Editor's note: This is a series of columns by John Malcolm on his "50 years at Fredonia." Retired, he is a professor emeritus at Fredonia State.
By JOHN MALCOLM
If you entered Fenton from Mason Hall through the west entrance you would find a lobby pretty much the same as it is now.
Turning left you would pass by the registrar, dean and president's office. The old president's office is now a "smart classroom" as is the conference room. This suite had wooden parquet floors and I was once asked: "Was this a ballroom?"
No, but the conference room was a place where faculty could go to socialize. At one time you could even get a full breakfast in the conference room. The "fumed oak" bookcases in one of the classrooms were behind the president's desk.
The president's office was supposed to move to Maytum Hall but there was evidence that after a Vietnam War sit-in incident the president opted for a ground floor suite in Fenton that was once the library.
Also on this wing were rows of lockers built into the walls and there was also a room containing lockers.
This was a commuting campus. The niches for the lockers and rooms have long since been converted to bulletin board and office space. Continuing through this space were offices and classrooms.
If you had turned right after entering Fenton you would be on track to the former library. The space now used for the president, computer lab, Signature Cafe, two lecture halls and a faculty lounge.
You entered the library just where the current ramp is located. To your right were bookcases and microfilm readers. To the left were periodicals and a reading area. To the right was the main desk and behind that desk extending to the end of the wing were the stacks.
Originally the library was to occupy two floors of the wing but the space on the second floor housed offices, a classroom, and a lecture hall/theatre with a temporary stage. (On this stage was the only other campus television set in a locked cabinet.)
In the '60s a temporary "Butler" building was attached to the stacks. This building now occupies a space adjacent to "Fort Apache" the maintenance complex.
Returning to the Lobby you could go to the second floor using a staircase that was just off the lobby. At the top you would be outside another small lobby paneled with the same "fumed oak" that decorated areas of the building. There were a number of faculty offices opening off this lobby.
To the right and at the end of a short corridor was the radio studio. It had been part of the original design of the building and was unique to the university. There was a large studio with a viewing window to the hall then a smaller studio and a control room. The walls had been prepared with acoustic plaster.
Beyond the studio was an office, observation rooms for the speech clinic, and a lounge area. You can identify this area today by the wooden doors with portholes.
John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.