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ablarc
August 17th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Princeton tops U.S. News rankings, again

By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer

Princeton holds the top spot in the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings, the eighth straight year the private, New Jersey school has either tied or held the top slot outright.

Just like last year, Princeton was followed by Harvard at No. 2 and Yale at No. 3 in the controversial rankings. As usual, a few schools moved up or down a slot, but there were no major changes. Stanford was No. 4, followed by Cal Tech and the University of Pennsylvania tied for fifth.

Williams and Amherst were the highest-ranked liberal arts colleges.
New this year: The magazine has included the service academies. The U.S. Naval Academy is ranked No. 20 in the liberal arts college category, and the U.S. Military Academy is No. 22. The U.S. Air Force Academy leads the list of "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the western region.

The formula for the rankings includes variables such as graduation and retention rates, faculty and financial resources, and the percentage of alumni donating money to their alma mater. The biggest single variable — and the most controversial — is a reputation assessment by peer institutions.

The top 10 national universities were:

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University

3. Yale University

4. Stanford University

5. California Institute of Technology

University of Pennsylvania (tie)

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

8. Duke University

9. Columbia University

University of Chicago (tie)

* * *

FACTOID:

Setting aside entirely any question about the above list’s validity, it’s striking that five out of ten of the top campuses are characterized by Gothic architecture.

Are even one percent of American colleges in general built in the Gothic style?

Fabrizio
August 17th, 2007, 07:57 AM
Food for thought: public buildings in the neo-classical style, universities in the gothic style. Why? What is the message that these styles convey?

ablarc
August 17th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Food for thought: public buildings in the neo-classical style, universities in the gothic style. Why? What is the message that these styles convey?
Not too hard to answer that question –and the fact that you ask the question shows you know the answer.

So do we all.

When a movie director wants to show the star entering an important public building, he has him climb the long flight of steps up to an august Beaux-Arts pile like the Supreme Court or New York’s Custom House –or a lesser Beaux-Arts building.

Our conditioning to see such buildings as important is almost Pavlovian. And why not? Their creators certainly thought of them as important; they designed the portentousness right in.

American Collegiate Gothic is a mostly 20th Century phenomenon, but it has almost as much grip on our minds. Three of the colleges on the above list –Princeton, Yale and Penn-- were founded in the Eighteenth Century and should by rights be Colonial in style. Each preserves a remnant from that era and Gothicized itself in the early years of the last Century –about the time the other two on the list were getting started: Duke and Chicago.

If you had asked either Duke’s president or his architect, Ralph Adams Cram, if they were consciously projecting an aura of ivory-tower scholarly quality with the design of their buildings, they would have responded with a resounding “Yes!” Oxford and Cambridge were the paradigm; and everybody knew these were the two best in the world. It was a veritable orgy of Anglophilia.

They imported not just the architectural style, but also the programs that gave rise to the style: the notion of decentralized academic units (“colleges”), which mixed dormitory functions with the academic and even the athletic. Each such unit featured its own dining hall, library, seminar rooms, faculty, endowments, heraldry, traditions, athletic teams (and even some facilities like squash courts).

They even cooked up coats of arms and heraldic devices to differentiate these colleges from each other, but the most brilliant touch was that all were built to enclose verdant gated courtyards walled off from the outside world to concretize the academic separation, the ivory tower, the sense of community, the monastic introspection…

If I could give a struggling college just one piece of advice to improve its standing, its alumni giving and the perceived quality of its academic program, I would say: “start building in the Gothic style.”

Worked for West Point and Wellesley.

ablarc
August 17th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Does it work the other way? If a campus becomes "less Gothic" -- adds buildings with modern architecture -- could the academic standing be perceived to be lowering?

Case in point: Enrique Norton's cylindrical glass academic building for Rutger University's historic New Brunswick campus:

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=135623&postcount=2
Yale, Penn and Princeton built interesting Modernist buildings while that style raged. These were remarkably compatible with their Gothic predecessors from day one. They projected a certain subtle medievalism through masonry heft and top-drawer design and build (think Rudolph, Saarinen and Kahn). Princeton just completed its first overtly Gothic college in ages: a harbinger of things to come?

As long as design is of such stellar quality, there's no damage to the aura of quality emittted by these campuses --even if the modern buildings come to be hated, as with Rudolph's Art and Architecture Building (a towering artwork however much it's scorned by philistines).

If it's junk, however ... well, junk is junk.

Don't know about Norten at Rutgers; insufficient info in the rendering and I don't really know the campus. At Duke, the modern stuff seems to degrade the swank.

ablarc
August 19th, 2007, 04:29 PM
Princeton surveyed its students and found the vast majority wanted to live in a Gothic college.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0010.jpg
Gothic digs at Princeton.

That was partly because Princeton had been building them modernist chefs-d’oeuvre to live in for decades. The modernist masterpieces now looked like this:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0020.jpg
Student accommodations by the highly original genius I.M. Pei.

Consequently the Administration adopted a new building policy. Henceforth the center of the campus --which includes all the undergraduate housing-- will be a Gothic zone to match the buildings loved by everyone save Modernist architects:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0012.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0014.jpg

Simultaneously Princeton would adopt the undergraduate college system, each college to have a dining hall, a library, and other common facilities. The student survey showed that’s what undergrads want. In the campus fringes: anything goes.

Construction has started on the first new Gothic college.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0030.jpg
Whitman College, Princeton.

Much of the money for Whitman College was donated by Meg Whitman, Chair of eBay. It’s designed by somewhat-talented revivalist and Driehaus Prize winner, Demetri Porphyrios:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0040.jpg

A polemicist for neo-tradional building methods, Porphyrios’ practiced up at Oxbridge:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0042.jpg.http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0044.jpg

The result was pretty good.

Once known as forward-looking and eclectic-friendly, famed pluralist Frank Gehry growled that in this day and age an institution of higher learning should have no truck with traditional architecture; and Robert Venturi, noncomformist mastermind of quasi-revivalist buildings that had once rankled his peers, piped up unexpectedly to agree. Traditional architecture, it seems, provides fodder for architectural comedy routines and riffs, but can’t legitimately be practiced unalloyed.

Porphyrios and Princeton are undeterred. Their building will easily last a thousand years. Only optimism about the future can explain such investment in the long term. Reassuring, that; don’t you think it speaks subliminally to all who can see? It certainly conveys quality; this limestone is solid, not veneered concrete:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0050.jpg
Whitman College: solid stone dining hall under construction, 2007. Complete with heraldry.

.

ablarc
August 19th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Number-One-ranked Princeton has flown the Modernist coop; no longer thrilled by the likes of Pei and Gwathmey, its apostate turnabout might topple distant dominoes in Tulane and Stanford. Already Duke and others are tearing down or recladding Modernist buildings --some driven by aesthetics, others seeking longevity and lower maintenance. A well-built building:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0110.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0140.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0230.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0170.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0190.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0220.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0240.jpg

photos by John Massengale

Declares Porphyrios’ fellow-traveler, the traditionalist architect John Massengale: “Architects now, while saying that they are promoting the new and the different, are actually fighting for things to remain the same.”

