August 7, 1950 memorandum from J. McCree Smith to Colonel J. W. Harrelson
August 7, 1950
Col. J. W. Harrelson
A Holladay Hall
Dear Col. Harrelson:
In answer to your request, the following is presented as an analysis
of sites for the location of the new Neuclear Reactor Building for
the School of Engineering.
The site locations enumerated are all north of the railroad tracks,
and are all similar in size and shape for the available areas and
consequently are all somewhat restricted in the space for develop-
ment by the confines of other buildings already in existence.
They are listed chronologically on the basis of desirability from
the point of view of the over-all campus plan.
OLD ZOOLOGY BUILDING
- 1. The foundation for con-
struction of the reactor cell
would be adequate without
necessity of costly pile or
- 2. This location is high in
elevation and would satisfy
this basic requirement for loca-
tion of the building.
- 3. The functional requirements
of this building can readily be
fitted into available space (see
attached schematic drawing).
- 4. This location has no live
storm drainage lines in the area
for possible contamination.
- 5. Work could be started almost
immediately in construction of
the new building by tearing out
the existing greenhouse appendage
to the Zoology Building. We are
advised by Dr. Anderson that this
- 1. The inconvenience of having
the new building immediately to
the rear of the existing Zoology
Building until such time as the
old Zoology Building could be
OLD ZOOLOGY BUILDING (continued)
- greenhouse appendage does not have
an important functional use
at this time.
- 6. This building, functionaly,
is a part of the Engineering
School and its location in this
site is a logical integration of
- 7. Placing the building on this
location will provide justification
for the removal of the old Zoology
Building in the near furture when
its use as a Zoologoy Building can
be abondoned, therby completing
the architectural composition of
the north-south mall area.
- 8. The space available is adequate
for present and future development.
- 9. This location is one of the most
prominent spots on the campus, and
while this building is small, rela-
tively speaking, its great signifi-
cance should be recognized in its
placing. This site has the advantage
of giving the distinct prominence,
framed as it is between the large,
handsome masses of the Riddick Engin-
eering Laboratory and the Diesel-
Mechanical Engineering Building, as
a southern focal point of the north-
south mall area.
- 10. In this location services to this
building would be convenient, not only
to engineering students, but to agri-
cultural students as well.
OLD CERAMIC BUILDING
- 1. The existing stack, which
was a part of the original college
power plant, could be used as
an integral part of construc-
tion for the discharge of con-
- 1. The site is low.
- 2. The foundation very likely will
require piling or other treatment.
OLD CERAMIC BUILDING (continued)
- 2. This location is convenient
and is an integral part of the
Engineering School facilities.
- 3. The location of the building
on this site would provide fur-
ther justification for the re-
moval of the existing Ceramic
Building which is recognized as
a building unsuitable for further
- 4. The location is adequate for
present and future development.
- 3. Storm drainage for the east area
of the campus passes through this
area and would be a possible means
for spreading contaminated materials.
- 4. Work could not be started until
the Ceramic Department could be
located in other q uarters.
SPACE NORTH OF OLD ZOOLOGY BUILDING (between Polk and Daniels Halls)
- 1. Location is a high eleva-
- 2. Foundation is good.
- 3. Location is convenient and
an integral part of engineering
- 4. Space is immediately avail-
able for construction.
- 1. This location would tend to
destroy the architectural composi-
tion of the north-south mall area.
- 2. This location would probably
necessitate relocation of the
Diesel cooling fountain.
- 3. This location is an illogical
one because of location of front
facades of Polk and Daniels Halls.
- 4. The building in this location
would mask the handsome architectural
composition which has been achieved
in the grouping of the Riddick Engin-
eering Laboratory and the Diesel-Mechan-
ical Engineering Building.
AREA BETWEEN POLK HALL AND THE AGRONOMY BUILDING
- 1. This site would be avail-
able for construction upon
removal of an existing
- 1. The area is low in elevation.
- 2. Foundation would require piling
or other expensive treatment to
support the building.
- 3. In order to develop the site for
the building it would be necessary to
bring in approximately 10 feet of fill
to lift the building up to the plane
of the mall area being developed just
north of the site.
AREA BETWEEN POLK HALL AND THE AGRONOMY BUILDING (continued)
- 4. Storm drainage lines for the
Hillsboro St. and West Campus areas
pass through this site. Since there
are springs above this area there
will be running water in these lines
at all times with a possibility of
- 5. This site is detached from the
Engineering School facilities.
- 6. This site location is directy
north of Alexander and Turlington
dormitories and the north end of
these dormitories would be within
the 200 yd. radiation zone set out
as a basic requirement for isolation
from living facilities.
- 7. This location is at the vehicular
and pedestrian cross roads of the cam-
pus and it is felt that this space
should be reserved for a building that
will serve a great majority of the
students all of the time. While this
Neuclear Laboratory is timely, its
service would be limited to a small
number of students.
Mr. Williams and Mr. Fitzgibbon have both been consulted on this
matter and the above appraisal is offered as a planning-wise basis
to aid the administration to fully evaluate the situation, along
with the academic requirements, to the end that the location of the
building may be soundly conceived and defended.
J. McCree Smith
cc: Dr. D. B. Anderson
Dr. C. K. Beck
Dean J. H. Hilton
Dean J. H. Lampe
Mr. J. G. Vann