During the Nineteenth Century

A few alterations, outlined above, were made shortly after the building opened — a classroom, painted green and located to the left of the entrance, was transformed into a display room for chemical and philosophical apparatus; a large skylight was added over the main stairway; and the library, at the front of the building, was altered in order to accommodate a new lecture room.

In the 1820s and 1830s, various repairs to the university’s facilities were authorized, but the minutes of the faculty meetings at which the authorizations were approved are seldom specific about the nature and extent of the work needed.

dh-1800sIn July 1826 the Executive Committee of the University asked the faculty to “suggest such alterations and improvements” that would “advance the general interest of the institution.” A year later the Executive Committee approved expenditures for “Such repairs as are necessary for the preservation of the University Buildings be now made.”106

In 1828 and 1829 there was considerable discussion about alterations to one of the dissection rooms; it is not clear whether the space being changed was in the main building or in the smaller building to the east, known as Practice Hall. The university’s anatomical demonstrator requested in October 1828 that “the Resurrection man,” who presumably was responsible for obtaining cadavers, be provided with “a room in the University building” and that “a dressing room should be fitted up for the use of the dissecting class;” in addition, the floor and tables of the dissecting room needed painting. The Executive Committee responded by allowing the resurrection man “to occupy the apartment called the reading room” and by approving the creation of the dressing room and the painting request. A year later “the present Condition of the dissecting rooms” was such that an inspection was carried out by university officials, and an apartment inserted into one of the two dissecting rooms was ordered removed because the dissector objected “to this alteration as injuring the light &c.”107

Charles Varle’s Complete View of Baltimore, published in 1833, reported that the amphitheater, where the lectures were delivered, had “of late been highly decorated with fine paintings.” A hallway was also decorated.108 Dr. Samuel C. Chew, professor of the principles and practice of medicine, published this account of the paintings in the university yearbook in 1902:

On the wall of the corridor leading to the Anatomical Theatre, of the School of Medicine, a student of the University of Maryland drew more than sixty years ago, with rough delineation, it is true, but yet with some real appreciation of the spirit and power of the original, a copy of Raphael’s great picture of the fight between the archangel and his foe. It was, perhaps, with a true instinct, and in recognition of the facts that anatomy is at the foundation of all the medical sciences, and that the final purpose of all these and all sciences, whether physical or mental, is that they be used in behalf of good against evil, that the student of long ago placed the picture where, though worn and faded and almost vanished away, it may still be faintly seen.109

Other references dating from the 1830s indicate that repairs were needed and provide some clues about the mechanical systems in the building. In December 1830 Green and Harris, who were identified as carpenters, presented a bill for “work, &c” in the amount of $94.85. This work may have been associated with Dr. DeButts’s recent trip to Europe, where he obtained new philosophical and chemical apparatus. John Green worked at the University again in 1836. In August 1835 a workman named Hodgkinson submitted a bill for $18.00.110 This may have been John Hodgkinson, who advertised as a “fancy chair manufacturer in all its varieties.”

In September 1836 faculty members, along with “the Carpenter” (perhaps Green), had “inspected the Buildings, and had found them very much out of repair, and Suffering for the want of paint &c.” As a result of this inspection, the head of the Faculty of Physic, Solomon Etting, “directed the classroom & passage to be whitewashed” and “the Reading room to be whitewashed, papered and the table therein to be painted.” In addition, a stove was “to be provided for the Chemical Department; and the Stoves in the Anatomical Room [were] to be repaired and removed into the Reading Room, and some smaller arrangements to be made.” Other improvements were listed on a separate sheet that was not incorporated into the minutes; the list apparently included “necessary fixtures in the way of cases &c.,” which were to “be provided as soon as practicable.111

