With the growth of the University after the Civil War, a physics building became necessary to facilitate the demand for special training in physics for medical and engineering students. In July, 1887, an appropriation of $30,000 was approved for the construction. Pond and Pond, of Chicago were the architects. The red brick building, completed in 1889, provided space for lectures, recitations, and laboratory classes in general physics, and two offices. There was also storage space for demonstration and laboratory apparatus; the physics instrument shop and the glassblower were also in the building. The third floor was used as a Hygienic Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Victor Vaughan of the Medical School.
On the completion of the West Medical Building in 1903, the Hygienic Laboratory was moved into the new quarters, leaving much needed room for further development of the Department of Physics. Even this expansion was found insufficient, however, and in 1905 an addition was made. Pond and Pond were the architects for the addition as well as for the main building. Koch Brothers of Ann Arbor were awarded the contract for the sum of $23,000 (R.P., 1901-6, p. 514). When completed it cost about $35,000. The addition included a well-equipped lecture room accommodating 400 students, long used, until the erection of later buildings, as the one available, medium-sized auditorium on the campus.
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