Michigan College of Mines, Chemistry Building


by Dany Peavey, Stevan Sliger, John Krystof, and Travis Dvorak

Architect: Herbst & Kuenzli
Alternative Name: Koenig Hall
Location: Houghton, MI
Built: 1920-22
Contractor: Herman Gundlach
Addition in 1931: Derrick Hubert, architect; Archie Verville, contractor
Demolished: 1968


Koenig Hall as built in 1920-22.

On March 4, 1920, a fire destroyed Koenig Hall, the chemistry building. A new building was needed quickly and inexpensively due to a large student body and a lack of many other buildings on campus. Plans were submitted by Herbst & Kuenzli of Milwaukee with assistance provided by D. Fred Charlton of Marquette. The structure would be placed on the old foundation of Koenig Hall because it was not severely damaged in the fire. The old foundation would also save money in construction; the probable cost of the building was $160,000. By December of 1920 walls were already completed on the new building. The main part was 114’ x 35’ with two wings, one of 53 ½’ x 35 ½’ and the other 16 ½’ x 35 ½’. The main chemistry lab was on the first floor and was larger than the old lab. The quantitative lab and qualitative lab retained their positions on the second floor. The new building also had two lecture rooms rather than one as in the first chemistry building. The new building was made of brick, reinforced concrete, and tile. There was also an extensive effort to create a sufficient air system which would remove harmful toxins from the building. The new building had a modillioned cornice and a flat roof.

Buildings by Charlton, et al., in the Copper Country