As we start to experience warmer April days, here’s a hopeful shot of two classmates walking on the south side of Alumni Hall near the Lombard bell during good weather. This shot is dated around 1960, which is easy to see given the outfits and hair worn by these students.
As the cold continues in Galesburg, this type of springtime fun seems harder and harder to imagine. This is a shot of students enjoying playing Frisbee on the south lawn of Alumni Hall in 1965. This view seems more familiar to us in February, though.
Kirk Anderson, Vice President of P.J. Hoerr, construction contractor for the renovation of Alumni Hall, talks to alumni at Homecoming 2013 about the renovation process.
In addition to buttresses supporting the outside walls, a series of temporary trusses (above) are installed through the building, to support the heavy beams and slate roof during the repair work. Below, a view of the slate roof replacement, a major project undertaken in the 1980s.
Members and friends of Gnothautii got together on a Wednesday morning to lay the mottled red granite stone, which bears a simple inscription: “Gnothautii. Founded 1848.” They filled an empty space within the stone — what we’d now call a time capsule — with several items. Among them: an account of Gnothautii’s founding, its constitution and by-laws, a list of members from the founding, a list of present officers, and newspapers.
The cornerstone was laid by Knox Professor Milton Comstock, an 1851 Knox grad and one of Gnothautii’s original founders. He taught mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy, and he also was a noted horticulturalist. Comstock was part of “The Great Triumvirate,” a name given to three distinguished scholars (Comstock, Albert Hurd, and George Churchill) who formed the core of the Knox faculty in the second half of the 19th century.
Comstock delivered remarks, and he was followed by J. A. McKenzie, a Gnothautii and a lawyer in Knox County. McKenzie made his speech without using notes.
Here’s a photo of “The Great Triumvirate.”
The renovation of Alumni Hall will involve complete removal and replacement of interior floors. Because the floors are tied into the walls, temporary steel structures — not unlike the “flying buttresses” in Gothic cathedrals — will support the east and west walls for the time between removal and replacement of the floors. Above, footings were excavated for concrete bases of the steel buttresses.
Below, an ironworker welds the exterior beams.