Tour > Virtual Tour > Strong Hall
Name(s): Edwin A. Strong Physical
constructed: Groundbreaking April
23, 1956. Completed for fall of 1957. Dedicated
Feb. 28, 1958
Swanson Associates, Bloomfield Hills
of Architecture: International
Use: Natural sciences laboratory
and classroom space
of renovation: 1980 murals added
Use: Houses Geography and Geology
Department and Physics and Astronomy Department
(laboratory and lecture hall space)
Strong Hall was named for Edwin
A. Strong head of the Physical
1885-1916. Friends called Strong one of the
most learned men on campus, known for his
wide interests in knowledge for its own sake,
his broad knowledge of science, and his kindness
and courtesy. Strong Hall was planned to replace
Sherzer as the home of science on campus.
With rapidly expanding enrolment in the post-World
War II period, Normal needed more classroom
space and better science equipment. When the
USSR launched Sputnik in 1957 science education
took on a new urgency. The science program
published a brochure that described the program
and proclaimed the rewards of the sciences
as “Identification in the ever-expanding
list of professionals vital to maintaining
our high standards of living. A growing awareness
of one’s contributions to the society
as a whole. An appreciation of the broadening
horizons that reward the sharing of our culture
with others. A sense of security in the universal
truths of nature that defy human exploitation
of power, time and space. Glimpse of the infinite
shrouded by the mysteries of the yet unknown”.
The new science building was constructed for
$1,500,000 on the site of the old powerhouse.
When the building was opened in 1957 only
half of the original plan had yet been implemented.
The lecture and laboratory wing, which stands
today, contained nine labs each for chemistry
and physics plus ten additional labs for faculty
research. Five large lecture halls, offices,
and nine classrooms completed the building.
The plan called for a planetarium wing and
a classroom wing to be built at a later date.
For the present, however, a school brochure
called the building “one of the most
modern college physical science facilities
in the country.” Strong Hall’s
design placed most of the classrooms and laboratories
in the central core of the building. Rooms
in the central core did not have windows were
all artificially lighted and air-conditioned.
The core was designed to maintain uniform
environmental conditions regardless of Michigan’s
changing weather conditions.
painted with murals relating to the sciences
in 1980. Since its construction, Strong has
become primarily a classroom and student laboratory
of Strong Hall (Click on the image for
a bigger view)