The dean approved all of these changes (plus some small improvements to be museum), but it was determined that “it was too late in the Season to commence painting.” Green evidently proceeded with some work, however, for at their October 1836 meeting the Executive Committee authorized a payment to him amounting to $33.55 “by order of Mr. Etting, also his Bill for $257.14.” Also, some painting, perhaps the whitewashing, was done since a workman named Hayes was paid $62.12 in December 1836 for painting.112

The heating stoves at the university apparently required adjustments, for it was not until December 1836 that the Executive Committee agreed to pay a bill submitted by a Mr. Bryan “for Stoves &c. dated Oct. 20, 1834″ for $82.59. This was probably C. Bryan and Co., who were listed as stove and sheet iron manufacturers. Bryan had submitted another bill for stoves on January 2, 1836; it totalled $18.87 after “deducting Notts Stove & pipe,” probably a reference to a stove developed by Eliphalet Nott, an inventor of cast-iron stoves, as well as president of Union College. The stoves probably burned coal, and the building was heated by oil lamps; the janitor was paid in December 1830 for 70 bushels of coal and two barrels of oil. There were water hydrants on the property by June 1836. In December of that year a workman named Russell was paid for making repairs to a cistern on university property.113

In 1826 the General Assembly confiscated the university, placing trustees in charge and making the faculty employees of the university. Numerous disputes between the trustees and faculty simmered over the next decade, and on September 21, 1837, the medical faculty seized the university buildings and held them for two days. A few days later depositions were taken from the janitor, Thomas Maguire; Ellen Maguire, his wife; and Mary Stiles, an elderly woman who resided with the Maguires. Their statements provide some interesting details about the university buildings at that time.

The Maguires lived in a “dwelling situated within the walls of the University and attached to its Anatomical Museum and common lecture room,” the smaller building to the east of Davidge Hall. On the evening of Septmeber 21, they had been driven out of their house, and only Ellen Maguire was allowed to return. As she collected clothing for her child, she warned the person occupying her home that the fire “had been improperly made in a chimney of our dwelling, which had not been swept for a long time” and that she would hold him responsible for any destruction of the house and furniture. There was a pump in the yard; Mary Stiles drew water from it for Dr. Richard Hall, but he refused to drink the water because it was “not good,” and she had to fetch other water from a pump in Paca Street. As the evening progressed, the Maguires, as well as Mrs. Stiles, all found themselves shut out of the grounds by the locked gate.114

In the mid-nineteenth century the dissecting rooms were in the main building of the college. The college catalog for the 1839-40 term stated that they were “spacious and well ventilated, the supply of subjects abundant, and the advantages offered for the study of Anatomy unequalled.” The 1841-42 catalog elaborated: “It is well known that in the city of Baltimore the materials for the pursuit of Practical Anatomy are most ample, and easy of acquisition. In no city in America is public sentiment so indulgent in this respect.” The 1844 catalog announced that a surplus of anatomical subjects was used to supply other schools.115

In 1848 gaslighting was introduced to at least part of the main building of the medical college. The catalog announced that “the facilities for prosecuting Anatomical studies have been increased by the introduction of gas into the rooms, thus enabling the student to pursue his dissection during a part of the day not occupied by lectures.” With gaslighting in place, the dissecting rooms were open, beginning each October, to the students “at all hours of the day, until 10 o’clock, P.M., when the Janitor closes them for the night.” The faculty in that year began making “one course in Practical Anatomy obligatory.” Dean W.E.A. Aikin, writing in 1854, stated that “The faculty congratulate themselves upon the fact that a large proportion of their classes, not content with meeting the strict letter of the requirement, show by their re-appearance in the rooms for two or even three years, and their diligent application, that they estimate fairly the importance of correct anatomical knowledge and the advantages for acquiring it.” The lecture rooms were said to be “spacious, comfortable, well warmed, and ventilated.”116

In 1857 the faculty approved “a proper lantern for the use of the Janitor in the performance of his duty in the building at night, closing the dissecting room &c.;” this provision may indicate that there was little gaslighting provided in the hallways of the building. He was also to be reimbursed “for oil &c used for the purposes of the building;” the oil may have been used in his lantern, but it may also have been used in oil lamps in the building. The scope of the janitor’s work was to include “systematic regularity in warming, lighting & ventilating the lecture room.”117

