Built in 1896 and located on the current site of Gordon Hall, the Mechanical Laboratory was a large wood-frame building used by engineering students as a machine shop. When it first opened it also held a primitive gymnasium, which created a minor campus squabble.
Right after the building was finished, students became disgruntled at the small space allotted for the gym by engineering professor Nathan Dupuis. In revenge, they poked fun at the overly dignified name he had given the building by painting the words "Tool House" in huge letters across one wall.
Dupuis took this as a personal insult and threatened to resign if the culprits did not step forth. They did not, and Dupuis eventually let the matter drop. The name, however, stuck and the building was commonly known as the Tool House or the Tool Shed until it was demolished in 1961 to make way for the building of the Frost Wing, which eventually became part of Gordon Hall (until it was torn down in early 2000s).