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The Communication Building History



Communication Building, 1909


In the 1902 annual report by President F. Yale Adams there was a strong recommendation of the need for a fireproof science building. In summer 1908 Andrew E. Douglass, professor of Physics and Astronomy, visited a number of eastern universities, including Harvard, Columbia, John Hopkins, and MIT, and returned with detailed notes and sketches of their various science facilities. The Science Building opened in Fall 1909. It was the largest building on campus, three stories high, and contained 45 rooms. Physics labs were on the first floor, chemistry on the second, and biology on the third. The first real “operating” telescope (8 inch) was installed on the top floor of the new Science Hall in 1909. In late 1934 Science Hall was remodeled to accommodate the move of the administrative offices of the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences (renamed College of Liberal Arts in 1935/36) from Old Main. With the departure of the Chemistry and Physics Departments to their new building in 1936, this building’s first and second floors were further altered for use by other departments within the College. In 1951, after the completion of the new Liberal Arts Building, the College of Education moved into Science Hall (until 1962). Subsequent renovations of the second and third floors included a revised floor plan, air conditioning, and third floor facilities for a new tenant: The College of Fine Arts, Speech Department.
From the Photographic history of the University of Arizona 1885-1985, by Phillis Ball, pp. 78, 79, 201, 277.

Speech and Hearing Sciences stayed in the building until their move into the old BPA Building (renamed Speech and Hearing Sciences) was completed in 1997. This freed up space for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Currently, the Communication Department is housed throughout the building with its main office on the second floor. Cognitive Science has shared the third floor since 1997, and Linguistics has shared the first floor since 2006.

Related Topic(s): 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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