The Olive Tree
Dedicated in 1968, Nutting Hall has been a recognizable feature on the south side of campus for nearly thirty-five years. Nutting's unique exterior facade and beautiful wood-laden interior make it a memorable place for those who have passed through its heavy wooden doors. The original design concept was for the building to be a show place for wood. As a result, 27 different species of wood were utilized in the construction. Most woods used are from trees native to Maine forests like white pine, red maple, birch, and balsam fir. However, more exotic species like cypress, hickory, and pecan contribute to this impressive collection. Forest management groups, wood products manufacturing companies, and friends of the University donated much of this interior wood. Sculptures and other forestry related objects have also been donated over the years, and are displayed in the building's lobby and hallways.
The unique features of Nutting Hall quickly become apparent after one realizes the building is constructed almost entirely of wood. Walls are covered in wood paneling, wooden frames surround every door, and the stairs leading to Nutting's second level are made of heavy wooden planks. Wood can be found in every aspect of the building's construction, but the most striking feature of Nutting Hall is its main lobby. Here, four large wooden columns rise towards the ceiling, each one diverging into four separate limbs as they approach their peak, giving the lobby the appearance of a grove of trees, and creating the atmosphere of a forest within the confines of a man-made space.
The wooden interior is appropriate for a building designed to house the School of Forest Resources. Formed in 1903, it is the oldest continuously accredited forestry program in the country. Last October the school celebrated its centennial in Nutting's lobby, bringing together forestry alumni, professors, and current forestry students. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a new wooden sculpture, which will remain in the building's lobby among other forestry related artifacts that have been donated over the years.
Currently Nutting Hall is on the waiting list for the University's adopt-a-building program, which seeks to maintain unique and important university buildings.
Home | Olive Tree | Summer 2004