Tome Scientific Building (1885-2000)

Tome Scientific Building, c.1955

Long the dream of Professor Charles Francis Himes, Tome Scientific Building was Dickinson College’s first building constructed solely for scientific purposes. Situated along Louther Street, on the Carlisle, Pennsylvania campus between Old West and East College, the building was completed on June 24, 1885, to the design of architect Charles L. Carson. The construction costs of $23,000 were more than covered by a generous $25,000 donation made by the building’s namesake, Jacob Tome. The building featured classroom and office wings, with the center serving as a museum. This museum was removed in 1947 when the chemical laboratories were enlarged, a renovation that cost $35,000.

In 1958, Tome underwent a $165,000 interior renovation, the building being completely remodeled with much-needed modern equipment. This new look included the Bonisteel Planetarium which was installed in the center space formerly occupied by the museum. The planetarium was designed by Henry L. Yeagley, professor of natural philosophy, and was financed by a $50,000 donation from Roscoe O. Bonisteel, class of 1912.

For an extended time, Tome had the distinction of being the longest serving college science center in the United States. It had exclusively served the physics and astronomy department for more than forty years. With the completion of the New Science Building in 2000, however, Tome was converted to a global education building. In 2001, it was renamed as the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation Center for Global Education.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: