In 1915, the Board of Trustees commissioned architect Dr. William P. Laird, Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, to design a pathway forward toward expansion; a plan that would encompass the spirit of "A Greater Muhlenberg." At the time, there were 285 students in the main college, 167 in the Allentown Preparatory School, and 820 attending the Extension School.
President John A. W. Haas, primary visionary of this plan, detailed the prospects and impetus for Muhlenberg's growth in a letter published in the Muhlenberg Weekly on December 1, 1915. Laird's plans, he said, would provide "for the development of a campus which will surpass that of any small college in the East."
The plans that we share here were displayed broadly; the Weekly mentions them being viewable in the window of Allentown's Shimer & Weaver, a carpet and drapery shop, in the spring of 1916.
Dr. Haas and others relentlessly campaigned throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania in pursuit of the funds needed to complete the plan. Most sorely needed was a science building; since the beginnings of the Chew Street campus in 1904, scientific classwork had been carried out in the Power House. Ultimately, the Science Building (now Trumbower) was the first new building to commence in 1924.