How Gothic architecture took over the American college campusBreaking News
...We know what elite American colleges should look like. Tall Gothic towers, Georgian angles and radii, and the few massive, newer slopes of Cold War modernism: It’s a collage recognizable as “college.”
But American schools didn’t always look this way. A little more than a century ago, there was no cachet in being an “old college,” and there was little cachet, too, in having the old architecture to match it. But a combination of forces—some cultural, some economic—transformed the appearance of American institutions, and made the modern-day college campus take its contemporary appearance and mythology.
How did that happen? Who was responsible? And did a caped geometer ever toss potent hydrochloric onto a trademark New Haven edifice?
In 1888, according to historian John Thelin, administrators from the College of William & Mary came before the Virginian legislature to plead for a more stable source of funding. They argued the college’s long history earned it a bail-out in cash-poor times. The College was older than the nation: Surely this meant something....
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