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Progress on Gray Herbarium


The new facade which is being erected on the Gray Herbarium is now nearing completion, and will be completely finished about the middle of April. This constitutes a portion of the reconstruction which the Herbarium has been undergoing within the past few years $10,000 was provided for the facade by an anonymous friend, being the fourth recent gift to the institution.

The original building was put up in 1864 to house the collection and library of Asa Gray h.'44. It eventually proved, however, inadequate for the purpose, and presented a great danger of fire with the consequent loss of its valuable contests. The reconstruction was begun in 1910, when N. T. Kidder '82 gave $11,000 for the erection of a wing to contain a portion of the plant specimens, which now number 485,000 sheets. The following year, an anonymous donation of $25,000 was used for the purpose of building the southwest wing to provide for the library and administrative offices. In the same year, George Robert White made possible the rebuilding of the laboratories in the northwest wing by a gift of $31,500. When the new facade is finished, the whole building except the central portion will have been reconstructed, and it is hoped that funds may be obtained in the near future for the improvement of this part as well.

The facade, which adds greatly to the external appearance of the building, is three stories high, and lends harmony to the whole structure. Every effort has been made to make the building thoroughly fire-proof. The desks are of steel with asbestos tops, and all the fittings non-inflammable. The metal cases containing the collections are air tight to guard against dampness and dust. The central portion, wherein a part of the specimens must be stored for lack of room elsewhere, is now the only section which presents any menace through fire

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