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June 24, 1959

Major remodeling of the Main Building was started, Goldstone & Dearborn, architects. In anticipation of the college’s 1961 centennial, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller ’31 donated funds to start this work, particularly its major object, the removal of the Frederick Ferris Thompson Annex, the three-story addition added to the front of trhe building in 1894 to provide additional library and other academic space. Called by students in its early days “Uncle Fred’s Nose” and later, because of the extensive use of veined marble in its lower floor, “the Soap Palace,” the addition’s main function was superceded in 1905 with the opening of the Frederick Ferris Thompson Library, a gift from the late trustee’s wife. The removal of the annex, Warden of the College Elizabeth Drouilhet ’30 told the Miscellany News, was intended to restore the “purity” of architect James Renwick Jr.’s original design.

The renovation also provided space at the building’s rear for an expanded college store, enlargment of the Retreat, including an outdoor patio, and allowed rearrangement of administrative quarters in the building’s ground floor and the center of the second floor.

The Years