During the period when the anatomical museum was located in Practice Hall, the lectures in Chemical Hall and Anatomical Hall were supplemented by two- and three-dimensional teaching aids that would have been displayed there and presumably stored in the building, at least temporarily. The chemical apparatus was deemed to be “unsurpassed in splendor and extent by any in the country” and “peculiarly fitted for exhibiting all the brilliant demonstrations indispensable for a satisfactory Chemical Course.” In 1849 the school announced that the faculty had purchased “a most valuable, beautiful and extensive series of colored drawings, executed by an accomplished artist, under the personal direction of a gentleman formerly connected with the ‘Franklin’ School of Philadelphia,” for use by the lecturer in pathological anatomy. In 1861 it was announced that since there were so many “advantages to be derived from the use of models, paintings, preparations, and other means for illustrating their oral instruction,” the faculty had “imported from Paris a number of models of a size larger than life, showing the various parts of the human body in health and disease.” The 1868-69 catalog stated that instruction “to illustrate histology with micro-photographs and microscopic preparations exhibited in the magic lantern” was being contemplated.118

In the second half of the nineteenth century, various repairs were made to the main building, but, again, the information provided by the university’s records is not very detailed. Furthermore, in 1869 the medical faculty reported that its minute books for the entire period beginning in 1856 had been stolen; later, the minutes for 1857-61 were recovered, but those for July 1861 to February 1869 are still missing.

In March 1857 the faculty directed the dean “to instruct the Janitor to remove the earth now banked under the seats of the Chemical Hall . . . the said earth be then carted from the premises.” During the following spring, on June 12, 1858, a freshet caused damage to the wall surrounding the medical buildings. The faculty held a special meeting to deal with “the restoration of the portion of the front wall overthrown by the freshet.” The dean was “to procure estimates” so the faculty could compare the costs “of replacing the old wall, or substituting a dwarf wall, with coping, surmounted with Iron rails or woven iron wire.” Apparently they decided on the “dwarf wall,” for they approved having “the wall for 50 ft. on each side built up to a height of 4 feet, 14 inches thick, & topped with Iron Wire Fencing of 3 3/4 feet height.”119

Minutes from 1859 indicate that work was needed on the main building, which by then was 47 years old. The dean “called the attention of the Faculty to the necessity of certain repairs (painting &c), to the College buildings.” He was instructed by the faculty “to have such painting, repairing &c, including the roof of the main building, as he may deem proper.” No faculty minutes are available for the period from August 1861 through February 1869.120

By 1870 the buildings needed attention; it was reported at the faculty’s September 1870 meeting that both the infirmary and the medical building were in “great need of painting.” Dean Chisolm was authorized to expend as much as $400 putting the buildings in order &c.” Two years later he called the faculty’s attention “to the bad Condition of the flues from the furnaces and that there was now no smokestack.” He “was authorized to have the necessary repairs made.”121

A new dean, L. McLane Tiffany, was in place in 1879, and in June 1880 the faculty instructed him to prepare estimates for alterations to the college, as well as to the main building of the infirmary. That summer the faculty authorized the expenditure of $1,000 or “as much thereof as may be necessary to renew the College Building.” The faculty then further authorized borrowing $10,000 for the use of the medical faculty at the property at the corner of Lombard and Greene streets; it is not clear whether this money was intended for the school or for the hospital or for both. At this time coal was being used for heating, for the faculty specified that coal remaining at the end of the winter “be used for Faculty purposes only.”122

