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Top 10 Brown University Buildings You Need to Know

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April Ann Quiñones
Brown University is located in Rhode Island, United States. It’s a private institution that was founded in the year 1764. Today, it’s still considered as one of the most prominent universities in the Providence area.

1. John Hay Library

This building is one of the oldest structures in the campus. Currently, it’s used as a storage for the university’s archives, books, manuscripts, and the like.

 Built in 1901 and was designed by Coolidge, Rutan, and Shepley

2. John Carter Brown Library

Here lies a large collection of historical books and sources about America. This building is known to be one of the leading structures in the world to have such a huge collection. Built in 1846 and is located near the Main Green

3. Arnold Laboratory

This building was donated by Dr. Oliver Arnold. It’s where the Division of Biology and Medicine is located and is home to a lot of the biological sciences offices and departments. The outside view of the Arnold Laboratory

4. Engineering Research Center

This is where the campus conducts their research on electronics and nanotechnology. Inside, large research grounds can collaborate comfortably in the building’s 20 lab modules. Three-story building with a modernized facility

5. Horace Mann House

The building used to be one of Brown university’s dorms. Recently, it’s now where the English Department is situated. The Vice president of the research department and Brown’s Graduate School are located here as well. This duplex was purchased by Brown University and renovated in 1838.

6. Prince Engineering Laboratory

Named after Frank John Prince, this laboratory is actually an extension of the Engineering Complex in the university. This is where research in fluid mechanics, materials, structure, and thermodynamics is done. The building is part of the Engineering Complex in Brown University.

7. Rhode Island Hall

The building was named after Rhode Island because the residents of the area donated funds in order to establish it. Now, it’s where the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World is found. Also, this is where the departments of Chemistry, Geology, Mineralogy, Natural History, and Philosophy are housed. This hall was recently renovated in 2009.

8. Robinson Hall

It was once a library in Brown University. However, today, it’s now used as a building for the Economics Department since the campus already built the John Hay Library. Intricately designed front view of the Robinson Hall

9. 121 South Main Street

Just recently, this 11-story building was bought by the campus. It’s a commercial property of the university. Now, as they are growing, they are slowly expanding some departments in the spaces inside such as the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, the Department of Community Health, the Center for Statistical Sciences, and the like. Faraway view of the tall 121 Building near the Providence River

10. 85 Waterman Street

The building was just renovated last 2014 and is now as environmentally friendly as before. Here, you can find greenhouses and the Brown Institute for Environment and Society. 85 Waterman Street was formerly known as the Hunter Laboratory.

Interesting Facts about Brown University

1. Van Wickle Gates Curse

These gates are only opened twice every year (Convocation and Commencement). They said that if you pass here more than twice, you’ll have bad luck. The Van Wickle Gates tradition is celebrated every year.

2. Carberry Day

Josiah s. Carberry is a fictional professor at Brown University. He studies psychoceramic, so to celebrate his day, students put brown jugs all over the campus and fill it with change every Friday the 13th. The Brown University Library celebrates Carberry Day every Friday the 13th

3. Brown Curriculum

After the 1970s, the curriculum at Brown University changed. Also called the Brown Curriculum, undergraduates can now choose whatever course of study they want and are encouraged to craft their own. Open Curriculum event at Brown University

4. Annmary Brown Memorial

Although it functions as a library, there are rumors circulating the campus that the building is actually the burial site of Rush and Annmary Brown Hawkins. The building is designed with no windows, making it look like a tomb from afar. The tomb-like structure of the Annmary Brown library

5. The Hutchings-Votey Organ

Every Halloween, students gather around the area to listen to the haunting sound of the organ. One of the largest Hutchings-Votey Organs is found here.


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