassical style, with a colonial revival brick structure, traditional white columns, a two-story entry porch and arched first-floor windows.

Despite the fact that Goodell was built specifically to suit UMass’s growing collection of books, the university found it necessary to double the size of the building in 1959 with a 2 million dollar addition, just 24 years after its original design. Yet upon its expansion, the librarians were unable to fill the shelves of the new building, because the State Legislature had denied the University’s 1957 request to fund the purchase of new books. One Boston Globe writer commented on this irony: “The Legislature has treated UMass well as far as buildings are concerned…But buildings have always been easier to get politically than good salaries to attract faculty and funds for research books.”

However, in 1960 the State Legislature reversed their stand on the university’s request, and granted UMass $100,000 toward books, allowing Goodell’s new wings to finally be filled. But with UMass’ sights set on further expansion and growth (particularly with the new generation of baby-boomers in mind) it was announced in 1962 that a new library would be built at an estimated cost of $4.25 million. The new library was part of a 10-year plan which would include numerous new academic buildings and dormitories, and would increase university enrollment from roughly 7,000 students in 1962 to an estimated 20,000 students by 1972.

The building of the new 28-story library began in 1969, which marked a distinct shift from the university’s pastoral setting, and was met with some opposition. As builders started their work on the project, students lay in front of the bulldozers in protest. When questioned about the demonstration, one protestor said: “This is a symbolic protest against the asphalting of our campus.” Surprisingly, the operators of the machinery actually agreed with the reasoning behind the students’ protest. One worker said, “We can sympathize with these kids. This will be the ugliest campus in the state. They’re trying to make it look like a factory.”

Despite the protestors’ best efforts, the new high-rise library was completed in 1973. However, the campus had not yet seen the last of the Goodell Library. In 1979, the tower library was closed after some bricks fell from the façade of the building. The closure necessitated the transfer of 150,000 volumes back to Goodell. Students were encouraged to use Goodell as the main library, with only graduate students and faculty allowed into the tower library. Goodell continued as the main library until 1985, when the tower library was finally deemed safe for use. Goodell Library, now called Goodell Hall, currently serves as the site of Undergraduate Advising, and remains an integral part of the campus and a testament to the ever-changing face of UMass.

Creator

[no text]

Source

UMass Special Collections and University Archives

Publisher

[no text]

Date

[no text]

Contributor

[no text]

Rights

[no text]

Relation

[no text]

Format

[no text]

Language

[no text]

Type

[no text]

Identifier

RG150-0004445, RG150-0004383, RG150-0004382, RG150-0004397, RG150-0004406, RG150-0004407, RG150-0004458, RG150-0004459, RG150-0004489

Coverage

[no text]

Original Format

[no text]

Physical Dimensions

[no text]

Files

RG150-0004445.png
RG150-0004383.png
RG150-0004382.png
RG150-0004397.png
RG150-0004406.png
RG150-0004407.png
RG150-0004458.png
RG150-0004459.png
RG150-0004489.png
Date Added
September 21, 2012
Collection
Central Campus
Item Type
Still Image
Citation
“Goodell Hall as a Library,” Lost UMass, accessed April 24, 2017, http://lostumass.omeka.net/items/show/44.