In the fall of 1882 the “skylight in Anatomical Hall” needed “repairs and possible replacement,” but the problem turned out not to be as serious as anticipated, and it was “replaced at much less cost than estimated.” In 1883 the medical faculty approved a request from the law faculty for “removing brick wall etc.” This work was probably associated with the construction of the law school building at the east side of the property, which was completed in 1884. A few years later the janitor was told that he could no longer keep chickens and pigeons on the university grounds.123

In the spring of 1884 some improvements were made, although the records are not always clear whether the work was to be done to the main building or to Practice Hall. In the spring the professor of chemistry was authorized to spend $75.00 for alterations in the chemical laboratory, and the demonstrator of anatomy was “authorized to have constructed a suitable tank for the preservation of anatomical Materials.” At the same time the building committee was “directed to have constructed a suitable office for the Dean,” and in 1887 the new dean, J. Edwin Michael, was given permission “to purchase suitable furniture for his office.”124

Several changes were made under the direction of Prof. J. Dorsey Coale, the chairman of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds, in the late 1880s. At the faculty’s annual meeting in May 1888 he “presented a report calling attention to the urgent need of repairs to the main building &c.” His committee was authorized to “make such repairs as are immediately necessary” and then to prepare plans and estimates for other work. Only a few specific areas requiring repairs were itemized in the minutes. Arrangements were made “for the cremation of offal and the repair of pavements &c.,” and “new seats in the lecture halls” were needed. The faculty directed the committee to put “chairs in Anatomical and Chemical Halls, the work to be done in the most economical manner possible.” The committee was told not to spend more than $1.50 per chair. The September minutes mention that Prof. Coale “made a verbal report about the new chairs for Anatomical and Chemical Halls,” presumably about their actual recent or soon-to-be-completed installation. The winding stairway at the northeast corner of the building was closed at some time during the nineteenth century; it was reopened in about 1890, as part of “some alterations recently made,” according to an 1891 history of the school.125

The walls of the “green room” had been decorated with that color since at least 1820. In 1861, and earlier, it was used for the final examinations of the students. It was scheduled to be “newly carpeted” in 1887. In 1889 the room was to be wallpapered and a window shade installed. A portrait of Professor Potter was hanging in the room in 1890, and it was still called the green room. Faculty meetings were held there in 1892 and perhaps at other times. In 1893, the Building and Grounds Committee reported that the green room “needs putting in order, with removal of books &c.”126

The university buildings underwent renovations during the summer of 1893. At the May 8, 1893, meeting of the medical faculty, Professor Chisolm presented a preliminary report about improving the school property. His committee proposed adding a third story to Practice Hall and making it “our general laboratory building;” water closets were to be installed in that building, “thus doing away with the nuisance in the yard.” The janitor’s quarters would also be removed. The plan was that the “present Dissecting room,” which was evidently in the main building, would then be converted into a museum by rearranging “the contiguous small rooms;” this scheme would be “a great convenience for the lecturers who use Anatomical Hall.” Some carpentry work and painting were also needed in the main building, and the janitor needed an office. These plans were approved, as was a request for better blackboards in the lecture halls. The committee also received approval for grading and repaving work and for reducing the height of the walls; the contract for this work was awarded to a firm named Hiltz, for $8,637. The committee proceeded to have “plans and drawings” made, and borrowing of $12,000 was authorized. When the Eutaw Savings Bank refused to loan money for the work, each medical faculty member was assessed $500.127

On the evening of December 2, 1893, a fire broke out in the Heiser Building, which was located at the corner of Paca Street and Cider Alley and abutted the laboratory building, where the addition and remodeling had just been completed. The laboratory was destroyed, and the Baltimore American reported that the main building “was ablaze time and again, and only by very earnest work was it saved, after being damaged more or less by water.” The cornice caught fire at one point, but the flames were extinguished; the newspaper reporter also noted that if the main building “had not been protected with a new roof, it would have gone up in smoke.” Some of the walls of the laboratory collapsed onto the main building, and the “tall iron chimney, used as a flue from the crematory which was used to burn up the bodies of the subjects after they had served their purpose fell with a loud crash.” The yard was scattered with “books, desks, skeletons and bones.”128

