Agricultural Engineering North
Design and construction
The Agricultural Engineering Building North is a large one-story utilitarian building with a concrete foundation, brick walls with projecting brick piers and a flat roof. The building has no ornamentation except for the bracketed door hood over the main entry and the concrete blocks that are set into the projecting brick piers at a height that appears to be the level where the roof trusses would be anchored. The building is 11 bays wide and nine bays deep. The bays are separated by projecting brick piers.
The Agricultural Engineering Building North’s main entry is in its southeast elevation, which is partially covered by a newer attached building (Agricultural Engineering Building Central, UMass Building #387, constructed 1967) and has only eight bays still visible. The main entry is seven bays west of the building’s southeast corner. The doorway is sheltered by a prominent Craftsman shed roof door hood that is supported by a pair of ornamental wood brackets, painted white. Each of these brackets is comprised of a right-angle bracket with a quarter-circle support bracket between the legs of the right angle. The right-angle and quarter-circle bracket design bears some resemblance to the look of an old style drafting compass. The bay to the west of the entry has a set of paired 6/6 sash windows, and the six bays to the east of the door each have paired 6/6 windows. The easternmost bay in this elevation has no windows. An historic photograph of 1918 shows that the building once had Arts & Crafts-style sun baffles that projected from the brick spandrel above the windows in the southeast elevation.
The central bay in the nine-bay northeast elevation contains a paneled wood door and one 6/6 window. Based on the size of the wall openings and the different color of infill brick, it appears that the four bays on either side of the central bay all originally contained paired 6/6 windows identical to the ones on the southeast elevation. The window opening in the bay immediately to the northeast of the central bay has been blocked with plywood and now contains a large exhaust fan. The window opening in the end bay at the northeast corner has been cut down to accommodate the installation of a single-leaf door, and half of the former window opening has been bricked in.
The 11-bay northwest elevation differs from the other elevations in that the bays here do not have one uniform width. Instead, this elevation has bays of two distinctly different widths, with the larger-width bay accommodating automobile- or truck-size garage doors.
Based on the size of the wall openings, the existence of brick lintels over areas that have been blocked with bricks whose color does not match the rest of the masonry, and the existence of a wide doorway that has no brick lintel, it appears that several of the bays in the northwest elevation have been substantially altered. For the purpose of this architectural description, the northwest elevation’s bays between the projecting brick piers are referred to here by number, with Bay 1 being located at the northeast end of this elevation and Bay 11 being located at the southwest end of this elevation. In September 2008, the bays are as follows. Bays 1 & 11 are solid brick walls, which appear to be original. Bays 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 have paired 6/6 sash windows that appear to be original. Bay 5 is a solid brick wall, but the different color brick below the brick lintel that is located midway up the wall indicates that a wide pedestrian door or a garage door was here originally. Bay 6 has a double-leaf door or garage door, but the infill brick below the brick lintel that is located at the same height as the lintels of the existing windows indicates that paired 6/6 windows were here originally. Bay 9 has a garage door in an opening that looks original. Bay 10 has one 6/6 window and one louvered vent of the same size. Bay 10 may have had paired 6/6 windows originally.
- From the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Building Survey reports from UMass Amherst (2009).