Powderhouse Road end of the room was a raised dais about the width of the window, with a few chairs and a lectern. More chairs, used by faculty during morning chapel, as it was called then, lined the east and south walls, and in the opposite corner, nearest Bigelow Hall, stood a decrepit grand piano, used during chapel to accompany what passed for hymn singing at that hour of the day.
The brand-new Ginsburg Auditorium, 1967.
weren’t installed until some time after the building opened! It then housed everything from student activity offices to evening study halls until the College Counseling Office (and, originally, the studies office as well) moved in permanently in the 1980s. Many readers will remember that the area was shaped like a rectangular doughnut, with a hole in the middle opening onto the library lobby directly below and to the original Conant Art Gallery on the west side. Early on, a glass wall was installed on the library side as a two-way noise shield. That did nothing, however, to stifle the constant buzz of conversation from the lobby and the gallery, both popular student hangouts (because no one wanted to trek all the way to the Student Center). The college counseling staff were most grateful when the remodeling filled in the doughnut hole and extended the floor all the way to the outer wall, thus providing both silence and new, quiet office spaces.
Along the south wall — stage left if you’re standing at the lectern — was another, smaller platform big enough to hold a desk and chair, which were occupied by the teacher on duty during day and evening study periods. It looked out on 200 or so Formica-topped steel student desks, which were assigned, in alphabetical order from front to back, to every student in the school. The place was drafty and echoey, and the heating units, noisy enough on their own, made an even louder racket when a wad of paper “fell” through the top grid onto the squirrel-cage fan blades. One September in the early 1970s, students and faculty came back to school to find the Study Hall empty, the desks sold in the wake of a faculty decision to eliminate most required study periods. Over the following two decades, until the Stone Athletic Center opened, the room, now more cavernous and echoey than ever, served as the volleyball court, an extension of the wrestling room in the Gray Building, and, gradually, a gathering place for our growing number of day students. A large closet located just inside the door on the right, now an office, housed the wrestling mats for a few years. Other “temporary” offices that are still in place were added one by one, and, eventually, the old tile floor received its first layer of industrialstrength carpet. The piano, the red hymnals, and the
The Schoolhouse, too, has seen its share of changes: The Study Hall — or as it has been re-branded these days, the Student Lounge — has been a central gathering place for well over 60 years’ worth of LA students. Only readers over a certain age will recall how the room looked originally: The walls were a dull green, of a shade determined in the 1950s to be conducive to relaxation — perhaps not the wisest choice for a space where rigorous study was the order of the day. The floor, like the rest of the Schoolhouse, was covered with brown-and-tan asbestos tile, which was not only noisy but also slippery when waxed, as it was every vacation. (If you had leather soles on your shoes, you could slide all the way down the ramp after a wax job.) At the New McDonald Library, 1967.
Grant Rink • 1980: Madigan Student Center built • 1993: Stone Athletic Center dedication FALL 2018 LAWRENCE ACADEMY 7
Lawrence Academy's annual alumni magazine.