New and different has become the same old thing; sometimes you have to go back to the future --particularly if you’re in a dead end.

http://massengale.typepad.com/venustas/2004/03/whos_afraid_of_.html

Continues Massengale: ‘Modernism was the cultural expression of a good deal of the second half of the 20th century, but we’re in the 21st century now, and for most Americans Modernism is just a style – not a lifestyle or an ideology. It’s normal today to work in a high-tech office and go home at night to a new Traditional Neighborhood...

In a recent article ... the San Francisco Chronicle’s architecture critic talked about a new survey of the hipper-than-hip twenty-somethings in Silicon Valley. “They all want their own computer and a plasma television, but at the same time they also love the traditional look ... ‘We’re working in high-tech impersonal settings all day; we want to go home to Grandma’s house.’ That was the exact phrase one used.”’

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0150.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0152.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0155.jpg

ablarc
August 19th, 2007, 04:35 PM
Porphyrios’ original schematic model:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0200.jpg

His original, more anbitious detailing before value engineering:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0210.jpg

Lauritzen family funds Whitman College dormitory

by Eric Quinones

The Lauritzen family of Omaha, Neb., has made a $5.5 million gift to fund the construction of an imposing new gothic dormitory within Whitman College, Princeton University's newest residence complex.

The gift comes from Bruce R. Lauritzen, a member of the class of 1965, a prominent Nebraska philanthropist, chairman of First National Bank of Omaha.

The new dormitory, to be named Lauritzen Hall, will overlook the large lower courtyard of Whitman College. Whitman is the first of Princeton's colleges to be built from the ground up rather than pieced together from existing structures.

As part of a major reorganization of Princeton's residential college system, the college will include students from all four undergraduate classes as well as graduate students.

"This splendid gift brings us closer to the day when we can welcome an expanded student body to a new residential college system that will strengthen the academic and social ties within our University community," said President Shirley M. Tilghman...

"Princeton offers the finest undergraduate education in the country," said Bruce Lauritzen. "Our family's goal is to see that the University not only maintains that excellence but even strengthens it going forward."...

Whitman College, designed in collegiate gothic style by noted architect Demetri Porphyrios, is under construction between Baker Rink and Dillon Gymnasium and scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2007. The new college will make possible an 11 percent increase in Princeton's undergraduate student body, from about 4,600 to 5,100.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0245.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0250.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0255.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0265.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0300.jpg

ablarc
August 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM
http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0500.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0700.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0800.jpg

How it will look in about a thousand years:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0950.jpg

The best of all American Gothic campuses, because the most urban (not Princeton):

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0960.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/1007.jpg

Fabrizio
August 19th, 2007, 05:17 PM
Thank you for posting this. It is surprising. I had not heard of this.

I am lucky to live in a late medieval structure. The real thing, not a revival. The building itself is like a museum and one of these days I will get around to posing more photos. The architecture does have its effect on how you live and I do believe it is conducive to study and reflection.

This is the common area that leads to the apartments. See the family crest. And a shot of the entrance. My office is also in this building underground! It is where I am writing from.

ablarc
August 19th, 2007, 06:46 PM
^ Transcendently beautiful.

Luca
August 20th, 2007, 09:27 AM
1. Ablarc: thanks for the images; as always, a cogent and trenchant anaylisys, too.

2. Fabrizio: the reason you hadn't heard about this is that full-on classical/traditional architecture, while making inroads, is very inimical to and despised by the starchitectural establishment. You will never see an article about this sort of building in a mainstream architectural amgazine except eprhaps as a scathing critique.

3. Ablarc again: I think your many posts here and elsewhere could populate a very, very good architecture blog/website. You owe it to the public!! :D

NoyokA
August 20th, 2007, 01:01 PM
NYC's Gothic University:

http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/public_safety/Graphics/panoramic.jpg

ManhattanKnight
August 20th, 2007, 02:18 PM
You will never see an article about this sort of building in a mainstream architectural amgazine except eprhaps as a scathing critique.



I don't know about those, but Whitman College was discussed 5 years ago in a Times piece in which William Mitchell, dean of the architecture school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton's approach ''silly'' and ''stultifying.''
Dean Mitchell described Princeton's choice as ''roughly the equivalent of requiring all e-mail to be written in Shakespearean English'' and said it signaled ''an astonishing lack of interest in architecture's capacity to respond innovatively and critically to the conditions of our own time and place.'' [I]Dorm Style: Gothic Castle vs. Futuristic Sponge, N.Y. Times, Nov. 20, 2002.

Whitman College is a small part of a greater campus expansion at Princeton that is dominated by the likes of Geary and Piano, and its architecural neo-gothic "silliness" is probably due more to the whims of its largest donor than a wave of antediluvian sentiment flowing from Nassau Hall. An older WNY thread discusses much of this stuff:

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9218

ablarc
August 20th, 2007, 04:56 PM
William Mitchell, dean of the architecture school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [is quoted as calling] Princeton's approach ''silly'' and ''stultifying.''[INDENT]Dean Mitchell described Princeton's choice as ''roughly the equivalent of requiring all e-mail to be written in Shakespearean English'' and said it signaled ''an astonishing lack of interest in architecture's capacity to respond innovatively and critically to the conditions of our own time and place.''
This is silliness of another stripe; the uncritical acceptance of weighty, 19th Century Teutonic Zeitgeist dogma: historical determinism. You can recognize this for the nonsense it is by noting that in history's hindsight, anything that actually occurrred was inevitable --because you can (of course) explain it.

This explains the "inevitability" of such well-known revivals as the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Gothic, Classical and Modernist Revivals. Here's the inevitability of Princeton's Gothic dorms: you get bored with and sick of anything after a while, and the students --having grown up with dull Modernist buildings-- are ready for a change.

Mitchell is a shallow thinker; this is just the kind of received wisdom you'd expect him to spew. Not incidentally, he illustrates one of the reasons MIT has a second-tier architecture program.

Jasonik
August 21st, 2007, 09:07 AM
American University Architecture (http://www.oldandsold.com/articles28/art-6.shtml)
( Originally Published 1914 )
Likely by Ralph Adams Cram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Adams_Cram)


It was really Cope and Stewardson's work at Princeton that set the pace, however, and so beautiful was it, so convincing as to the possibilities of adapting this perfect style to all modern scholastic requirements, that the Princeton authorities, with a wisdom beyond their generation, passed a law that for the future every building erected there should follow the same general style. "Seventy-nine" Hall, Patton, McCosh, and the Gymnasium followed in quick succession ; then came the great Palmer Physical Laboratory, the Biological Laboratory -- Guyot Hall — Upper Pyne and Lower Pyne, and a little later, after I had become supervising architect, Campbell Hall, by my own firm, and the altogether wonderful quadrangles of Holder and Hamilton Halls, by Messrs. Day Brothers and Klauder, of Philadelphia. These latter buildings mark one of the very high points we have achieved in Collegiate Gothic in modern times. When the great quads are completed, we shall, I think, confront a masterpiece.

