By the 1895-96 school year, Dr. Hopkins, the ardent proponent of practical mechanics, resigned to pursue his ministerial career. Captain Lyman Hall, Professor of Mathematics, was selected as the second president of the Georgia School of Technology. That same year, the engineering program was expanded to include bachelor's degrees in civil and electrical engineering, as well as the existing mechanical engineering degree. Captain Hall-a stern disciplinarian and tireless worker-devoted himself to building the physical plant and expanding the two-building trade school into a full-fledged technical institute. He inherited a school with 2 buildings possessing a physical value of approximately $100,000 and increased it during his tenure to 9 buildings with a physical value of more than $240,000. Enrollment increased fivefold, from less than 100 to more than 500 students

Hall's first building program concentrated on providing housing for students. In 1896, he erected two small buildings for use as temporary dormitories and a dining hall. They were designated Buildings E and F but referred to by students as "The Shacks." The Shacks housed about thirty students. They rented for ten dollars a month and had neither running water nor electricity.

After building The Shacks, Hall petitioned the State Legislature for funding to erect a permanent dormitory. He noted that only 25 of the 157 students then enrolled were Atlantans. Hall used arguments of cost and morality to persuade the reluctant legislature to appropriate funds for a dorm. He pointed out that each student would save $50 a year in boarding expenses, and that the savings in two years would offset the expense of building the dorm. (13) He also suggested that parents would prefer their sons housed in a dormitory under the "continual guardianship and protection of the authorities." The Atlanta Constitution supported Hall's request, noting that boarding houses might be fine in smaller towns where "temptations are not so great" but not in a city such as Atlanta. It was the "moral duty" of the state, therefore, to provide campus housing. (14)

Representative Clarence Knowles of Fulton County was a tireless supporter of Hall's plan to build a dormitory, arguing that dormitories would make the school accessible to the poorer students of Georgia. Knowles even took his fellow legislators to the school to see for themselves the need for a dormitory.

In 1897, the legislature provided funds to build the dormitory. Bruce and Morgan, architects of the two previous buildings on campus, won the architectural commission for the dormitory in 1897. The dormitory, which opened in September 1897, was named for Clarence Knowles. Like "The Shacks," Knowles Dormitory had neither electricity nor steam heat. It did have 36 rooms housing two students each, a gymnasium, shower facilities and a dining room. In January 1897, 175 students were enrolled. Within a year of the dormitory's opening, enrollment had jumped to 267, requiring that three students share a room instead of two.

In the fall of 1897, John T. Boifuillet, representative from Bibb County, petitioned the legislature to establish a textile program at the school. The textile industry was growing in importance in the state. Cotton served as a transforming bridge between the highly agrarian antebellum "Old South," where cotton was the principal crop, and the more industrialized "New South," where cotton was the staple of the developing textile industry.

The legislature approved the appropriation but required the school to find $10,000 in matching funds by June of 1898. Once again, the school looked to Massachusetts for a model textile school to emulate. Captain Hall selected the Lowell Textile School. Professor C.P. Brooks, director of that school, acted as the School's consultant in planning, equipment, and curriculum development.

Hall then turned his attention to finding a benefactor to provide matching funds. He sent identical letters to John D. Rockefeller and A. Samuel French, a wealthy industrialist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the end, French was persuaded to support the project. He provided $2,500 unconditionally and $3,000 conditional upon the city of Atlanta providing a matching amount. Athough Hall looked to the North both for funding and for a model to follow, he exulted in a letter to Clark Howell, "When the first brick is laid in the Textile Department of the Georgia School of Technology, the South declares war against New England; a war not of seccession, but of aggression…" (15)

The Massachusetts architectural firm of Lockwood Greene was selected to design the building. Lockwood Greene drew on its experience building textile mills to create the design. According to Drury, mills at the time were monuments to civic piety, providing "visual dominance over the nineteenth-century town as the church had provided the focal point for the eighteenth-century village."(16) He described the French building in the following manner:

"At best it is a good textile mill using heavy construction and brick load bearing walls. The large segmental arch windows admit immense quantities of light and the major mullions divide the window into the form of a cross. Considering the heritage of textile design, these windows suggest a conscious effort to reinforce the Christian symbol of the cross and the Protestant work ethic." (17)

The increased diversity in programming and growing physical presence of the school led to increased enrollment and attracted the interest of wealthy and prominent businessmen who became benefactors of the school. James Swann donated $20,000 to finance a dormitory, to be named after his late wife, Jane Swann, provided Hall could obtain an additional $15,000 in matching funds. He also contributed to the Electrical Engineering Building, which was largely financed through state funds.

Hall also turned his attention to the school grounds, which sloped down to North Avenue and to Fowler Street, which was then just a dirt path that partially cut to Third Street. Two wooden footbridges crossed steep rain gullies. Hall requested convict labor from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to grade the property and cut down trees and other vegetation. The city also completed construction of Fowler to Third Street.

Walter T. Downing, noted Atlanta residential architect, was hired to design both the Electrical Engineering Building and Swann Dormitory in January of 1901. Both the Swann Dormitory and the Electrical Engineering Building were dedicated in the fall of 1901.

According to Drury, "each building, composed in Neo-Classical Revival style, has a three story mass divided into a principal block of 2 stories, a string course, and an attic story. The plain brick walls and an uncomplicated roof line are in keeping with this style, as is the flat arch lintels and the use of Greek details. The entrance of each building has been designed as the dominant feature." (18)

The Georgia Tech Annual Announcement for 1902-1903 notes that the fifty-room Janie Austell Swann Dormitory is "heated by the blower system, lighted with electricity, and contains ample halls, reception rooms, etc." The Announcement further noted that "all students in the Apprentice and Sub-Apprentice classes who do not reside with their parents are required to board in the school dormitories." (19)

In 1902, the Board of Trustees for the school decided Hall should build a house on North Avenue for the president and his family, so that the president would be always available to greet visitors or handle crises. The President's House was completed in 1903.

Hall next turned his attention to construction of a chemistry building. Once again, the legislature passed the appropriation but required significant matching funds ($10,000) from private sources. Hall again embarked on a strenuous fund raising program. This time, the effort proved too much. President Hall died on August 16, 1905 at a New York health resort where he had retreated to recover from exhaustion and illness. The school board of trustees named the new building, which opened in 1906, the Lyman Hall Laboratory of Chemistry, in honor of the late president.

Drury describes the Chemistry Laboratory as "classical in style and proportion. The principal characteristic of the 2-story façade is the six brick Doric pilasters. Each bay enframes paired windows with a flat jack arch, scrolled terra cotta trim, a recessed panel and paired Roman arched windows in the second story. A pediment with l'oeil-de-boeuf and scrollwork complete the buildings. The central entrance is through an elliptical arch that has an oversized acantus leaf decorated keystone. Above this is a large terra-cotta tablet with the building's title."(20)

Continue to the Matheson Early Administration 1905-1908