In itself a gesture towards funding the University a little better and a tribute to the advocacy of Vice-Chancellor Priestley, the new Chemistry building also represented a major realignment within the University grounds. The original location of the chemistry school reflected its close alignment with medicine, but the new building was placed centrally for the convenience of students studying science, engineering, agriculture and botany as well. The Lake had lost is charm; its filling allowed the siting of Chemistry on an east-west axis on the south side of the lake area, next to Geology.
The curved path that once swept along the shore line was straightened to become Masson Road. The building was modernist in style, but the straw-coloured bricks matched those of the Old Museum/Union building to the west.
Professor Hartung himself designed the interiors and laboratories, supervised much of the work and managed to save £6,000 which could be used for equipment.
The building began in October 1939 and was ready for classes to commence in 1940.