dh-1900sThe faculty minutes related that the fire had “burned a large hole in the dome of the main building.” The new roof must have required extensive repairs after the fire. The main building “was drenched with water which had soaked through the floor of Anatomical Hall and loosened the ceiling of Chemical Hall.” In addition the “Halls and stairways were also practically impossible by reason of mud and water.” Regular lectures were immediately rescheduled to the hospital amphitheater, and the professor of anatomy was instructed “to prepare the old Dissecting room for immediate use.” Chemistry laboratory classes were moved to the Dental Building. A new laboratory building was immediately built; it contained labs for pathology, bacteriology, physiology, and chemistry, as well as facilities for the dental and pharmacy departments. The 1911-12 catalog reported that the anatomical laboratory was then located in the laboratory building.129

The 1897 yearbook contains what may be the two oldest dated views of the interior of the main building. In chemical hall a large screen had been inserted in front of the chemical hearth, and a simple gas fixture is suspended at the center of the room. The photograph of anatomical hall shows a circular balustrade still in place between the lowest row of seats and the dissection table.130

The 1891-92 catalog was the first to include a photograph of the college building; it shows the brick wall still in place along Lombard and Greene streets. A photograph in the 1897 yearbook shows that the boundary walls had been removed, probably as part of the work that the faculty had approved in the summer of 1893. The ground was simply graded back from a curbing, except for one section along Lombard Street, where a stone retaining wall was built to protect a tree’s roots. By 1915 an iron railing had been installed above the curbing.131

Alterations During the Twentieth Century

In 1898 the faculty began discussing the construction of an electric-light plant, but apparently it was intended only to serve the University Hospital; plans for this plant were approved in 1903. At the medical school, a proposal that the dissecting rooms be “wired for the introduction of electric lights,” was approved in November 1905; it is interesting that the priority for better light was placed in the same type of space, the dissecting room, as it had been when gaslighting was introduced 57 years earlier. Insurance maps confirm that the main building continued to be lighted by gas for some time; the 1901 map lists only gas lights, while a 1914 map lists both gas and electric lighting.132

The insurance maps also indicate that the main building was being heated by hot air in 1901. The introduction of steam heating was not approved until September 1910, and the 1914 map confirms that hot water heating had been installed. Fire extinguishers had also been installed.133

dh-centennialIn the spring of 1900 the faculty directed the dean to spend any available funds on improving the main building, but no specifics were given. On the occasion of the university’s centennial in 1907, anatomical hall was “handsomely decorated by festoons of green oak leaves and buntings.” An orchestra played from the top tier, and regents, professors and alumni filled the hall. Photographs show the exterior draped in bunting, but no accounts of preparatory alterations or improvements undertaken in conjunction with the centennial are recorded in the minutes.134

A student essay in the 1911 yearbook proposed some small improvements and provides a picture of some housekeeping conditions in the main building at that time. “The Dean’s office should be made more imposing and attractive to prospective students,” the student advised. The college had been surrounded “with a network of streets and buildings from which she can never escape.” The student wrote:

Her site must ever be the same. While deprived of a Utopian home, she may still be made beautiful, so priceless are her assets that yet remain. The grass planted on the toy campus died of thirst last summer. This should be replaced, the hedge groomed, and a few tastily arranged flower beds placed here and there. A wooden fence would stay the trampling of feet until radiant beauty lent its own protection. Our historic old columns are due a coat of white. Even these minor changes would force the traveller, on the electric highway to the nation’s capital, to feel that he was approaching historic ground; a region so sacred that even its barren soil gave forth suggestions of the beautiful.

