Hoffberger Science Building

Designed by Moore and Hutchins
Completed 1953

East wing 1965 by Moore and Hutchins
Louise Kelley Lecture Hall 1967 by Moore and Hutchins
Gairdner B. Moment Wing 1981 by Richter, Cornbrook, Matthai and Hopkins

On June 14, 1947, along with the Humanities Building, Van Meter Hall, and Residence Hall #2, Heubeck Hall, the cornerstone was laid for the Science Building by distinguished Professor of Physiology Dr. Jessie L. King. Due to limited funds, like the Humanities Building, only the ground floor of the Science Building was constructed. By the second term of the 1947-48 school year, the Science Building, named the Lilian Welsh Laboratory, after Professor of Physiology Dr. Lilian Welsh, was opened for classes. The building contained two large labs, a small lab, a classroom, three animal storage rooms, faculty offices, and storerooms. The space was small and still unfinished with exposed air conditioning units, and as a result, many science classes were still held at the City campus.

The science building remained partially completed for the next several years. In the early 1950s, as a result of a relationship formed through the recently created Board of Overseers, the Hoffberger Family, a well known philanthropic Baltimore family, agreed to donate $250,000 for the completion of the Lilian Welsh Laboratory. In return, the College would rename the building the Hoffberger Hall of Science, later changed to the Hoffberger Science Building, in recognition of the family's generosity. In June 1952, construction resumed, and the science classes being taught in the Lilian Welsh Laboratory were moved back to Baltimore City to Catherine Hooper Hall. Although the new science building was not completed by the start of the fall semester in 1953, Catherine Hooper Hall had been sold, and therefore, all science classes moved back to Towson occupying the unfinished building.

  • Finishing the Hoffberger building observatory, ca. 1954.  Photograph courtesy of the Goucher College Archival Photograph Collection, 3.2.156.

By the end of 1953, the Hoffberger Science Building was finished and included the following departments: math, physics, chemistry, physiology and bacteriology, biology, and psychology. For the first time in the history of the College, all the science departments were located in the same building. The building, designed by Moore and Hutchins and constructed by Harry Hudgins, reflected the style of the other academic building Van Meter Hall, and proudly featured Butler stone. The dedication of the building in April 1954 included a scientific conference featuring Goucher Alumnae who had made remarkable achievements in the field of science. A notable element of the new science building was the installation of a six inch refractor telescope. Helen Dodson, class of 1927, led the campaign for the telescope, costing about $3,000, as a gift honoring former Professor of Mathematics Florence P. Lewis, for whom the telescope is named.

To accommodate the quick growth of the science departments, an expansion was soon needed for the Hoffberger Science Building. In 1965, a wing was added to the Hoffberger on the Library side of the building. A lecture hall was planned for the end of the new wing; however, due to a lack of funding, the lecture hall, named the Louise Kelley Lecture Hall, was not completed until 1967. The weather vane from Bennett Hall, one of the City campus buildings that had housed many of the science laboratories and classrooms, was placed on top of Kelley Lecture Hall. In 1980, ground was broken for another addition on the opposite side of the building from Kelley Lecture Hall, designed by Richter, Cornbrook, Matthai and Hopkins and named the Moment Wing after Professor of Biological Sciences Gairdner B. Moment. The windows are in vertical columns, and glass corridors connect the wing to the original building. Completed in 1981, the Moment Wing increased the number of teaching laboratories and also research laboratories for faculty. During this expansion, Hoffberger was also renovated. In 1995-1996, the building was connected to the College Heating and Cooling Plant.

  • A rear view of Hoffberger Science Building, ca. 1990.  Photograph courtesy of the Goucher College Archival Photograph Collection, 3.2.020.

Historical Photographs of Hoffberger Science Building
Exterior Photographs
Interior Photographs

Hoffberger Family
Louise Kelley
Florence P. Lewis
Gairdner B. Moment