From the time of completion, for more than six decades, utilization of Memorial Hall's lower level was limited to kitchen, storage and mechanical space and restrooms. In 1940, the area beneath Sanders theatre was rebuilt to house a new Psycho Acoustic Laboratory which did secret research on noise reduction and communications in combat vehicles and aircraft. The lower level of Memorial Hall served as the locale for B.F. Skinner's early experiments with conditioned behavior, and early sonar experimentation. In 1946, the rest of the lower level was renovated to provide laboratories, an animal room, classrooms, a lecture hall, and a library for the newly reorganized psychology department, which remained there until 1964 when William James Hall was completed. Thereafter, until the opening of Loker Commons in 1996, approximately twenty student organizations and administrative units maintained offices under the hall while WHRB operated in the east end of the lower level.
Loker Commons went under renovations again in the spring of 2006 and reopened in April 2007. Loker Commons consists of three music practice rooms, a Fly By lunch area for upperclassmen, the Cambridge Queen's Head Pub, as well as the already existing classrooms and administrative offices.
Photo credit: Steve Rosenthal