The interior of our buildings do not meet the modern demands for cleanliness. They should be washed and disinfected. The process could be greatly facilitated by a liberal application of the old-fashioned elbow grease, then painted. This would cost only the price of the material consumed; the work could be done in half a summer by the janitors of the respective buildings during their periods of relaxation, which constitutes the major part of each day. During a like period the electrician should install lights in our dark hallways and lecture rooms to preserve the students’ eyes, which must be subjected to four years of constant strain. The chairs in our lecture rooms each year diminish in number. Had a carpenter administered the proverbial “ounce of prevention” when they began to weaken the saving would help to pay his salary.

With such improvements – – in themselves almost costless – – we could cease to call our halls antiquated and dub them historic. More blackboards should be installed in most of our lecture halls. They would assist the teacher in making more practical his explanations.135

A writer in the 1913 yearbook reported that the main building had been “somewhat renovated during the summer months”:
The concrete floor placed in the main hallway was indeed gratifying, being as a crutch to the crippled, and the paint that was placed on the walls in the two lecture halls, even though it was forgotten that the walls about those awe-inspiring “winding stairs” were in dire need, it is a cause for great joy, and the students, fresh from their long vacation, temporarily mounted to realms of bliss only to fall the ridiculous when they were greeted by the same rusty seats, “made onerous by the duties incumbent upon them.” A few nails, too, hammered into the revered old steps descending into the lecture rooms would subdue the weird music improvised by a late wanderer into a lecture. A large illuminator placed in the dome should have replaced the small bulbs which provide a light so inadequate that, only too many of the students have to undergo the torture of “eye strain.” And for ventilation we might invoke the gods. It is, indeed, hard to have to sit in a lecture room, for three or four hours in succession, especially in the afternoon, even with ample ventilation, but to have to endure the intense, close atmosphere of the two lecture rooms and to be compelled to breathe the breath of three or four previous classes is more than should be required of human indulgence. We will pardon the germs if they be served in fresh air.136 At this time the anatomical museum was in the main building, where it had been since about 1893. The 1913-14 catalog described the museum collection, which occupied “a separate apartment in the main building”:

It contains a large collection of anatomical preparations, plaster casts, charts, models, etc., used in teaching anatomy. It contains also a number of specimens of comparative anatomy. There is a large collection of gross pathological specimens and cut sections mounted for demonstration. For the department of obstetrics, there is an excellent collection of normal and abnormal human embryos.137

The museum was still located in the main building in 1924 and apparently remained there until the late 1930s.138
In 1922 the dean appointed a committee “to advise with the architect in the reconstruction of the halls in the Main Building,” but subsequent faculty minutes were silent on results of the committee’s work.139

dh-streetlevelThe 1939-40 college catalog reported the current use of the original building: it housed the dean’s office, the faculty conference room, and two lecture halls. These uses remained the same through about 1943, when the office of the assistant dean was mentioned but the faculty conference room was not.140 The faculty minutes for March 1945 reported that “work had started on the repair and reconstruction of the old Medical School building.” This project was to include “building and furnishing a faculty room on the second floor.” Apparently further work had been proposed but insufficient funding, it was noted, was preventing “any alteration in Anatomical Hall at this time.”141 The 1947-48 catalog noted that the dean’s office was then in Room 101 and the committee on admissions office in Room 102; evidently the post of assistant dean had been eliminated. The 1948-49 catalog mentioned that the faculty room, and the office of the assistant business manager were also located in the main building. According to the catalogs these uses remained the same until 1956-57, when the building was listed as containing offices of the dean, the associate deans, the post graduate committee, and the two lecture halls. In the 1961-62 catalog the Medical Alumni Association is listed as being in the building.142

In the 1950s the historical value of the original building received attention. The 1959-60 catalog carried a picture of the building on the cover and was the first to call the original building Davidge Hall. This change coincided with the construction of the Health Sciences Library, which was erected on the site of the former Davidge Hall and completed in 1960.143

