North Central College - Naperville, IL

150 Moments: Carnegie Library, Goldspohn Science Hall, the heating plant

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By the early 1900s, North Central College’s need for space beyond Old Main became a crucial concern. College President Herman J. Kiekhoefer and Judge John S. Goodwin initiated contact with philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to seek out funds for new facilities.

After much discussion, Carnegie agreed to donate $25,000 to then North-Western College for a new library building. Carnegie Library, as it was formerly called, was one of only a few academic libraries in Illinois that received funding from Carnegie.

One condition of his gift required that the College match his funds for the construction of a science hall. Shortly after fundraising efforts began, Albert Goldspohn, an alumnus of the class of 1875 and prominent Chicago surgeon, donated the $25,000 for construction of the new science center.

The addition of the two buildings doubled the physical plant of the College, and the Board of Trustees decided to also build a boilerhouse to centralize the heating for all four campus buildings (photo, workers outside the heating plant/boilerhouse, Spectrum 1913).

On April 8, 1908, all three buildings were dedicated and all three buildings remain in use today, albeit remodeled and fulfilling new purposes.

The Carnegie Library is now known as Carnegie Hall and houses several computer labs, classrooms, Information Technology Services and the computer science department. Goldspohn Science Hall is now simply Goldspohn Hall, with classrooms, faculty offices for mathematics and psychology, student publications, the Psychology Research Center and Student Leadership Center. The laboratory science facilities moved to the Kroehler Science Center in the 1970s.

Since 2004, the boilerhouse has been known as the Rolland Center Boilerhouse Café. A gift from Ian and Mimi Flickinger Rolland, class of 1955, underwrote the renovation of the old brick structure into a coffee house and cybercafe. It provides areas for study and conversation and has become a place where the campus and community can purchase Starbucks coffee, beverages and snacks.