Editor's note: This is a series of columns by John Malcolm on his "50 years at Fredonia." Retired, he is a professor emeritus at Fredonia State.
By JOHN MALCOLM
Jewett Hall also had a greenhouse, a Zeiss Planetarium, telescope pedestal on the roof, and provision for an instructional television studio. The studio was not equipped at this time. It is believed that President Lanford used the money to plant trees behind the "new" president's house. Not until a student cable casting station (WNYF) was formed was the space used for its original purpose. In the meantime it served as the first data processing center, and even a home for the Psychology Department's rat colony.
Until Houghton Hall was constructed all of the sciences would share space in Jewett.
If Jewett was a dream for Dr. Willard Stanley, Dods Hall must have also been one for Joseph "Smoky Joe" "Coach" Keyser. It was completed about the same time (1962) as Jewett and with the same kind of construction standards-terrazzo and tile for example.
You entered Dods, as now, through an entrance with a spectacular sculpture representing sport. Straight ahead was the gym with a capacity to seat just about anyone who wanted to view an event. Registration and commencement were held in the gym for a number of years. Two negative features were its poor public address system and its ability to trap heat winter and summer.
Down the hall and to the left were, wonder of wonders, a swimming pool. I remember being very impressed when it opened in the fall of 1963-also my first year on the faculty. (It is a sign of age that that swimming pool has since been condemned and closed and replaced by a new "Natatorium.")
To the right was handball/squash courts - still in use. Going down the stairs one could find a small bowling alley that has since been replaced by a fitness room.
With the completion of Dods, Chautauqua, and Nixon Halls an era of red brick had passed. With the 1960s came a "Master Plan" for a massive construction event. Nelson Rockefeller was Governor of New York and he had grand plans for the State and the University. I don't know how the choice was made but the internationally known architect I.M. Pei, (and partners) was selected to design the campus.
The Master Plan, in model, was unveiled at a faculty meeting in Jewett Hall and it was impressive. It also required much relocation. It tripled the size of the campus through the purchase of lands extending to the Thruway. It also, sadly, required the acquisition, through "eminent domain" of all the houses on Temple Street from the current Temple Street entrance to the Brigham/Matteson Street intersections.
For a time it looked as though the same fate would fall to the houses on Maple and Central avenues.
John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.