Chronology:Downtown Troy Expansion: Late 19th Century Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus: 1864-1904
- In use by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: 1887-1912
During the 1889 mid-winter alumni meeting in Pittsburgh, New York State geologist James Hall (Class of 1832) announced the gift of his fossil collection to the alumni association. An alumni house was immediately conceived of to house the collection. The trustees proceeded to secure "one of the most eligible locations in Troy - the Roberts property on Second Street just north of the Savings Bank Building" (The Polytechnic, February 22, 1890). The building, designed by alums Wilson Brothers and Co. of Philadelphia, was completed in 1893. The lower portion of the structure was faced with brownstone and the upper with yellow brick and terra-cotta. It contained offices, lecture rooms, a library and cabinet rooms for Hall's collection. The building was sold in 1915 to the Young Men's Hebrew Association. It now houses offices of the First Niagara Bank.