The History of The Widener Buildings
The Widener buildings were constructed in 1933 and 1934 thanks to a gift from the Widener family in memory of Harry Elkins Widener (Hill 1903), who perished on the Titanic in 1912.
The Widener Science Building has housed science classrooms and laboratories since it opened in 1934. The Widener Arts and Crafts Building, previously called the Hobby House, has served many purposes throughout the past 87 years, including the wood shop, Grille, Alumni Office, and Engineering lab.
The idea to link the two Widener Buildings was to allow for the full depth of laboratory space. The Widener Buildings - built more than 85 years ago - are very narrow. In locations where there were classrooms on both sides of the hallway (particularly the science classrooms), the spaces were small. These rooms have been renovated and will now serve as classrooms for mathematics and other non-laboratory disciplines. By adding the link, we now are able to have the width and depth necessary for 21st Century labs. The four-story structure will house laboratories for Chemistry (ground level), Engineering (first floor), Biology (second floor), and Physics (fourth floor).