Bowne Hall Special Collections Research Center

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outside brick building, Bowne Hall

Bowne Hall, SU Photo & Imaging RS 59400

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Bowne Hall of Chemistry

Approved by Trustees: January 1906

Contracts Awarded: May 1906

Construction Began: Fall 1906

Opened for Classes: Fall 1907

Building Completed: 1909

Architect: Professor Frederick W. Revels, Class of 1895

Contractors: Dawson Brothers, Syracuse

Materials: Pressed Brick and terra cotta exterior; reinforced concrete interior

Cost: $175,000

Space: 70,000 square feet

Named for: Samuel W. Bowne, Trustee 1893-1911, who contributed $100,000 for construction

Cost of 1989-90 Renovation: $2,590,000

Cost of 2010 Renovation: $14,750,000

Notes: A chemistry building had been needed for years since the Department of Chemistry outgrew its cramped quarters in the basement of the Hall of Languages. According to newspaper accounts of the time, constructing Bowne required considerable stripping of the foot of Mt. Olympus, which accounts for the shape of the building.

The building has undergone numerous renovations. In 1989, classrooms, labs and offices were renovated and asbestos removed. In 2010, Bowne became the new home of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute. The space, which covers part of the third floor and the entire fourth floor, was revamped using a variety of sustainable techniques and materials. Seventy-five per cent of the demolition debris was recycled and steel framing was made from recycled scrap iron. Original architectural details such as exposed decorative steel trusses and original windows were preserved.