Meanwhile, Dr. William H. Triplett, director of the Medical Alumni Association, became a proponent for restoring the building. The Alumni Association passed a resolution at its 1954 annual meeting urging the university’s Board of Regents “to pursue every resource toward the proper restoration” of the building. The exterior of the building, according to the resolution, was “in a state of good repair,” but the interior was said to be “suffering from the ravages of time, disrepair and inappropriate remodeling.” The university’s central administration made a study of the building and engaged Henry P. Hopkins, a partner in the Baltimore architectural firm of Hopkins and Burton, to examine the building and file a report. The president of the university, Wilson H. Elkins, told Dr. Triplett in 1955 that he had obtained an estimate of $240,000 for restoring the building. He suggested that since this level of funding would not be available from the state “in view of the many needs of the professional schools in Baltimore,” the project, or part of it, might be undertaken by the Medical Alumni Association.144

During the 1970s, Davidge Hall experienced the most extensive alterations since its initial construction. The process began in May 1974, when the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and was coupled with a renewal of interest by the Medical Alumni Association in restoring the building. In 1974 Kelly and Associates were commissioned to prepare an architectural study of the building, including costs for restoration. This study was continued in 1975, when Kelly and Associates merged with Cochran, Stephenson and Donkervoet, Architects. In 1977 this report was completed by W. Boulton Kelly of Architectural Conservators. Included were recommendations for the restoration and reuse of the building and a project budget of $1,970,000 for Davidge Hall and another $1,280,000 for Gray’s Laboratory. As part of the report, a structural analysis and a paint investigation were carried out.145

During the 1970s a restoration committee of the Medical Alumni Association was active, first under the chairmanship of Dr. John O. Sharrett and later Dr. John A. Wagner. With the completion of the architectural report, momentum increased for developing a restoration program for Davidge Hall. The direction for the restoration was spelled out in an eight-page letter of July 1, 1977, from Dr. William J.R. Dunseath, to Dr. John A. Wagner. In the letter Dr. Dunseath suggested that Davidge Hall could be promoted “as a symbol of the origins of medicine in this country and at the same time allow its continued uses along the lines of its original intent, that is, by all departments of the University of Maryland.” Dunseath recommended that structural repairs be undertaken; that the HVAC, sprinkler, electrical, and plumbing systems be replaced; that the exterior, including roof, be maintained in its current condition; and that Anatomical Hall, the anatomy professor’s office, Chemical Hall, passageways, southwest corner rooms, and the southeast corner room be restored, all on a phased basis.146

While restoration plans were being formulated, carpet was installed in anatomical hall in May 1977. Pull-down blinds were installed on four windows in the first floor corridor in September 1977, and plaster was repaired in Chemical Hall and Anatomical Hall in October. The brick floor in Chemical Hall was restored at a cost of $2,545.07 in November 1977.147

At the November 16, 1977, meeting of the Davidge Hall Restoration Committee, it was reported that Bryden Hyde of Edmunds and Hyde, Inc., Architects and Planners, had been recently commissioned as architectural consultant for Davidge Hall. The first effort of Edmunds and Hyde was the design for a new “Ladies Toilet Facility” on the first floor and an upgrading of the “Mens Toilet Room.” Bids for this work were received on November 16, 1977. The low bidder was Colwill Construction Company with a total bid of $14,651 including alternates.148

In January 1978 Edmunds and Hyde provided an itemized program of proposed work for Davidge Hall. This program consisted of 42 items including the mechanical, electrical, and structural systems. It was estimated that the cost of the work would be $1.2 million. 149

The architects apparently were authorized to proceed with the work because in an April, 19, 1978, letter, Michael F. Trostel, Vice President of Edmunds and Hyde, reported that “During the month of March, our office worked on the drawings of the plans and sections of Davidge Hall for use by the engineers and for the Construction Documents.” In March 1978 Frank S. Welsh, an historic paint and color consultant located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, completed a microscopic paint and color analysis of the interior and exterior of Davidge Hall at a cost of $2,985.150