The most recent Princeton work is the great Graduate College my own firm is now building on the crest of a low hill, half a mile from the college campus, and commanding a gently sloping lawn of about eighty acres. This new college is, of course, only for graduate students; it has an endowment of over half a million pounds; it is conceived and organized on the most liberal, cultural, and scholastic lines, far away, indeed, from the popular schemes of "vocational" training; and it should go far toward restoring the balance in favour of sound learning and noble scholarship. The plan shows only the work now in hand, the first quad, with the great hall and its kitchens, together with the Cleveland Tower, which is a national memorial to one of our greatest Presidents, who spent his years, after retiring from office, in Princeton, as a trustee of the university and a devoted friend of the new Graduate College on the lines that had been determined by its Dean, Dr. West. At present the placing of the great tower seems a little too like that of the Victoria Tower at Westminster to be wholly satisfactory, but in some distant future a second quadrangle will be constructed to the south and east, containing the Chapel, the Library, and quarters for Fellows, which will restore the tower itself to the centre of the composition. Some day, also, a third quad will be developed to the northeast, and then the group will be complete, for the Dean's lodgings, with their private gardens, to the southwest of the great hall, are already under construction.

Jasonik
August 21st, 2007, 10:26 AM
Princeton Campus Plan (http://www.princeton.edu/campusplan/index.html)

Princeton Campus History (http://etcweb.princeton.edu:80/Campus/story_start.html)

ManhattanKnight
August 21st, 2007, 10:36 AM
^^Cram's Princeton Graduate College:

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7950/pugradcollegetq0.jpg

Except for one addition to the north side of the college, upper center, Cram's expansion plans were never realized; his tribute to "one of our greatest Presidents," Cleveland Tower, center right, still stands at the edge, not the center of his composition. Though built with the same stone as the original, the 1960s-era New Graduate College dormitories, upper left, do not even attempt to mimic Cram's work.

The interior of Cram's Procter (dining) Hall, lower center, above:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7783/procterhallgj8.jpg

Ninjahedge
August 21st, 2007, 01:39 PM
That is a nice hall!!


But where's Harry Potter going to sit?

ablarc
August 21st, 2007, 05:08 PM
^ Yeah, and the Bozo who replaced the original tables got the color of the wood wrong.

Luca
August 22nd, 2007, 08:44 AM
^^Cram's Princeton Graduate College:

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7950/pugradcollegetq0.jpg



Look at the modern additions in teh upper left-hand corner. Just out of curiosity, is it humanly possible that anyone not immersed in the priesthood of starchitecture agiography could consider them to be anything but vastly inferior to the original?

RandySavage
August 22nd, 2007, 06:17 PM
Very interesting stuff, especially the Whitman College development.

My sister went to Trinity College in Hartford and that has some very fine gothic architecture:

http://www.andrewcusack.com/amgoth2.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/38/91971338_1ca31dce10.jpg?v=0

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1390/1011701398_83b6bffa25.jpg?v=0

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 08:13 PM
Look at the modern additions in the upper left-hand corner. Just out of curiosity, is it humanly possible that anyone not immersed in the priesthood of starchitecture hagiography could consider them to be anything but vastly inferior to the original?
Why go back just to the “original” of the 20th Century? What about the original originals --the ones in Cambridge and Oxford? Can it be that university architecture has been going downhill for 650 years?

Here’s a quote from a forumer at ArchitecturalBoston, where this thread also appeared:


I had the bad luck (or perhaps it was Princeton's) of visiting Princeton for the first time shortly after a trip to Oxford. Even though much of Oxford gothic is fake as well, the Americans have only ever managed a pale imitation. American gothic campuses are gray and cramped by comparison

PRINCETON:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0010.jpg

Gray, to be sure.

But cramped? There is too much space, and it’s all the same and average. Compared with Cambridge, the spaces are shapeless, unmodulated, monotonous, unvaried, suburban and weakly-defined.

And yet ... yes, cramped. I can see why you felt that way. Desiccated by small thought, cramped because there’s no largesse. Banal, commonplace, flat, ho hum, lifeless, matter-of-fact, ordinary, pedestrian, predictable, prosaic, routine, tame, tedious, uncreative, uninspired, unoriginal, unromantic, usual.

And the space leaks from here to Timbuktu. There’s simultaneously too much space and too little space. This is the suburbs after all, and that means you’re really always in the same space.

And as elsewhere in Suburbia ... there are even parking lots!

By contrast,

CAMBRIDGE:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0020.jpg
A variety of spaces, some huge, some tiny, some channels of space, but all defined. The buildings stretch to the limits of their lots, gulping space. That is the urban condition. None of the space is leaky or infinite; that would be the suburban condition. You’ll find that aplenty in Princeton.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0030.jpg
Likewise the landscaping is neither standardized nor perfunctory. Some courts are treeless (the architecture’s beauty suffices; others are choked with trees; and yet others feature a central bosk.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0040.jpg
Town meets gown intimately and irregularly, as in Harvard Square. Redheads mixed with blondes (some platinum).

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0050.jpg
Though building footprints may vary, the scale does not. Whether gown or town, there’s a fine busyness of articulation that bans the dreary and the oppressive --except maybe in the two modernist courtyards toward the upper right? Vertical bands, horizontal bands … Why do we need bands at all?

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0060.jpg
Organic, huh? A thousand vacuoles, all breathing.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0070.jpg
An essay in scale: the King’s chapel paltrifies a classical façade just beyond that elsewhere would seem mighty. Here you can take delight that it’s mighty diminutive in its setting. (Note the market in the square at far right.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0080.jpg
Zooming out a bit…

With great aplomb, Powell and Moya’s riverside modernist college addition walks the rope between space making and modernist spatial ideology:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0090.jpg

It partly defines a courtyard and partly flaunts itself as a free-standing object:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0100.jpg

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 08:15 PM
Below, the very definition of landscape architecture. Is there anything even remotely comparable at Princeton?

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0110.jpg
Look: the landscape is architecture, and the architecture landscape. Together they espouse a jagged skyline, rhythmic repeats, common mass and a squared-up blockiness to disburse in Eden ... quadrangular chambers with emerald floors.

And the willows weep contrapuntally right into the water.

Check out the spatial events greeting punters on that river.

Imagine the foliate gloom of both approaches to that little bridge.

Live vicariously the sequence from court with round green rug and mop of trees (center); then through the building by (doubtless) a vaulted passage; then burst to the great outdoors in all its ... dense and baffling shade! Relief comes brief above the luminosity of water, then back into the leafy tunnel on the bank beyond.

Do we even have the courage in this country to let a tree touch a building? We do everything according to rules and “knowledge” to which we ascribe ironclad inviolability, and those rules are based on conventional wisdom. Little wonder, then, that our products are predictable, boring, uninspired ...

To finish, check out the elaborate composition of verdure in the upper right; complicated by superfluous design, this part perhaps satisfies the least.


