When the $475,978 Administration Building, surrounded by stately American Elm trees, opened in 1959 some considered it a fine example of American modern architecture. The building wasn’t designed to compete for attention among its stately neighbors, most notably its nearest neighbor Davis Hall.
The building, however, was not without its detractors. President Horn questioned whether the building was large enough for its administrative offices. There were also complaints about the afternoon sun coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows and overheating the first floor.
The building housed the offices of University Presidents, Provosts, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, General Counsel, and Enrollment Services.
In 1971, a group of students took over the Administration Building, protesting the lack of diversity and the recent decision to cut funding for the Talent Development Program. The protest was ultimately successful in securing funding for the program for subsequent years.
The building was renamed Albert E. Carlotti Administration Building, to honor the former chair of the Board of Governors for Higher Education in 1987. When a renovated Green Hall reopened in 2003, the presidential offices were moved there.
Today Carlotti’s tenants include the Transportation Center and Payroll Department on its ground floor. The accounting, controller, compliance, and Vice President of Administration offices occupy the first floor, and affirmative action, A financial lab and the Vice President of Research and Economic Development offices occupy the second floor.
The stately buildings ringing the University of Rhode Island’s Quadrangle helped shape the story of the institution. Here, on the occasion of URI’s 125th Anniversary, we present you with a narrative behind the walls of that historic timeline.
**Much of the historic data in this article was culled from information provided by the late Sandy Taylor, a champion of historic preservation and land conservation, who served as University Architect from 1987 until his retirement in 2005. We are also deeply indebted to students enrolled in Catherine DeCesare’s history class last fall who provided additional information. DeCesare is a history coordinator, academic advisor, and lecturer. Finally, we would like to thank Mark Dionne, Archives and Special Collections, for his patience and vast knowledge.