I will never stop marveling at how much I don’t know. I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how the physics building works but as soon as I started looking at it really hard I became aware that I didn’t understand it at all. I spent well over an hour today inside and outside of it and even barged into people’s offices in Lovett, trying to make sense of the windows. The windows in this building are really complicated and they dictate a great deal about how the interior space can be used.
Here’s one example. Zoom in and look for the false balcony on the second floor near the middle of the picture. It stands in front of three tall windows. To their right are three somewhat shorter windows and to their right are three even smaller ones. Same pattern on the left. I hadn’t realized until today that inside those windows are two sloping lecture rooms.
Obviously, much has changed. (The benches are original, though.) Many of the changes are due to a hundred years of wear and tear; others because of safety regulations. The room was actually shortened significantly at some point. If you zoom in on the old image you can see a set of what look like french doors to the right of the blackboard. Those were the elevator doors and they are now outside this room (and metal).
Here’s the other set, which I had pretty well figured out before I got here. I was standing by the door in the picture just above when I took the second one.
It was the long window that gave it away–the only place there is a single long window is at the end of the building, next to Lovett Hall, which you can see above in the image of the exterior. The window just to the right of the display case is no longer in fact a window, but rather a door, which was also added later for safety reasons.
I certainly feel better now and I hope you do too.