Funded by the king and regal in the simplicity of its parti, King’s College Chapel functions perhaps as England’s Taj Mahal:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0120.jpg
To my eye, this building has the most beautiful interior I’ve seen. Across the street: the commercial scrabble of High Street shops.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0130.jpg
Many Cambridge colleges occupy a swathe between a principal commercial street (left) and the River Cam (right). On the far side, a courtyarded Modernist college interacts with an arc of Gothic Revival (top right).

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0140.jpg
An aggregation of rental punts suggests the volume of picnic-bound river traffic on a sunny Sunday. Tourists and Cantabrigians alike avail themselves of these tricky boats. The oarsman stands in the rear like a gondolier and hopes he doesn’t fall. Of course the inexperienced regularly get themselves dunked –particularly if their pole gets stuck in the mud.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0150.jpg
Hoary with age, fine-grained medieval buildings fill both town and gown and contrast stylistically with a dignified temple front (far left). This faces some particularly diminutive cottages that give some idea of the urban texture of Cambridge in the Middle Ages.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0160.jpg
It appears that most of the medieval-looking stuff hereabouts is 19th Century. Some slightly jarring modern intrusions are also inserted.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0170.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0180.jpg
It’s not quite a banality-free zone; some of the stuff at right looks almost like public housing.

Gothic is all about poking into the sky:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0190.jpg

Gables galore:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0200.jpg

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 08:17 PM
Oxford exhibits a similar pattern:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0210.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0220.jpg

Not hard to spot where the botanists hang out:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0230.jpg

The zone of high architecture reaches a crescendo with Wren and Gibbs. Here buildings stand free as objects; you can walk completely around their rotund forms:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0240.jpg

Oxford in miniature, Eton, an elite primary and high school:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0250.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0260.jpg

The pattern superimposed on an American city’s grid, New Haven. Yale:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0270.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0280.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0290.jpg

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 08:19 PM
The pattern again …

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0300.jpg

…but in a different style:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0310.jpg
Hard to tell it’s not a model photo or rendering.

Stanford, another university in America’s top ten:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0320.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0330.jpg

Outwards from the center, things start to get less delightful, and rows of parked cars start to appear. But the primo abomination is the one with the flat roof. Even a mansard of red tile would have been better:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0340.jpg

Some buildings below are so perfunctory and uncaring that their architects should be shot. Summarily and without trial:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0350.jpg

Red roofs again, but this time in Gothic:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0360.jpg
University of Chicago, another top-rated.

Two vicious interlopers spoil every scene they’re part of. One sits at the end of an axis; at least that one has the decency to put on a rudimentary red hat. The other is totally void of redeeming characteristics:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0370.jpg

Across the street, the usual jumble of Modernist chaos. Where would you rather find yourself?:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0380.jpg

How could they have allowed a major axis to end so badly?:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0390.jpg

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 08:20 PM
Even worse. Not even the street is respected by arbitrary and uninteresting sculpture-making. Also a waste of space:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0400.jpg

Quadrangles in New York formed by free-standing Beaux-Arts chunks:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0410.jpg
Columbia, a top-tenner

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0420.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0430.jpg

The formula in Colonial clothes:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gothiccolleges/0500.jpg
Harvard. At least there’s a river, but it’s a far cry from the Cam.


Not that Princeton or Yale are ugly, far from it; on the whole, I like them better than Harvard's sea of pseudo-quasi-neo-Georgian. If you need a safe and humane style that will successfully project the brand, by all means, pile on the gargoyles. A lot of Modernism was just plain bad, but it was intellectually charged in the way that polite copies never are, Is it logically impossible to recapture that energy and innovation without repeating the mistakes? Can there not be a style that is pleasant and new? After all, Gothic was at some point. If I knew what it should be, I wouldn't be an armchair critic.
In fact, you'd be a genius. There have only been three styles in the entire history of Western architecture: classical, medieval and modern. Deco is modern with ornament, and Art Nouveau is pre-modern.


There's a sad, though not necessarily meaningful, symbolism in great universities choosing safety of faked antiquity over innovation.

Maybe it’s just fitting into a living tradition –like speaking English and wearing clothes. Maybe each of us should invent his own language and …

Fahzee
August 22nd, 2007, 08:35 PM
The best of all American Gothic campuses, because the most urban (not Princeton):

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/princeton/0960.jpg



Albarc -great essay. You make me want to go to grad school, just to walk among the buildings.

Quick question (and forgive my ignorance) - I had assumed that the above photo was U of Chicago, but after reading further and seeing the red roofs I'm guessing it isn't

is it Yale?

Edit: Nevermind - it is Yale. I should have looked closer at your Yale shots. my apologies

lofter1
August 22nd, 2007, 08:53 PM
Thanks, ablarc ...

Those Brits kick our US butts when it comes to lawn care, eh?

ablarc
August 22nd, 2007, 10:16 PM
My sister went to Trinity College in Hartford and that has some very fine gothic architecture:
Sure looks good.


You make me want to go to grad school, just to walk among the buildings.
You illustrate the point of the architecture.


Those Brits kick our US butts when it comes to lawn care, eh?
All that fine drizzle.

But when it comes to the compositions of greenery, it's freedom from tree ordinances. Can you imagine what a standard suburban tree ordinance would do to the landscape of Cambridge?

Jasonik
August 22nd, 2007, 11:38 PM
http://www.duke.edu/web/Archives/current/trumbauer_aerial-west.jpg
As planned.
http://www.duke.edu/web/Archives/current/oldestaerial.jpg
Under construction.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/80/259472628_36887509b7.jpg
Today.

ablarc
August 23rd, 2007, 06:56 AM
At Duke the crappy new stuff almost overwhelms the toney Gothic stuff at the core. Fortunately that's not what they feature in the brochures and promos.

My take on Duke: this is the one that wouldn't be on the list if not for the Pavlovian grip of all that Gothic on the minds of the folks who do the judging. It makes an impression you just can't shake.

If they're smart the Duke administration will follow Princeton's lead and go back to Gothic in their new buildings. I understand they're headed that way already.

Ninjahedge
August 23rd, 2007, 09:30 AM
OK, lets get something strait.

Gothic looks awesome for assembly halls and just about any classic course of study, but my experience has been that most do not offer the things needed for certain modern courses of study OR modern conveniences in terms of living arrangements.

They are getting better now, but the paucity of contractors and artisans that can still do these things (authentically, not prefab or stripped down modernist) is rampant.

Stanford had an awesome campus, but a lot of its developments were governed by who donated the money for them, and when and were they were built. The main campus was beautiful, but once you got out into the grad-dorms, you were lucky to find any modicum of style OR convenience (Look up Blackwelder and try and see what I am getting at...).

Columbia has always been awes om INSIDE its MAIN campus, and has some sort of cohesion that NYU sorely lacks.

As for these other universities, certain things about them are outstanding, but others... Oxford and Cambridge are just too crammed. Their styles were dictated, it seems, by what they could get and when. They made pretty good use of it, but it just seems very congested.

Princeton looks sprawley. They look like they wee trying to get a more "organic" look for the whole thing, but it looks like they did not plan things as a cohesive whole. They also look like they COULD have used a bit more constriction in their available land.

Also, the way that modern buildings are put right next to the classics is horrid. These schools should have at least SOME respect for these buildings and make those mal-fitted constructions be as invisible as possible if they are not matching.

