Giant, 1960's Era Thermostat System Salvaged From Former Library

Apr 29, 2014

An enormous, 49-year-old, whole building thermostat control panel in the basement of the former Haydon Burns library will be salvaged and displayed by the company that built it.

International energy technology company Johnson Controls will reinstall the control panel at its offices on Jacksonville's Southside.

Built in 1965, the control system will be removed as the former library undergoes renovations. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a national philanthropic organization, purchased the building in 2013 and is currently converting it into offices and a meeting space.

"It will be a good way of showing how our systems have migrated through the years, from this huge control panel to the tools we use today to manage systems," said Johnson Controls account executive Rich Jeffers.

According the Jessie Ball duPont Center's blog, the roughly 15-foot wide control system was state of the art when it was first installed, allowing technicians to monitor all aspects of the chilled water cooling system as well as the heating, drinking water, fuel, air pressure and sewage systems for the roughly 110,000-square-foot, three-story building.

“When our general manager saw the picture [of the panel] he said he wanted it,” Jeffers said. “He did not hesitate a minute. He’s something of a control systems enthusiast."

Johnson Controls invented the first electric room thermostat in 1885. Today it has 170,000 employees and operates in 150 countries.

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