Original Schematic for Abbott Dining Hall by Thaete, 1962
Doors into the kitchen, ca. 1963
Gathering food from the kitchen, ca. 1963
Consisting originally of five dining rooms in addition to an industrial kitchen, Abbott Dining Hall's floor plan juts out at a southwestern angle from Upper House. The main dining space was intended for the School's Fifth Form and measured 36 x 87 feet with floor-to-ceiling windows which had embedded glass doors leading to a flagstone patio on its southwestern-facing wall. “Paneled and colorfully decorated,” this large eating area had a sophisticated interior but was designed to serve family-style meals, which had been a hallmark for the School. Two centrally located doors on the northeastern wall led from the main dining area into a small serving space where students could retrieve food within the industrial kitchen. The kitchen was equipped with three refrigerators, a separate dry storage room and two pantries, a loading dock with a designated trash area, office space for kitchen personnel, and linen storage, in addition to cooking and prep stations. The kitchen was linked to a designated employee eatery with seating for twenty-two which was located directly north of the cooking area and accessed via a small corridor. No sooner had the facility opened than it was recognized that not enough space had been provided for employees to eat. By February 1963 the kitchen office was reconfigured as an additional eating area for the "office staff from the administration building" and named the Evans Room after Albert R. Evans (1884-1971), the former School Treasurer. Housing for the kitchen staff was created in the building's southeastern portion of the basement. Slightly more opulent was the third dining room, located at the structure's western-most point and containing 24 seats, which was intended for the Head Master's business purposes. (Following the room's completion, it was also used for small faculty luncheon meetings.) Located opposite the Head Master's dining room in the southeastern-most section was the fourth dining area, which was designated for off-campus faculty and sat 28. The final eating area was intended for visiting athletic teams and was named the Prentiss Room in honor of Athletic Director Lory Prentiss (1867-1960). It was located along the eastern corridor which led towards the Fathers Building. The dining hall was officially dedicated in honor of Head Master Mather Almon Abbott's unwavering support of the "Lords of Upper" in 1963.