Which brings me back to modern courses of study. While I love the Gothic architecture, it is hard to keep that room size and floor layout with the technological and lab requirements of todays science, technology and engineering curricula. There is almost no way to make a shake table, soils lab, or chem lab look pretty. They have some things that make it very difficult to do so. BUT, that does not resign them to the 1950-1970 aluminum/glass/brick flat-roofed constructions that they all seem to spawn from.

Has anyone seen a place that takes a modern course study and successfully incorporates it into buildings built no t only to accommodate them, but to satisfy the aesthetic guides of classic architecture?

RandySavage
August 23rd, 2007, 11:37 AM
Ablarc, thanks for a fantastic post. What a treat, and where else but WiredNewYork could one find such a richly illustrated photo-essay.

While Princeton might not stand up to Cambridge or Oxford, it is still one of the greatest American university campuses (if you disagree, try walking the grounds on a nice, late October day). Probably the only person who can fairly pass judgement is somebody who has studied at Cambridge or Oxford.

I applaud Princeton for knocking down the modernist crap that has sullied most US campuses and instituting the throwback neo-gothic style with Whitman College.

Fabrizio
August 23rd, 2007, 11:45 AM
Great thread.

I agree with Ninja. Gothic...modern... they both offer strong points...

My towns library was housed in its original ancient building building up until 6 months ago. See the photo on the left.

It is now housed in a converted factory with huge plate windows and big open spaces. Rendering on the right.

My own taste prefers the Gothic building...but they are different energies and both valid.



---

RandySavage
August 23rd, 2007, 08:15 PM
Has anyone seen a place that takes a modern course study and successfully incorporates it into buildings built no t only to accommodate them, but to satisfy the aesthetic guides of classic architecture?

Middlebury's Bicentennial Hall, the college's science center that opened in 1999, attempts to reflect the Vermont-granite-mill architectural style of the rest of the school and has state-of-the-art facilities:

http://www.middlebury.edu/NR/rdonlyres/597C5A03-C93A-451E-965D-7CD88DC68A47/0/bihall.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/49/193918378_09c59458c2_o.jpg

It tried to stay true to this style:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/1/409652_489a0611d4_b.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/54/182080016_f2004a43e5_o.jpg

An attempt at revivalism in some new dorms (Princeton did a much better job):
http://rjohara.net/images/varia/middlebury/rjo-2004-09-18-001a.jpg

GVNY
August 23rd, 2007, 08:50 PM
That looks terrible, unfortunately.

Ninjahedge
August 24th, 2007, 09:33 AM
The center looks better up close than from a distance (the texturing in the stone becomes more apparent). The only thing it lacks is detail on the high points.

It looks too "clean". The left hand (2nd photo) side whatchamacallit above the roof does not look like the traditional chimneys for the end-of-building fireplace, they just look like thin veneer/parapet like protrusions....


The dorm? They tried. It looks like they spent more $$ for some effects, but they did not spend them on the right ones. It looks like a cheap factory building or something....

lofter1
August 24th, 2007, 10:26 AM
A few trees to soften the edges and it will be OK ...

ablarc
August 24th, 2007, 11:43 AM
I like it.

A lot.

RandySavage
August 24th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Here is the early 19th century mill style of Middlebury's Old Stone Row that the new dorms tried to replicate:

http://www.stateuniversity.com/assets/logo/image/5824/large/Building.jpg

The new dorms do look better with some greenery and once the slanted roof is visible:
http://rjohara.net/images/varia/middlebury/rjo-2004-10-08-001a.jpg

Ninjahedge
August 24th, 2007, 02:46 PM
They need just a bit more relief I think.

Just because something is old, does not mean it was the best when it was built.

ablarc
August 24th, 2007, 03:27 PM
Just because something is old, does not mean it was the best when it was built.
Definitely not when it was built, but these days... ;)

No one builds this solidly any more except when consciously imitating antique structures.

Be grateful something of this quality is still being built.

Princeton's new college is another example.

ManhattanKnight
August 24th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Princeton's new college is another example.

Undoubtedly. But they sure don't make gargoyles like they used to (or do they?):

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/195/whitmangargoylecb3.jpg
Whitman College (Princeton) stoneyard. Follow the links HERE (http://www.indianalimestone.com/).

Jasonik
August 24th, 2007, 07:00 PM
Awesome find!

ablarc
August 24th, 2007, 07:01 PM
^ Also check out the Neo-Gothic Duke University projects on that same website.

Jasonik
August 24th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Duke's seems more tudor, twee and timid with its tacked on 'buttresses' than the Princeton work.

ablarc
August 26th, 2007, 10:27 AM
they sure don't make gargoyles like they used to (or do they?)
Here’s one from the Twenties, bearing scales of justice:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0010.jpg
Yale Law School.

It’s one of plenty that festoon this institution:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0020.jpg
Criminals in the middle, cop with cap and nightstick at right.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0025.jpg
Windbag prof and sacked-out students.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0030.jpg
”U R A Joke.”

Also at the Law School, distinguished jurists dignify the windows. Architect Rogers specified that workmen should randomly break panes in newly-installed windows and then repair them with lead. The patina of centuries compressed into a single day:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0070.jpg

More broken panes:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0080.jpg

The Age of Craftsmanship:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0090.jpg

Ornamental sensibility extends throughout these buildings:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0100.jpg

It’s obvious to the student that somebody cared:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0150.jpg

Makes you feel special. Folks who feel special might do special things.

Two of them became President. The wife of one of them --whom she met here-- is vying to be next.

ablarc
August 26th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Library entrance encrusted with talismans of wisdom (perhaps not strictly gargoyles):

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0180.jpg

Reverence and awe at the checkout desk:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0190.jpg

From the stacks you can play voyeur:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0195.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0196.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0197.jpg

Or you can stroll the cloister for inspiration to strike:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0200.jpg

...while contemplating the vaults of eternity (now equipped, alas, with fire-marshal clutter):

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0220.jpg

Framed views from the medieval Age of Scholarship:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0250.jpg

Trumbull College Master’s House entrance court:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0300.jpg
A previous master parked his MG-TD in this court. It completed the scene in racing green.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0320.jpg

ablarc
August 26th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Stage sets for monastic learning:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0350.jpg.http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0370.jpg

Clearly King’s Chapel, but also the Law Library. Study as worship:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0390.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0400.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0700.jpg.http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0800.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/gargoyles/0900.jpg



All photos by Altopower, Flickr.



More: http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9840

.

GVNY
August 31st, 2007, 05:48 PM
Beautiful creations.

ablarc
September 2nd, 2007, 11:06 AM
^^Cram's Princeton Graduate College:

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7950/pugradcollegetq0.jpg


Look at the modern additions in teh upper left-hand corner. Just out of curiosity, is it humanly possible that anyone not immersed in the priesthood of starchitecture agiography could consider them to be anything but vastly inferior to the original?
Neither Cram nor the other guy was doing starchitecture. They were both working in a vernacular.

ver•nac•u•lar [ver-nak-yuh-ler]
–noun
1. the native speech or language of a place.
2. the language or vocabulary peculiar to a class or profession.
3. the plain variety of language in everyday use by ordinary people.
4. a style of architecture exemplifying the commonest techniques, decorative features,
and materials of a particular historical period, region, or group of people.
5. any medium or mode of expression that reflects popular taste or indigenous styles.