In developing the construction documents, the architects recommended that the structural problems of the floor of Anatomical Hall be addressed. The repairs required the removal of the ceiling of Chemical Hall. On November 6, 1978, a proposal for the structural work was received from Steiner Construction Company of Baltimore for $49,778. This proposal was approved by January 4, 1979. By February 1, 1979, it was evident that additional structural work would be required for the floor of Anatomical Hall. It was decided that 18-inch steel beams should be used rather than the 24-inch beams specified. As part of this work, the existing Grinnell Sprinkler System in the ceiling of Chemical Hall was modified to allow for the structural work, at a cost not to exceed $9,400. The cost of the additional structural work was $7,612.05. The structural work was completed by August 21, 1979, “without mishap.” Bids for the new mechanical systems were scheduled to be received August 13, 1979. Bids for the “Phase I Restoration Davidge Hall” were received on April 17, 1980. Emjay Engineering and Construction Co. of Baltimore was the low bidder at $465,000. Working with Emjay were 18 separate suppliers and subcontractors. The work included general construction, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work.151

On November 18, 1980, six cast-iron stoves were purchased from the Peale Museum at a cost of $1,800 for installation in Davidge Hall (these stoves appear to be reproductions of similar stoves in The Octagon house in Washington, D.C.).152

On May 4, 1981, it was recommended that a bid of $6,648 from Lewis Brothers for painting Anatomical Hall be accepted. By October 28, 1981, much of the work was completed in Chemical Hall, except for cleaning and a few other items. On November 5, 1981, G. Krug and Son submitted an invoice for five new metal doors for “kilns in Chemical Hall.” Apparently the doors were not installed until December. On November 7, 1981, bids were received for exterior improvements to Davidge Hall, including cleaning of columns. The low bid for this work was $31,840.153

On March 24, 1982, bids were received for the Phase II restoration of Davidge Hall. Henry Brothers, General Contractors of Baltimore was the low bidder, with a bid of $104,998.154 Proposals for roof repairs were received on May 12, 1992, from Harry M. Will, of Columbia, Maryland, for a total of $8,200. The work included reflashing, resoldering of broken seams, recaulking, and repair and replacement of box gutters. It appears that at least the gutter work was carried out.156

The lighting fixtures were worked on in this phase. Edward R. Steinmetz of Horsham, Pennsylvania, rebuilt the hall lantern. The Corlite Corporation of Hatboro, Pennsylvania, provided a reproduction fixture for Anatomical Hall based on an Argand fixture in the U.S. Capitol. The cost of the fixture was $24,000. The fixture was delayed in being provided for the project, resulting in additional costs.156

Carpet for the completed restoration was ordered on January 20, 1984. It was installed by March 13, 1984.157

dh-columnsEver since its construction in the early nineteenth century, Davidge Hall has been a source of pride, first to the college of medicine, and then to the university. The earliest accounts had called the building “a splendid edifice” and one of the most beautiful examples of classical architecture to be found in the city or the nation. In 1844, a generation later, the university boasted that “For the information of gentlemen at a distance, it may be proper to state, that the College Buildings were erected many years since, without respect as to cost, for the express purpose for which they have since been occupied, and in point of convenience and comfort are unsurpassed by any in the country.” In the 1865-66 catalog “the facilities afforded for the study of Practical Anatomy” were still said to be “unsurpassed.”158

At the centennial celebrations in 1907, the president of Clark University cited among the distinctions of the University of Maryland’s medical school the fact that its “classic red building” had “long the most imposing architectural installation the profession could show in America.” While one of the organizers of the centennial had called for the removal of the campus to “the northwestern section of the city, where there is a more healthy, physical and moral environment,” the medical school stayed in its original location. A decade after the centennial, the college catalog began referring to the original structure as “the beautiful college building at Lombard and Greene Streets” and heralded it as “the oldest structure in America devoted to medical teaching.” It continues to carry that honor, as well as the distinction of being the oldest surviving purpose-built anatomical theater in the country.159