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SKYSCRAPER AT UT IS ALL BUT READY TO BE MOVED INTO

Austin's newest skyscraper--the 308-foot library and new main building on the University of Texas campus--probably will be formally accepted by the university within the next week or 10 days and be ready for operation, J. W. Calhoun, comptroller, said Friday.

There are a few minor details to be cleared up, such as taking spots off stair railings, cleaning up her and there, and making slight alterations in the decorations," Mr. Calhoun said.

"When that is completed Hugh Yantis, the contractor, and I will sign the necessary papers and the building will belong to the University of Texas. The inspection by the board of regents already has been made."

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Cost Over $3,000,000

Luxurious and palatial are the words best to describe the interior of the new administration building. More than $3,000,000 was spent on the structure.

In each wing is a glass-enclosed class room, windows running from the floor to the ceiling enclosing the room on three sides. The floors are of tile. It was originally intended to use these as reading rooms, but because of the rapid increase in enrollment, they will be pressed into use as class rooms.

Two casual reading rooms, luxuriously furnished with modern furniture and built-in bookcases, are next to the two wing class rooms. These reading rooms, done in blue and brown, are indirectly ventilated.

The prize display of the building is the academic room, where visiting professors and notables from other colleges and universities will gather for executive sessions.

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Huge Chandeliers

Done in gray and gold, the room is 30 by 78 and 28 feet high. The "woodwork" in the entire room is gray marble and the walls are hung with gold damask. Three huge gold chandeliers hang from the ceiling and quotations from the Texas constitution and from leading educators are inscribed along the curve of the ceiling. Doors leading in from the main entrance are all glass.

The Wrenn, Stark and rare book libraries and collections are all grouped together on the fourth floor, with a common exhibition room and lobby. The rare book room and Stark library open off into the balcony roof gardens. Flowers already have been planted in these elevated gardens.

"The view of the hills west of Austin from the rare book library is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen," Yantis, the contractor said.The president's office is done in blue and brown and is next to the regents' secretary's room. The registrar and auditor will be on the ground floor.

The new post office will open on the south entrance to the building. It is done in blue and silver.

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All Furniture In

"Practically all the furniture is in the building now, except in the offices of the registrar and auditor," Mr. Calhoun said. "If we had that, the building would be running by the time summer school opens. As it is, some of the offices will be moved over very soon now, but the registrar and auditor will have to wait awhile until this session closes and the summer session gets started."

All the gold leaf work on the carillon tower has been completed and the four huge clocks have been tested and found in working order. They will begin operation when the building is finally accepted.

Floodlights for the tower have been installed and will be in working order soon. The tower will be lighted at night from the 10th floor to the top by orange and white lights, the university colors.

Two elevator will serve the administration building and both express and local elevators will be used in the library and tower. All elevators are equipped for student operation.

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Elevator Schedule

Local elevators will run to the fourth floor in the library and express elevators will run from there through the tower.

The highest faculty office quarters on the campus will belong to Dr W. J. Battle, professor of classical languages and a former president of the university. Before the old main building was torn down, Dr. Battle had his offices in the tallest part of the building. When the architect drew plans for the new building, he included Dr. Battle's offices--again in the very top-most part of the tower.

The Austin American-Statesman. May 21, 1937.
Article by: Brian Coyne

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3 May 1999
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