Problem is: Modernism, the Vernacular of the present time sucks when used in its vanilla version. It does take a starchitect to make its desiccated vocabulary sing.

(And architects are fussed at if they adopt any other vernacular. "Not true to their time," cluck the fusspots.)

ManhattanKnight
September 2nd, 2007, 03:33 PM
I'm not immersed in any priesthood and don't consider that 60s addition by that "other guy" to be "vastly inferior" to Cram's Old Graduate College. Quite the contrary, actually (especially when viewed from the ground instead of a satellite). A few examples:

OLD GRADUATE COLLEGE (Left) -- NEW GRADUATE COLLEGE (Right)
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/5736/dscf1060zl5.jpg

NEW GRADUATE COLLEGE -- INTERIOR COURTYARD
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9003/dscf1055anm6.jpg

http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/663/dscf1057acm4.jpg

NEW GRADUATE COLLEGE -- EXTERIOR (Detail)
http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/6495/dscf1059bfk3.jpg

I'll take these deftly composed and detailed works in the International vernacular any day over some of Princeton's heavy-handed Neo-Gothic Revival clunkers adjacent to early 20th-Centuary beauties by Cram, such as FIRESTONE LIBRARY (just across the way from Cram's University Chapel and McCosh Hall):

http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/509/dscf1006arb8.jpg

FIRESTONE LIBRARY (with a pair of recent --underground-- additions, one of them sufficiently horrible to inspire someone to put up some shrubs in an unsuccessful effort to hide it from public view)
http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/3695/dscf1007wg1.jpg

ablarc
September 2nd, 2007, 07:29 PM
^ You're right, those look pretty good from eye level. Who was the architect? He was adept in the vernacular. ;)

ablarc
September 2nd, 2007, 08:58 PM
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9003/dscf1055anm6.jpg

http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/6495/dscf1059bfk3.jpg

I'll take these deftly composed and detailed works in the International vernacular any day
The new work's attractive partly because the International vernacular is nuanced with Gothic vernacular. Mixing styles is a sure way toward interest and contextual appropriateness. You can mix any styles.


over some of Princeton's heavy-handed Neo-Gothic Revival clunkers adjacent to early 20th-Centuary beauties by Cram
So, there were heavy-handed revivalists after Cram. Who were they? Can you post some of their work?


a pair of recent --underground-- additions, one of them sufficiently horrible to inspire someone to put up some shrubs in an unsuccessful effort to hide it from public view)

Grotesque. Campus NIMBYs must have demanded underground buildings. What utter mistrust of architecture that conveys!

Perhaps justified?

Would they have insisted on burying those buildings if they had been proposed as Gothic?

Hmm... troglodytic vaults. Might be onto something there...

Luca
September 4th, 2007, 07:25 AM
NEW GRADUATE COLLEGE -- EXTERIOR (Detail)
http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/6495/dscf1059bfk3.jpg


The (anodized?) metal "blades" hurt my eyes :eek:. They clash horribly with the almost natural-looking stonework. I don't like see-saw buildings and they tend to waste space inside.

How about the ways the building meets the sky? Flat roofs in rainy climates. {sigh}:rolleyes:

I call this kidn of look/style 50s high-price faux-sylvan. It's not as bad as the brutalist stuff..I'd put it up there with poorly done PoMo

ablarc
September 4th, 2007, 10:38 PM
Not all Gothic colleges are in the top ten. Lacking funds and perhaps visionary leadership, many have sprawled into bona fide chaos. Who could guess this was once a classy campus?:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/07.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/06.jpg
Parking lots and dorms that emulate public housing.

Unfortunately this has become the rule in recently-built parts of many American campuses. It must be enough to deter some from applying:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/05.jpg

But Boston College does in fact have something extremely valuable from the standpoint of branding. Buried deep within the clutter and garbage of the unrelievedly awful recent construction...

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/04.jpg

...it’s Gothic !!

That puts it in the elite company of Yale, Princeton, Duke, the University of Chicago...

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/03.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/02.jpg

Fortunately, the latest master plan shows BC returning to its Gothic roots:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/99.jpg

Land poor and hemmed in by hostile “community” activists, it could use a Gothic high-rise to maximize space utilization in emulation of New York or Hong Kong. As every architect knows, Gothic is happy to soar skyward:

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/00w.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/00x.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/bostoncollege/00.jpg

Now ^ that’s branding! ^

RandySavage
September 8th, 2007, 06:24 PM
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1259/1323821090_1ca8b9fa0c_b.jpg

This chap has posted a photo tour of the just opened Whitman College at Princeton.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12699537@N06/1323821090/in/set-72157601860414696/

ManhattanKnight
September 8th, 2007, 06:38 PM
^Including, I see, the Whitman College Common Room color-coordinated Barcalounger:

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/7540/whitmancollegebarcalounzq5.jpg

ablarc
September 8th, 2007, 11:33 PM
^ Architect can’t be held responsible for taste of the folks who furnish their living rooms.

He can be blamed, however, for the somewhat soulless and often clumsy design. Yet the construction quality is primo --better than 15 CPW, over which we cluck so approvingly.

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/020.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/030.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/040.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/045.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/050.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/060.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/062.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/065.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/070.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/080.jpg

ablarc
September 8th, 2007, 11:34 PM
http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/090.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/100.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/110.jpg

http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/130.jpg

Photos by chantaklaus, Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12699537@N06/1323821090/in/set-72157601860414696/

RandySavage
September 9th, 2007, 02:03 AM
Great quality at Princeton. The price tag on this project was immense ($170 million if I recall) and you can see that it was money well spent.

Duke's similar attempt at Gothic revivalism was much less costly ($40 million) and result is much, much less impressive. Duke's Keohane Quadrange (opened in 2002):
http://map.duke.edu/images/7795_1.jpg

Fabrizio
September 9th, 2007, 04:50 AM
Dreadful. Princeton is impeccable, but some of these others..... yikes... a very high kitsch factor.

Jasonik
September 9th, 2007, 08:20 AM
http://66.230.220.70/images/post/whitman/130.jpg

^ A barn that ignores precedent by making the hayloft door as big as the entrance.

Luca
September 11th, 2007, 11:56 AM
While the finish is fine and teh buildings will improve greatly with age, I find some of the Princeton stuff way short of gothic detailing. I mean, if you strip gothic of the detail it's pretty ho-hum, non?

Ninjahedge
September 11th, 2007, 04:25 PM
in some cases. But the setbacks, parapets and other construction schemes still made for some interesting layouts.

But the details help a LOT, without them your structure begins to look like a:

A) Prefab Kit
B) Barbie Funhouse
C) Cheap Imitation intended to fool those that do not know any better into buying it based on a pricetag and an attractive archetectural rendering.

