Alumni Weekend: The Saga of the Library Tower

Event Details

June 3, 2017
1:45 pm-3:00 pm

Library, W.E.B. Du Bois

UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available

In the mid-1960s, UMass administration recognized the need for a new library building, and groundbreaking for the new Library Tower took place soon after, in April 1969. Upon completion, at 28 stories and 296.5 feet tall, it would be hailed as the tallest academic library in the world.

However, within months of the building’s official opening in 1973, shards of brick were coming off the building’s façade—just the first of its difficulties both real and rumored. Are whole bricks falling off the building? Is the building sinking into the ground? Did the architect forget to account for books and bookshelves? What was “Mass Transformation”? And why is the library named for W.E.B. Du Bois? We have answers to these questions and many more.

Presented by Rob Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives.

View the full schedule of Alumni Weekend events at:

Event Category

Alumni Alumni Weekend