The University Library: Origins, Architecture, and Art
Due to its wood construction, the General Library building is declared a fire hazard. Additionally, the Library's growing collections, which reach 200,000 volumes by 1905, combined with the University's increased number of students and expanded curriculum contribute to a lack of adequate space. The State Legislature appropriates funds for the construction of a new Library building to be designed by the esteemed architect Albert Kahn (Hatcher hanging files; Loup & Yocum, 2001).
The Library building is torn down.
The new Library building (now North Hatcher) is dedicated on January 7. The final cost for construction is $645,000, about 25 cents per cubic foot. The low cost is in part due to architect Albert Kahn's adaptation of architectural techniques used primarily in factory construction. The building is 177 feet long, 200 feet wide, and four stories high with an estimated capacity of 1,000 readers and 1,000,000 volumes.
R.R. Bowker, editor of Library Journal, gives the principal address at the dedication. An excerpt from his speech:
"We think of research as rather a matter high in the air, but there is, after all, nothing more practical; and today the organization of the American library system is thoroughly adapted to this idea of research." ("The General Library," 1965)