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University Archives

Foster Hall


Foster Hall was the first building built specifically for the University on the new campus recently purchased at Bailey Avenue and Main Street. At the dedication ceremony, Chancellor-Elect Samuel P. Capen remarked that:

"Mr. Foster and his family have done much more than to give the University adequate laboratories and class rooms for chemistry and pharmacy… They have set the tone and the standard for the other buildings of the new University of Buffalo which are to be erected on this site."

In 1922 the new Arts and Sciences College moved into the Foster from its previous home, Townsend Hall on Niagara Square.

Today Foster is home to classroom and research space for a portion of UB's nationally recognized School of Dental Medicine.


Namesake

Orrin Elliott Foster (1840-1928) was a manufacturer of medicines and a member of the University Council. Foster Hall was a gift of Foster and the members of his family for a Hall of Chemistry.


History and Chronology

  • 1920 -- Orrin E. Foster and family give $400,000 to the University for the construction of Chemistry building
  • 1921 -- Start of construction
  • 1921 -- (August 28) Cornerstone ceremony
  • 1922 -- (October 27) Dedication
  • 1980 -- (Winter) $6.5 million renovation began
  • 1983 -- (August) Building is reoccupied after the renovation by dental units

Building and Construction Information

Architects: McKim, Mead & White
Milstein, Wittek & Davis (1983 renovation)
Contractors: Cyrus K. Porter & Sons
Cost: $400,000, original cost
Size: 61,504 sq. ft. (original building); 69,178 sq. ft.(after renovation)