Albion Interactive History / Putnam Hall

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Albion College

Putnam Hall, 1970

Block +
US Census Block # 34-107

Putnam Hall joins Palenske Hall and the Norris Center to comprise the college’s science center. Palenske is joined to Norris by a covered walkway as shown in the picture to the right. Between the three buildings is a courtyard with benches, plantings, and a paved brick path.

Picture and plaque inside building recognizing namesake Mark E. Putnam.

Source: Isaac Kremer, January 2004.

Putnam Hall, since 1970 that portion of the science complex devoted primarily to chemistry and related studies.

Source: Keith Fennimore. The Albion College Sesquicentennial History. Albion, Michigan: Albion College. 1985.

From the Albion College Archives

Norris, Putnam, Palenske Science Complex

Numerous pillars were raised into position by an 80-foot crane brought in from Detroit. In all, there are 36 columns, the largest of which weighs 20 1/2 tons, 1968.Austin-Everest Studio Student enrollment in the natural sciences had long surpassed the outmoded and outgrown facilities of the 1893 McMillan Laboratory for chemistry and 1916 Epworth Building for physics; and it was determined that it was time for a new complex in the 1960s. After generous donations by the Palenske and Putnam families and the momentum of President Norris’ building program, the groundbreaking ceremony for the complex was held on October 20, 1967. Participating in the design of the Science Center were the architects, Wold and Bowers of Grand Rapids, a faculy committee on planning, and administrative officers. It was not until April 23, 1970, however, that the complex was complete and dedicated, due to a strike of unionized carpenters. (Fennimore, p.637)

The Mark E. Putnam Hall is named for Mark Putnam, who was the executive vice president of the Dow Chemical Company and a member of the Albion College Board of Trustees at the time of his death in 1960. His wife, son and daughter all graduated from Albion and contributed toward construction of the chemistry building. A grandson and two granddaughters also attended Albion. Putnam Hall houses the Chemistry Department and related studies. This building can be identified by the vent stacks on the roof. (Fennimore, pp.638-39)

All photographs are from the Albion College Archives Photograph Files, unless otherwise noted.


Networked Resources
O’Connell, Patrick. (1997, Oct. 24). “$3 Million grant from Dow Foundation will provide upgraded science facilities.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
Chemistry Facilities
Putnam Hall Classrooms

Source: Albion College Archives, 2003 [Downloaded July 3, 2003]

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