John Saylor Coon Building

  • Completed: 1972
  • Houses the School of Psychology

The John Saylor Coon building was originally built in 1912 and is the second oldest structure on the Georgia Tech campus. As part of the 12-building area listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Coon building resides on the western edge of the Georgia Institute of Technology Historic District. When it was built, the then-Mechanical Engineering building was the first extension onto Tech's nine-acre campus. Erected in five stages, the building took from 1912 all the way until 1938 to look like it does today. This building, which now houses the School of Psychology, was dedicated to Coon when the school opened following his retirement, and is now named the "John Saylor Coon Psychology Building." Although he was a mechanical engineer, it was appropriate to name the psychology building after Coon because of his great focus on ethics while he was a professor. 

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Honorary - Coon became a professor at Georgia Tech at 1889, appointed just one year after Tech's doors opened. he was the first Mechanical Engineering Professor at Georgia Tech and began his 35 year career. In 1896, he became superintendent of shops. During his career at Tech, he became one of the founders of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Coon's emphasis on practical experience eventually developed into the Cooperative Education Program in 1912, which is now one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

John Saylor Coon

The first chair of the mechanical engineering department was John Saylor Coon who was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Coon worked in the mining and minerals industry before becoming a professor at the University of Tennessee in 1888 and later at Georgia Tech in 1889. Coon also eventually became superintendent of the commercial Tech shops. Because of his great contributions from his research, teaching, and duties as a department chair, his impact on the university is still felt to this day.