WEST EXPERIMENT STATION
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
RESTORATION AND REUSE
Exterior Restoration | Interior Restoration and Renovation | Accessibility | Elevators
University of Massachusetts Amherst West Experiment Station is an agricultural laboratory building designed by Holyoke, Massachusetts architect Emory A. Ellsworth. Construction began in 1885 and the building was completed in 1887 at a cost of $27,000.00. The Hatch Act provided Federal funds in the amount of $15,000.00 for the building. Early in the 20th century an addition was constructed to the north to extend and approximately double the laboratory portion of the building. The addition enclosed exterior space between the original laboratory wings to form the present atrium.
The building originally known as Hatch Experiment Station was the first experiment station in the United States connected with a state college. It was also one of the first buildings constructed on the campus of the Massachusetts Agricultural College.
In 2004 the University of Massachusetts, Facilities Planning Division, engaged Timothy Murphy Architects to study and define the work required to restore the exterior envelope of the West Experiment Station to a sound, weather tight condition. Since the first and second floor of the building had only one means of egress a second means of egress was proposed to satisfy the requirements of 780 CMR. Chapter 34 of the Building Code required that accessibility be in full accordance with 521 CMR and since the $1,000,000 cost to completely restore the building envelope was more than 30% of the $2,484,000 replacement cost of the building plans were developed accordingly.