;)

ablarc
October 10th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Duke's similar attempt at Gothic revivalism was much less costly ($40 million) and result is much, much less impressive. Duke's Keohane Quadrange...
Doesn't help that the landscaping is utterly chaotic. In fact it has not an iota of merit. Makes you wonder how anything so pointless could have been approved. Have they no eyes?

pianoman11686
December 3rd, 2007, 11:21 PM
At Duke the crappy new stuff almost overwhelms the toney Gothic stuff at the core. Fortunately that's not what they feature in the brochures and promos.

My take on Duke: this is the one that wouldn't be on the list if not for the Pavlovian grip of all that Gothic on the minds of the folks who do the judging. It makes an impression you just can't shake.

If they're smart the Duke administration will follow Princeton's lead and go back to Gothic in their new buildings. I understand they're headed that way already.

First of all: great thread ablarc. I regret I missed it the first time around.

Secondly: I have a few bits of wisdom to refute the above claim. I would argue Duke's success as a university is much more recent in comparison to most of its peers. Up until the late 1980s, Duke was a top-notch regional school, and had a monopoly on the best students from the South. However, it wasn't until a several year-long campaign to lure some of the nation's top English and other liberal arts professors that Duke became a mainstay in the Top Ten (reaching as high as #3 one year). Simultaneously, Duke's Men's Basketball team won two national championships in the early 1990s, and brought a ton of national publicity to a once-regional school. Only afterwards did the ramp-up in applications commence, and only then did Duke become one of the nation's top universities.

This goes against the notion that the architecture propelled it high into the rankings, and has kept it there - as Duke hasn't constructed much in the way of Gothic buildings recently. To truly get a sense of how good it is, you have to look at the accomplishments of its students and faculty. By just one measure, Duke is ranked fifth among private universities in the number of Rhodes scholars it has produced. Its undergrad acceptance rate is 21%. And out of the top-ranked schools, Duke is 5th in research expenditures (only MIT, Stanford, UPenn, and Harvard spend more).

New construction abounds - some of it good, some not so much (pictures forthcoming). In the meantime, some more pics of the campus (from Wikipedia):

Levine Interdisciplinary Research Center (largest in the country, built 1994)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/63/LevineScienceResearchCtr.jpg/800px-LevineScienceResearchCtr.jpg

Bostock Library (built 2005)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/BostockLibrary.jpg/800px-BostockLibrary.jpg

Allen Building (built 1954)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/AllenBuilding.jpg/800px-AllenBuilding.jpg

Old Chem (built 1932)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/OldChem.jpg/450px-OldChem.jpg

Divinity School Addition (built 2005)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/37/Divinitychapelduke.jpg/800px-Divinitychapelduke.jpg

Nasher Museum of Art (built 2005, Rafael Vinoly)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/NasherMuseum.jpg/800px-NasherMuseum.jpg

von der Heyden Pavilion (built 2005)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ab/VonderHeydenPavillion.jpg/450px-VonderHeydenPavillion.jpg

One of several residence halls on Main West (part of original master plan)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/DukeWest360.jpg/800px-DukeWest360.jpg

Georgian East Campus (pre-dates Gothic West):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/EastCampusPanorama.jpg/800px-EastCampusPanorama.jpg

Dining Hall

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/New_buildings_002.jpg/800px-New_buildings_002.jpg

ablarc
December 10th, 2007, 07:21 AM
^ That last dining hall looks especially interesting to my eye. When was it built and who was the architect?

And --of course-- architecture alone can't guarantee a university's excellence. But it can contribute. And it can help put ideas in an administrator's head.

pianoman11686
December 13th, 2007, 04:37 PM
I'm not positive, but it's on the main quad so I assume it was designed and built as part of the original master plan.

http://maps.duke.edu/building.php?bid=7714&picID=003

Stu Daddy
April 7th, 2008, 06:49 AM
Pianoman's reference and link is correct. Ablarc noticed the handsome north face of the West Union building, completed in 1931 and which houses the Gothic Dining Hall, one of the better big spaces of that sort at Duke.

The lead architect for entire West Campus project (which allowed Trinity College to become Duke University) was Julian Abele of the Horace Trumbauer firm of Philadelphia.

Stu Daddy
April 11th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Here is a link to Duke's new thinking about the long awaited "Central Campus"

http://www.duke.edu/web/centralcampus/index.html

ablarc
April 11th, 2008, 10:17 PM
Hmm ... is that a plan?

Stu Daddy
April 11th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Architect's PR piece for using Collegiate Gothic style, with examples of new buildings at University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

http://www.slamcoll.com/documents/collegiate_gothic.pdf

Stu Daddy
April 11th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Yale's new residence halls to take cues from Whitman College at Princeton.

http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/23725

ablarc
April 12th, 2008, 09:21 AM
From the above article:

' Even if Whitman does not always live up to such grand structures in its finest details, however, it certainly does in its motivation.

Indeed, the reasons Princeton built in the Collegiate Gothic style at the turn of the 20th century are about the same as the reasons for doing so at the turn of the 21st.

Paul Venable Turner, an emeritus professor of architectural history at Stanford University who has long studied university campuses, said the rise of the Collegiate Gothic style in the United States was largely a result of American schools’ desire to identify with the long and storied heritage of academic institutions across the Atlantic.

“At the time, when Collegiate Gothic really took hold, it was an attempt to make connections with Oxford and Cambridge primarily, as well as European architecture and culture more generally,” Turner explained.

Burstein, talking about the decision to build Whitman in the Collegiate Gothic style, explained that college students today have similar desires.

“Students really gravitate to residences that feel permanent and timeless,” he said. “And we gave them that.” '

ablarc
April 12th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Architect's PR piece for using Collegiate Gothic style, with examples of new buildings at University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

http://www.slamcoll.com/documents/collegiate_gothic.pdf
Because of the standard current construction techniques used at the Notre Dame examples, they're relative junk compared with Whitman College, which will easily last a thousand years.

Oh, and the architecture is pretty primitive from an aesthetic standpoint: Art naif.

Stu Daddy
April 12th, 2008, 12:52 PM
Hmm ... is that a plan?

I suppose a proper plan requires sticky details. Duke is calling Cesar Pelli their master designer. The Pelli Clarke Pelli firm previously worked on new athletic administration buildings and the plaza called K'ville, where the students camp out before basketball games (Not a Yale thing, I understand ;).) Do you think Pelli does good work?

ablarc
April 13th, 2008, 08:13 AM
Pelli does decent skyscrapers. Some of them are clearly influenced by Harkness Tower at Yale, where he was Dean. It's downhill from there.

Campus planner? Nah.

Ninjahedge
April 14th, 2008, 11:21 AM
A good Collegiate Gothic structure should cost no more than a good contemporary design

What planet is he coming from?

