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Center for Research on Women Gains Space

March 1, 1997

Donna Soper

The Newcomb College Center for Research on Women has expanded its physical space this semester to include the first floor of the Caroline Richardson Building. The center's administrative offices, library, archives and women's studies program have resided on the second floor of the two-story Richardson building since the center was founded 21 years ago.

The first floor of the building, however, has been home to a number of different tenants. According to Alice Walther, senior planner in the Office of Campus Planning and Physical Plant, the first-floor dining area was modified last fall to create a flexible area for both large and small classes as well as a space for some of the center's programs and receptions. This modification is the first phase of a long-range plan to completely upgrade and renovate the facility, Walther added.

"With the growth of all of the center's activities--including its library, archives, women's studies program and visiting scholars program, the Center for Research on Women has long needed additional space," said Beth Willinger, director. "Over the past 21 years, the center's mission has changed and developed, so our original space can no longer accommodate all our current needs."

The Caroline Richardson Building was originally known as the "women's dining hall." In the early 1970s, when the mandatory food service requirement was eliminated, a separate women's dining hall was no longer necessary. The building was then renovated to house the Center for Research on Women and a snack/lunch counter called The Parlour.

In 1994, however, after 22 years of operation, The Parlour was closed so that the first floor could be used as temporary space for Newcomb Art Department's ceramics and sculpture programs, which were displaced during construction of the Woldenberg Art Center at Newcomb College. Finally, the Amistad Research Center, which is located in Tilton Memorial Hall, utilized the first floor for several months to organize some of its recent acquisitions. The modification to the first floor will include a catering area so that the space might be used for receptions as well, Walther said.

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