|McIver Memorial Building postcard image, 1910|
The McIver Memorial Building quickly became the hub of instructional activity on campus and served as the primary home for chemistry and many of the other science departments and their laboratories. Additions were made to the building over the years. The McIver Statue (which currently sits in front of Jackson Library) was added to the front of the building in 1912. Also, as originally planned by administrators, two wings were added -- an east wing in 1920 and a west wing in 1922.
|McIver statue in front of McIver Memorial Building|
While most of the science departments left the McIver Memorial Building in 1940 after the construction of the Petty Science Building, McIver was still heavily used by other academic departments, particularly liberal arts departments. Yet, a 1950 report from state engineers proclaimed that, while the timber frame and brick veneer of the building were sound, the structure itself was at high risk of fire. They reported that it would cost more to fireproof the building than to replace it altogether.
The biggest blow to the McIver Memorial Building, however, came in February 1956 with a partial collapse of a plaster ceiling in Room 215, one of the heavily used classrooms. Luckily, at the time, no class was in session and no one was injured in the collapse. But an engineer who was called in to assess the structural damage recommended the closure of the third-floor of the building due to the plaster collapse. He noted that a large number of students in the building could cause a "considerable vibrational load" and might "increase the hazard of plaster crackings."
|An example of damage to McIver Memorial Building|
Campus administrators were forced to close the building in July 1956 and reassign all classes to other building around campus. That same month, they met with state legislators to discuss funding for a replacement building, as the McIver Memorial Building had fallen to such a state that repair was much more costly than new construction. Administrators requested a building of "comparable size, on the present site of McIver and under the existing name." Talks continued into Spring 1957, with students joining administrators in lobbying state politicians for funds for a new building.
|Demolition of the McIver Memorial Building, 1958|