The cupola that sits atop Kent Chemical Laboratory
is gleaming more brightly these days, thanks to a 2002 refurbishing.
According to Barry O’Quinn, the University’s supervisor
of sheet metal, roofing, and masonry, the cupola, composed of clay
tiles and plain and lead-coated copper, is used to ventilate the
area below—a large circular lecture hall that once did double
duty as a chapel.
The dome is one of many ornate details
gracing the research building, designed by architect Henry Ives
Cobb, also responsible for Cobb Lecture Hall, Snell Hall, and many
of the quads’ other Gothic structures. Chicago grain speculator
and businessman Sidney A. Kent donated $235,000 to construct the
Photo by Dan Dry
generous slice of sky above Kent's newly renovated cupola.