SEVER HALL is to be situated about midway between University Hall and Quincy Street, so that these two buildings will form, with Appleton Chapel and Gore Hall, a small quadrangle. The base dimensions of the building will be 177 feet in length by 75 in width, while 50 feet is the height from the ground to the top cornice, above which the roof rises 30 feet more. The material to be used in building will be brick; each brick being 12 X 4 X 2 5/16 inches, manufactured especially for this building. The bricks out of which the carved work that will ornament the exterior of the building is to be made will be manufactured of sifted clay.
The structure will be three stories high, and the sides will be relieved each by two round bays or towers, extending to the roof, these being the only projections of consequence on either sides or ends. The windows will be surmounted by flat arches, the screw-backs being of stone, and will be arranged with moulded brick mullions between, in groups of five to the lecture-rooms and four to the other rooms. The entrances to the building will be from the west, which is the front, and east sides, and will be furnished with a carved brick ornamentation overhead and around the sides. A base, five feet high, will extend around the building, in which will be set the basement windows.
The west, that is, the front side of the building, will contain a centre "bay," which is highly ornamental, in contrast with the general plainness of the wall. In this section also there will be a round arched entrance, ornamented with carved brick. The stone steps leading up to the entrance will be seven in number. Over the entrance will be the "pediment," of moulded brick, enclosing the "tympanum," which will be handsomely carved, and will contain a brick panel, inscribed "Sever Hall." The east side, on Quincy Street, will be similar to the one just described, except that its doorway and pediment slightly differ in shape. The south end of the building will front Main Street, and will be quite plain in general appearance. A tier of triple windows will extend up the centre, three to a floor, furnishing light to the entries within. These windows will have carved brickwork underneath, and the middle one in each triplet will be double the length of the other two, and will extend down to the floor, the lower half being flanked by carved brickwork. This extension is to furnish a ready means of exit from the entries in case of fire and the burning of the stairways. The north end will differ from the south end in having but one triplet window instead of three. Immediately above it will be the largest panel in the building, made of carved brick, with a central piece containing the College coat-of-arms, which consists of a right-angled barred shield, bearing three open books and the motto "Veritas" on the face. The roof of the building will be plain, broken only by dormer windows, two on each side, and one at each end, with but a slight projection. These windows are all quadruple, four in each group. Two large chimneys at each end will rise through the building, arching into one just below the roof and rising ten feet above it. Each dormer window, as well as the roof, will be covered with akron tiles. The mullions on the roof-face, and also the hips and ridges, will be covered with terra-cotta. The cresting will be elaborate in design, and will form a fine capping piece to the whole structure. An ornamented copper gutter with ornamented copper mouths, and copper leadings running to the ground, will extend around the eaves. The basement will contain coal-bins, toilet-rooms, and the heating and ventilating apparatus. No expense will be spared in making the latter as perfect as possible.
On the first floor a broad hall will extend from the east entrance to the opposite side, bisected at right angles by a corridor running the entire length of the building. The vestibules, opposite each entrance, will be handsomely tiled. The outside main doors will be supplemented by six swinging ones just inside the hall, opening both ways, and handsomely finished in panels. The main hall will have a tiled floor throughout its entire length, while that of the long corridor will be of maple. This floor will contain six spacious recitation-rooms, suitably fitted up with platforms, blackboards four feet in height, seats for the students, umbrella-racks, etc. At the north extremity of the corridor will be a large lecture-hall, with semicircular rows of seats, which will accommodate comfortably between three hundred and four hundred students. This floor will also contain six professors' retiring-rooms, each of which will contain suitable toilet appliances and other appurtenances of comfort and enjoyment. These private retiring-rooms will be also supplied with open fireplaces. The seats in the recitation-rooms will be so arranged that the light from the windows will fall over the left shoulders of the students. At the easterly end of the main hall a staircase will lead to the floor above, these stairs being twelve feet wide, with carved wooden balustrade.
The second floor will contain nine recitation-rooms, similar to those below, and six professors' retiring-rooms, furnished like the others. A broad corridor, similar to the one below, will run from end to end of the building, at the southern extremity of which will be an iron staircase running to the attic, for use in case of fire.
The third floor will largely resemble the first, except at the northern end, where, instead of a lecture-hall, there will be an art department, consisting of a lecture-room, which will seat about three hundred, and two large art-galleries, one on either side of the corridor. The entire northern section of this floor will be given up to the art department, the other half being cut up into lecture-rooms.
The attic, as in University Hall, will consist of a large room devoted to examinations. This hall will be 70 feet in length by 52 in width, the ceiling being plastered instead of being of open timber-work, as is the case in University. The halls and recitation-rooms, professors' apartments and lecture-rooms, will all be furnished with an upright sheathing of ash, four feet high, and beaded with moulded cap and base, producing an inside finish of very fine effect.
The building is to be ready for occupation in April, 1880. The architect is Mr. H. H. Richardson, Brookline, and the contractors are Messrs. Norcross Bros., Worcester.