Original construction of the Henry Hill Visitor Center

Last update
Jul 13, 2005

Photos from 1941-1942
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Jun. 11, 1941
Turner Studio
Looking north just before construction began. The area in the immediate foreground is the site on which the building would be built.
Sep. 16, 1941 Looking east. The roofed museum section can be seen beyond the administration section where the workers are laying the stonework around the window frames. The ditch in the foreground is for the sewer pipe, sections of which can be seen along the edge of the ditch.
Sep. 16, 1941 From a different direction looking north. The henry house can be seen beyond where the stone masons are working.
Sep. 16, 1941 The museum walls are constructed using cinder block. Similar to today's cement or concrete block but the aggregate, called cinders, came from the left-over noncombustible chunks from burning anthracite coal which was used in steam locomotives of the time. It made a inexpensive, lightweight, substitute for gravel.
Oct. 16, 1941 A month later, the masons have completed the administration building walls. Originally most of the first floor of what is now the visitor center lobby consisted of offices for the park. The upstairs was used for storage and work rooms.
Oct. 16, 1941 Looking north. Notice the brick work of the outer 2 columns is almost complete.
Oct. 16, 1941 Looking south. The chimney in the center of the building is decorative only and is non functional.
Oct. 16, 1941 Looking west. Notice the open gears of the gas powered cement mixer on the left and the gravel and sand piles in the foreground.
Nov. 18, 1941 A month later and most of the scaffolding has been removed. The roof now has most of the standing seam covering in place. The circular stone walls on the right side of the building is the stair well to the outside doors of the restrooms in the basement.
Nov. 18, 1941 Looking north. The workmen are in the finishing stages of applying the first layer of stucco the the museum. The 4 columns are now covered with stucco.
Nov. 18, 1941 Looking southeast. The photographer apparently used a long focal length lens for most of these pictures. The construction shack seen to the left end of the building is actually about 100 feet on the other side of the main structure. The long lens makes it appear to be next to the museum.
Nov. 18, 1941 The slabs stacked just this side of the wall are slate blocks waiting to be installed on the patio to the right and this side of the museum wing.
Dec. 24, 1941 A month later and the final coat of stucco has been applied and the roof is complete. The wooden structures on the patio area are the last pieces of the scaffolding used by the plasterers which have yet to be removed. In the foreground you can see where the ground has been smoothed and seeded.
Dec. 24, 1941 Looking north. You can see the Henry House to the left. Another example of the photographers use of a long focal length lens. The Henry House is actually about 700 feet beyond the Visitor Center.
Dec. 24, 1941 A different angle.
Dec. 24, 1941 Notice the shadow of the construction shack lower left and the wooden planks laid over the mud to allow access to the front portico.
Feb. 6, 1942 February 6, the Jackson statue can be seen to the right. The dark tree showing over the far end of the building was present at the time of the battles and is still there (as of 1999).
Feb. 6, 1942 From a different angle looking north we can see the driveway which is not complete at this point. Careful observation of the left side of the building will reveal the railings going down the outside stairwell to the basement restrooms.
Feb. 6, 1942 Skylights can be seen here in the stone section of the building. These were apparently removed sometime in the late 1950s to early 60s when the auditorium wing was added.
Apr. 17, 1942
Walter H. Sheffield
Here the walkway can be seen quite clearly.
Apr. 17, 1942
This roadway was used to access the site during construction.
May 1, 1942 A clearer view of the driveway with logs placed along the far side to prevent vehicles from crossing the newly seeded lawn.
May 1, 1942 In this shot the railings to the restrooms can be seen clearly.
Feb. 17, 1949
Abbie Rowe
This photo was taken 8 years later. Looking west along patio wall. This area is now occupied by the book store.

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