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The view along the University of Missouri-Columbia's iconic quadrangle is going to change.

Pickard Hall, on the east side of Francis Quadrangle, just north of the columns, will be torn down, according to a university press release. 

The building was finished in 1892. During the first part of the 20th Century, the chemistry department used the building. One professor, Hermann Schlundt, and others experimented with radium for about 20 years in the hall's basement. 

Professors conducted experiments with other kinds of naturally occurring radioactive materials as well.

University officials closed areas of the basement, and have monitored the building for the last 50 years. 

But because of the cost of abating the radioactivity in parts of the building, discussed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for more than 10 years, officials have decided to tear it down. Once the NRC approves demolition plans, it will have to be completed within two years.

A 2011 document states that the commission found the university took appropriate actions to restrict areas of the building. That work included encapsulating some areas of the basement that had residual radioactivity and soil removal on areas outside the building as well. 

“The Francis Quadrangle is iconic — not just to our university, but to the entire state. We are committed to maintaining the historic nature of the quadrangle, now and in the future,” said Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright.

The university plans to build a new structure at the site.

This article originally ran on

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