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Design and construction
Chenoweth Laboratory is a two-story brick building with Georgian Revival elements of a minimal nature, such as the splayed brick lintels with interspersed keystones above door and windows. The building is 11 bays wide and six bays deep, with a concrete foundation, concrete trim and a flat roof.
The building’s ornamentation is limited to the concrete cornice at the bottom of the roof parapet wall, the brick lintels and the keystones mentioned above. The building had considerably more ornamentation on its main elevation when it was built in 1930. Historic photographs of Chenoweth Laboratory on file at Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst show that the building’s main entry was originally on its north elevation, which was destroyed when the Chenoweth Laboratory Addition (UMass Building #344) was constructed in 1966. The north elevation’s main entry originally featured a prominent Art Deco doorframe, which had an oval window framed with a neoclassical wreath made of stone, or concrete, above the doorway.
The building’s current main entry is centered in its east elevation. It appears that the building originally had five 8/8 sash windows to either side of the door and the second story originally had 11 such 8/8 windows. One of the first story windows has been fully bricked in, and two of the second story windows have been mostly bricked in, with louvered ventilation panels inserted into the top of the former window openings. No splayed brick lintels or keystones remain where the windows were bricked in. The four windows that remain at the south side of the door have bars on the outside. The central entry has a double-leaf door with 3/4 fixed panes in the upper half of each leaf and two panels in the lower half. The doors are flanked by 2/6 sidelights and topped by a multi-pane transom.
Chenoweth Laboratory’s south elevation now contains two 8/8 windows on its first story and six evenly spaced 8/8 windows on its second story. Based on the different color of the brick, the building’s south elevation originally had five evenly spaced windows on its first story. As with the east elevation, no splayed brick lintels or keystones remain where the windows were bricked in here.
Naming of the building
Chenoweth Laboratory is named for Walter W. Chenoweth, founder of the Horticultural Manufactures Department at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1914, which later became the Food Science Department.