The NAS Building

The Lecture Room and the Board Room

To the right of the main entrance, on the east front of the building, is the Lecture Room, now used for meetings and lectures, but originally designed to permit the demonstration of actual laboratory experiments. Its walnut paneled walls have the same columnar motif as the Library and Members' Room. Restored and modernized in 1981, the room is equipped with excellent lighting and acoustical facilities. Of interest are the marquetry on the exterior of the sound booth and grilles near the ceiling, which function as part of the ventilation system. They are in the form of elaborate knots of the type favored by Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer.

Beyond the Lecture Room, at the easternmost part of the building, is the Board Room, of the same size and proportion as the Members' Room at the west end of the building and similar in design. The painting by Albert Herter above the marble fireplace depicts President Abraham Lincoln with the founders of the Academy signing the Academy charter of March 3, 1863. Herter's lifelong interest in tapestry is reflected in his choice of a tapestry as background for the painting. Left to right: Benjamin Peirce, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph Henry, Louis Agassiz, Lincoln, Henry Wilson, Charles H. Davis, and Benjamin Apthorp Gould.

Another feature of the room is the electrolier, a globe-shaped ceiling fixture representing the world painted in accordance with ancient concepts, notably Leonardo da Vinci's map dated 1515.

Read More:

... A Temple of Science  Recognition of Need  The Architect  The Setting and the Grounds  Description of the Building  The Façade  The Window Panels  The Doors  The Main Foyer and the Great Hall  The Library and the Members' Room  The Lecture Room and the Board Room  The Wings  The Auditorium  The Albert Einstein Memorial

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith

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