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The Implemented Plan

Meetings and Discussions


Williston Library Expansion Floor Plans. Courtesy of MHC Archives.


Plans were put into place when additional library space was desperately needed to house the volumes of books that had increased from 30,000 in 1905 to 104,000 in 1929. In addition, more room was needed to accommodate the increased student enrollment, from 674 to 1,030 enrolled college women. (16). A memo was sent to the Trustees of Mount Holyoke from President Woolley in which she listed “what an addition should contain.” For instance, the same kind of stone and complimentary architecture should be retained. The addition should be large enough to make room for books, for readers and for the administration. Importantly, the plans should contain a general reading room, stacks, and twelve study rooms.”.

A vote was passed by executive committee of the Board of Trustees on May 25, 1927 authorizing Miss Bertha Blakely, the librarian, to confer with George Newton, the architect who worked on preliminary expansion plans for four years, beginning in 1928. It was with the understanding that the sketches would not involve any considerable expense and that probably no changes would be made to the library before 1931 or 1932. Records show that there was significant correspondence between Miss Blakely, the Board of Trustees and the architect during the planning stages of the library expansion.

The proposed library expansion project led by architect George Newton was never brought to fruition. The committee felt that “although the suggested standards were nominally met in the drawings, a better arrangement of interior parts and architectural settings would be possible.

Because of the depression years, the College was unable to raise funds for the library project and it was postponed.

A new architect was hired after the depression. His name was Charles Collens.

For More Information on Charles Collens, Click Here

Atlas Home Page

Home Page

The History of Gothic Architecture:
Cambridge and Princeton
About Ralph Cram

A Time of Transition:
Bryn Mawr
Mary E. Woolley
Frederick Olmsted Jr.

The Envisioned Plan:
Program for Campus Development
Designs for the Library and Chapel
Shurtleff and Cram Present Their Ideas

The Implemented Plan:
Meetings and Discussions
Collens' Library Designs(Exterior)
Collens' Library Designs (Interior)
Bertha Blakely's Influence
Abbey Memorial Chapel
Charles Collens Dedication Speech and closing comments

Trivial Pursuit Question





This page was created by Ellie Perrier '07 FP in History 283, Spring 2 006