Unless he is saying that the Gothic would be built w/o heat, electricity or running water. In which case, illigal immigrant labor MIGHT make it comparable in price...... :p

Stu Daddy
April 14th, 2008, 11:53 PM
Duke engineers say that it costs six times as much to build with the Carolina slate or Hillsborough bluestone that was used for the older buildings on West Campus. Stonemasons with the requisite skill and experience are scarce and in very high demand at any price.

ablarc
April 15th, 2008, 06:47 AM
Duke engineers say that it costs six times as much to build with the Carolina slate or Hillsborough bluestone that was used for the older buildings on West Campus.
Six times as much per square foot of building? per square foot of wall? per square foot of surface? Certainly not per century of usability.


Stonemasons with the requisite skill and experience are scarce and in very high demand at any price.
Career opportunity for the dextrous.

RandySavage
June 7th, 2008, 02:52 PM
Princeton's Whitman College, completed in the Fall, photographed a few days ago, looking like it's been there for a long, long time. Major success.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2546478269_fafc511fb7_b.jpg
credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/

pianoman11686
June 7th, 2008, 03:48 PM
Gorgeous.

ablarc
June 7th, 2008, 10:29 PM
^ And timeless.

Built for the ages, not to satisfy some tiresome and debatable assertion about the relationship between chronology and style.



Randy, do you have some more pics? (Don't hold out on us. ;))

peterd
June 8th, 2008, 10:03 AM
That's my picture of Whitman College above - this link should take you to more I took (including construction photos):

http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=40646519%40N00&q=whitman&m=text

RandySavage
June 8th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Thanks, peterd, for the pics.

Stu Daddy
June 15th, 2008, 05:13 AM
Courtesy: Construction of Duke University 1924-1932, University Archives, Duke University

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19290729WC0232.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19290729WC0232.jpg)
Medical School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300901WC0408.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300901WC0408.jpg)
Medical School and Biological Sciences

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300901WC0405.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300901WC0405.jpg)
Kilgo Quadrangle dormitories

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300801WC0377.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300801WC0377.jpg)
Crowell Quadrangle dormitories

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300801WC0383.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300801WC0383.jpg)
Craven Quadrangle dormitories

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300701WC0368.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300701WC0368.jpg)
Main residential quadrangle

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300702WC0372.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300702WC0372.jpg)
View from outside of residential quads

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300604WC0357.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300604WC0357.jpg)
Library, Law School and Medical School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300503WC0347a.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300503WC0347a.jpg)
Union Building, School of Religion right rear

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300205WC0309.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300205WC0309.jpg)
Law School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300304WC0328.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300304WC0328.jpg)
Early and close, Kilgo residences

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300206WC0320.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300206WC0320.jpg)
Later from afar, Kilgo residences
http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19291204WC0281.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19291204WC0281.jpg)
Library and Law School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19291004WC0262.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19291004WC0262.jpg)
School of Religion

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19291204WC0285.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19291204WC0285.jpg)
Gymnasium

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19290701WC0217.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19290701WC0217.jpg)
Union Building

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300503WC0350b.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300503WC0350b.jpg)
Dormitories

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300503WC0350a.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300503WC0350a.jpg)
Dormitories

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300901WC0400.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300901WC0400.jpg)
Chemistry

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300801WC0380.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300801WC0380.jpg)
Physics

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300401WC0338.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300401WC0338.jpg)
View from Medical School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300523WC0352.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300523WC0352.jpg)
Construction scene, from Medical School

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19300901WC0413.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19300901WC0413.jpg)
Finished shot from base of Crowell Clocktower, Medical School in distance

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/med/19320226WC0433.jpg (http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/images/duc/dupp/full/19320226WC0433.jpg)
A few years later, Chapel and new campus complete!

Courtesy: Construction of Duke University 1924-1932, University Archives, Duke University

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/duc/browse/photographs/

Ebryan
June 15th, 2008, 11:36 AM
Wow, we've truly forgotten how to think big. It is hard to believe this school is less than 100 years old.

pianoman11686
June 15th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Wow, what a treat! Thanks, StuDaddy.

Stu Daddy
September 17th, 2008, 12:46 AM
Gothic style college buildings are solid and reliable. They send a message that education is important through the ages, and create an environment conducive to focused study and creative thought (at least in theory ;>))

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the institutional leadership and scholarship at Duke today, notably in the humanities and social sciences, would make the philanthropist James B. Duke and his architects Julian Abele and Horace Trumbauer roll uncomfortably in their graves. :cool:

Stu Daddy
September 17th, 2008, 03:40 PM
http://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gifhttp://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gifhttp://farm1.static.flickr.com/111/289808218_b80ebc112d_o.jpg

Keating Hall, Rose Hill Campus, Fordham Universityhttp://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gifhttp://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif

Jasonik
September 18th, 2008, 12:43 AM
http://lh3.ggpht.com/meredith.odato/R8Hxtx3yD1I/AAAAAAAAE3E/7neDUmSFLZ4/s800/IMG_3783.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/meredith.odato/R8Hxvx3yD2I/AAAAAAAAE3M/wd_HVMPUqYg/s800/IMG_3784.JPG

http://lh4.ggpht.com/meredith.odato/R8HxdB3yDyI/AAAAAAAAE2s/UIPgvHpRZcU/s576/IMG_3771.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/meredith.odato/R8HxhR3yDzI/AAAAAAAAE20/xxOAQvR9z68/s800/IMG_3774.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/meredith.odato/R8Hx3R3yD4I/AAAAAAAAE3c/tMXkxsYblbo/s576/IMG_3799.JPG

Photos by Meredith (http://picasaweb.google.com/meredith.odato)

ablarc
November 2nd, 2008, 10:40 AM
Particularly inventive Collegiate Gothic architecture posted by JoeGallows on the ArchBoston forum:




University of Toronto

The campus was remarkably permeable, as we were able to wander through cloister, courtyard and entrance halls unimpeded.

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT5.jpg

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT7.jpg

A slightly more modern take on the cloister:

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT6.jpg

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT4.jpg

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT2.jpg

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT3.jpg

http://fb.xenostarz.com/joestuff/UofT1.jpg

RandySavage
November 2nd, 2008, 05:47 PM
This is my favorite WNY thread - thanks all for the pics.

scumonkey
November 18th, 2008, 02:09 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/2008-07-24_Duke_Chapel.jpg/401px-2008-07-24_Duke_Chapel.jpg

http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/010203/images/depfstop.jpg

http://thetouringclub.net/duke-university-chapel%201.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1338/555212118_999eef9d97.jpg

http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/010208/images/010208-lg-25019.jpg

http://www.duke.edu/%7Ekub/photo/duke%20chapel%202.JPG

ablarc
November 23rd, 2008, 07:38 PM
^ Absolutely splendid. This is Gothic with the medieval casualness left out in favor of axial symmetry.

Bronxbombers
November 25th, 2008, 01:06 PM
^ Absolutely splendid. This is Gothic with the medieval casualness left out in favor of axial symmetry.Thanks for all of the pictures.

Stu Daddy
August 3rd, 2009, 07:29 PM
Unfortunately, due to hard times, battered endowments, and perhaps just the cyclical nature of things, many of the ambitious building plans at Yale, the other Ivies, and places like Duke are now on the shelf. The focus is on cutting a few hundreds of millions out of projected operating budgets, starting with payrolls and benefits.