Chemistry Building

Chemistry Building

What You'll Find Here

  • Chemistry Department
  • Classrooms and faculty offices

Amenities

Abbreviation: 
CB
Number: 
0003
Address: 
251 North Capitol Street
Formal Name: 
Chemistry Building
Year: 
1922
Architect: 
Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson, Des Moines,
Historical: 

World War I inspired a great interest in the study of chemistry, and enrollment in the subject doubled between 1917 and 1921. By the mid- 1920s, the department had the largest staff and most course offerings of any on campus, a popularity that prompted the University of Iowa to consolidate its resources into a single facility. Before that time, laboratories and classrooms had been scattered around campus; some were even located in a former mess hall. Walter Jessup, the University’s president at the time, included the new facility in a broad program of construction that gave the campus east of the Iowa River much of the appearance it has today.
As this building boom, and the focus of campus architecture, moved from the Pentacrest, there was a growing desire to express that transition architecturally, even while maintaining the same Beaux- Arts Classicism style. The Chemistry Building, composed of brick with limestone detailing, effectively represents that initial shift. The stonework—at the entrance, around the windows, and in quoin detailing—recalls the Pentacrest, but the brick walls represent a move to a more economical material. Classical ornament nevertheless remains important. The columns framing the entrance bay are a Corinthian variant (capitals with acanthus leaves below and palm above) that recall the first-century BCE Tower of the Winds in Athens. While the interior is currently in the early stages of a $35-million renovation, the façade will remain largely intact, including the industrial windows that reflect the utility of chemistry as a field of study.

Summary: 

The building is accessible to persons with disabilities. The building elevators connecting ground and third floors may be utilized as an alternate method to the Bionic Bus for maneuvering up and down the steep hill between Capitol and Madison Streets. 

Entrances: 
Accessible entrances are located at the east side via the T. Anne Cleary Walkway and the west side through the parking lot located on the north side of the west wing of the building. Both of these entrances are equipped with power door openers. It is recommended that the building be entered from the east at the 300 level.
Parking: 
The nearest designated accessible parking is located in the North Campus Parking Ramp directly to the north. The vehicular entrance to the parking ramp is located at the north end of Madison Street. Exit the parking ramp to the east to access CB.
Restrooms: 
All restrooms are accessible to individuals with disabilities. There is an accessible unisex restroom located in the west wing of second floor.
Elevators: 
There are two passenger elevators with one being located in the main corridor adjacent to the east entrance and the other located in the southwest portion of the building.