The First Building

Below: Photograph of the first building constructed for Hopkins Seaside Laboratory in 1892, perched on a seaside bluff in Pacific Grove, California.

At the time of the opening ceremony, this two-story building, the most prominent feature of the surrounding neighborhood, provided teaching accommodations for fifty students. The structures many windows, a total of ninety-six, provided for the admittance of a welcomed abundance of light. (5) According to Franz Doflein, a visiting scientist from University of Munich, Germany, during the summer of 1898, the redwood lumber used as the building material, provided a pleasant smell and proved to be extremely fireproof. (6)

On the first floor of this building were two general laboratories, a storeroom, and a library room. (7) Also, on the first floor were seven aquaria, along with various glass jars and vessels, used for the study of smaller animals. (8) On the second floor was positioned a third general laboratory running the entire length of the building, (9) facing eastward toward the city of Monterey, and six private laboratories for investigators, facing westward toward Santa Cruz and the outer Monterey Bay. (10) As with the first floor laboratories, the general and private laboratories on the second floor were furnished with aquaria. (11) The running seawater, plumbed to each of the aquaria positioned throughout the building, was procured from a location that guaranteed the source to be pure (i.e. unpolluted). (12) This single building, standing precariously on the bluff of Point Aulon, alone served as the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory during the first two regular summer sessions of 1892 and 1893.

As previously mentioned, a year after the opening the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory a severe winter storm damaged this one existing building. (13) Timothy Hopkins again came forward to bear the expense of repairs to the structure. To provide additional support and help stabilize the building, bracing in the form of two buttressed logs positioned at each of the four corners of this first building. (14) These buttressed logs were left in place to support the building for the next 24 years.

(5) Jenkins, Oliver Pebbles (1893). The Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Zoe, 4: 58-63.

(6) Doflein, Franz. (1900). Von den Antillen zum fernen Westen: reiseskizzen eines naturforschers. XII. Kapitel Die Meeresfauna von Kalifornien.

(7) Howard, Donald M. (1999). The Old Pacific Grove Retreat: A Business-Biography History, 1875-1940, [s.n.]: Monterey Peninsula Historiography Press : Donald Howard, 1999.

(8) Jordan, David Starr (1892). The Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Science. 20 (496) 76-77.

(9) MacFarland, F. M. (1902). The Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Journal of Applied Microscopy and Laboratory Methods. 5 (7) 1869-1875.

(10) Madden, A.G. (1898). The Marine Biological Laboratory at Pacific Grove. The Overland Monthly 27: 208 -215.

(11) Jenkins, Oliver Pebbles (1893). The Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. Zoe, 4: 58-63.

(12) Ibid.

(13) Elliott, Orrin Leslie (1937). Stanford University - The First Twenty Five Years 1891-1925. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

(14) Ibid.