A Clarkson Mosaic - page 16

measuring 11 rods along Main Street by 20 rods deep (181.5 x 330 feet) for the location of the Memorial
School building.
Main Building.
During these negotiations for land, Mr. Edgar A. Josslyn, a prominent New York architect,
was invited to Potsdam by the board to present rough plans for a building. His plans were adopted, and on
June 10, 1895, ground was broken for the new building, now known as Old Main. Built of carefully selected
Potsdam red sandstone, with roofs of Spanish tile, and with Hayes patent skylights on the wings, this 87- by
57-foot building and its two wings, each 180 by 36 feet, were finished inside in quartered oak and hard pine.
The maple floors in the wings were laid on cedar sleepers embedded in the concrete, except in the forge shop
and the foundry. Substantial fire-proof construction consisted of iron girders with brick arches between them;
the stairwell had iron stairs with slate treads and iron and concrete landings. As an extra precaution, a fire line
was run to all portions of the building. The building was ventilated by fans, heated by both direct and indirect
steam radiators, and lighted by electricity.
The main section of the building contained the Director's office, library, recitation rooms, chemical
and physical lecture rooms, physical and home science laboratory, drafting rooms, and the assembly hall with
a seating capacity of 500. Room 125 housed the kitchen with the dining room just across the hall; millinery
and dressmaking were on the second floor, and the laundry was in the basement. The third floor was
completely open and served as the chapel for morning devotions held every weekday morning at 7:45 and for
many other kinds of meetings; it also was considered to be the best dance floor in Northern New York. In the
basement were the boiler rooms, photometer room, photographic dark room, laundry, toilets, and lockers.
The east wing housed the machine shop, the woodworking shop, and the steam-engine and dynamo rooms;
the west wing, the chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering laboratories and the forge shop. An
expert expressed his opinion in 1896 that:
All in all, the Clarkson Memorial School building and its equipment are
justly pronounced by expert judges the most attractive, modern, and strictly up-to-date to be found in any technical college of
the land.
As the building neared completion, the Trustees realized that the school needed to be incorporated
and to become affiliated with the University of the State of New York.
[NOTE. The University of the State of New York is not the same as the State University of New York. The latter was formed
by the Regents in 1948 to coordinate the state-supported institutions of higher education. The University of the State of New
York was established in 1784 and is run by the Regents whose administrative agency is the State Education Department. This
"University" embraces all education in the state from kindergarten to professional schools both public and private, grants
charters also to museums and libraries, and supervises the practice of any profession in the state (law, medicine, engineering,
architecture, optometry, etc.) Its Regents are authorized to incorporate educational institutions, and they may confer degrees.]
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