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David Brownlee (left), George Thomas and the Frank Furness-designed Fisher Fine Arts Library.

Two experts on Penn’s architecture talk about the evolution of its West Philadelphia campus—the delights, the dinosaurs and the duds.

By Samuel Hughes | Photo by Candace DiCarlo

Sidebar: Building a University: A (Very) Selective History

Back in June, we asked Dr. George E. Thomas Gr’75, lecturer in historic preservation and urban studies, and Dr. David Brownlee, the art-history professor who serves as director of college houses and academic services, to talk about the often-fascinating, sometimes-perplexing architectural mix that is Penn’s campus. Both are serious–if sometimes irreverent–scholars of the subject, and seldom at a loss for words. They’ve been collaborating on a book, Building America’s First University, which will be published next year by the University of Pennsylvania Press, and if there is anything about Penn’s architecture that they don’t know, chances are it’s not worth knowing.
    We met in a conference room in Harnwell College House, one of the high-rise dormitories from the early 1970s that so many people love to hate, and talked for almost two hours. I began the conversation by noting that Benjamin Franklin’s famous dictum of teaching the “useful and ornamental” is not unlike the ancient architectural principles of Vitruvius, who preached utilitas, firmitas, venustas (“usefulness, firmness and delight”). How, I wondered, has the Penn campus reflected those ideas?
Thomas: Where I see Franklin’s values really coming into play is in the current campus [to which the University moved in 1872], where the sciences had a home for the first time, and where the buildings, after the first round, began to look increasingly like a foundry, almost a factory–part of the real world. The library by [Frank] Furness is almost industrial, like a foundry-and-office complex, and the great power plant [that once stood] where Irvine is–both classic industrial buildings, very much looking like the city that was home to the University.
Brownlee: The late-19th-century period is a time when both the American university and American industry were being defined in new, internationally important ways. And as it happened, in Philadelphia the people involved in those two things were the same people.
  Thomas: In 1866, we had a new trustee, William Sellers, who was the premier machine toolmaker in the world. He applied his values to the shaping of the institution, and all the architects who worked under the Sellers era were expected to represent Penn as part of the modern world.
    I guess the next phase where Franklin’s values reappeared is this wonderful moment when scientist [Gaylord P.] Harnwell was in charge of the institution in the 1950s, and architecture again becomes experimental and quite interesting.
    As I look at the University, I see two great pendulum swings–there’s very little middle. We’re either way over on the experimental, industrial, modern side, or we’re over in the academic, want-to-look-like-everybody-else side. My sense, as I look back over Penn’s history, is that these are the poles of the culture in which we live in the modern world. So it makes a surprisingly felicitous representation of the cultures that we cope with.

From top left, clockwise: the Lewis building (now Silverman Hall) of the Law School, by Cope & Stewardson, circa 1970; Franklin Field during the 1926 Penn-Cornell game; the first finished part of the Quad, by Cope & Stewardson, with the Class of 1873 gate; the courtyard of the University Museum, circa 1950.

Gazette: What are the unique challenges posed by a university like Penn, with its many schools and urban setting?
Brownlee: Certainly one is that this is an institution of multiple identities. It is, from the point of view of an architect seeking to either solve the problems or express the ideals, not one place but a variety of places. And at the other extreme, when one encounters this university in its corporate entirety, and tries to work for it as a client on projects that are in the name of the entire University, it’s certainly a client that speaks with many voices.
Gazette: If successful architecture requires a good, discerning client as well as a good architect, what sort of client has the University been?
Thomas: Penn has had moments when it’s been a strikingly good client, for the reasons that define what a good client was at the time. In post-Civil War Philadelphia, the best clients simply let the architects do what they thought was right–with lots of guidance, but without saying, “No, you can’t do that.” And Penn shows that in the years that Furness and the Wilson Brothers and these really energetic, interesting architects are working on the campus. And I suspect it was very much the same in the Harnwell years. Harnwell was trained as a scientist, having worked in the big World War II teams at Cal Tech on sonar and so on. At Penn, he managed by letting architects do their thing, and then pulled the thing together. Those were good clients. We got interesting buildings out of them. At the end of the last century, [Provost Charles] Harrison was obviously a remarkably good client for what his image of the University was. And that was to take it and make it look like everybody else, only in red brick and better.
Brownlee: One of the major tests of a good client is whether this is an entity or a person who knows not only what they want, but also can say specifically what they do notwant, and what they are willing to forego. Because one of the Achilles’ heels of institutional architecture comes from that problem of a multiple-personality client, and an institution can only with a great deal of good leadership become a good client. And I think it’s notable that when we talk about “good clients” at the University, we do tend to shift to talking about individuals.
Thomas: In the last 30 years, and then 100 years ago, architecture was the device by which the institution sold itself. And so design becomes crucial to the goal. “What will this design do to our immediate sales image today?” was the question, as opposed to “How does this reflect on the institution over its history and its future?” Leaders have not looked long-term. David and I can look back as historians and say, “Gee, a lot of the architecture that we don’t like in the sixties was really experimental, and some of it’s kind of interesting, and in a few years people will like it.” But that doesn’t make anybody happy now, when we’re just trying to cover it up and tear it down.
    The great puzzle for Penn is going to be which of the experimental buildings to keep. Particularly because the people that now run the University are not the architects who, with some daring, ran campus architecture selection in the fifties. It’s now a much more sort of business class that’s making these choices. And the campus is looking increasingly like that. One of the things that I note today is the lack of risk-taking in new designs. The new designs tend to be pretty flaccid, and get less interesting the more we get involved with them.
Brownlee: And that certainly does seem to associate them with the values of corporate and industrial plants elsewhere. This institution has built buildings that are indistinguishable from, and in fact designed by, the same architects as corporate, suburban headquarters buildings.
    Just a word of puffery: I think the selection of architects for the new housing work is going to reverse that very decisively. The list of architects that are competing for these projects is a list unlike what Penn has put together for a long time.
Thomas: As an example of things getting less interesting the more we get involved with them, I would offer Kohn Pedersen Fox’s new Wharton building, which I thought [in the earlier plans] last summer was a very interesting building, and now is looking much more conventional and much less interesting. It’s as if they’ve been sort of pushed toward this sort of new corporate architecture, and what was a building that they talked about as drawing off the strengths of the Furness library now, clearly, is not. We can take a good architect and possibly bring them down.
Brownlee: The glory and the problem of giving an architect his or her head is that it must begin with properly defining what it is that you want the architect to do. If you state the problem properly, then smart people can do brilliant things.
Thomas: The model for that is the [Fisher Fine Arts] library, where Furness was given very clear directives and then was assigned to work with Melvil Dewey, who was the great library guy, and Justin Winsor, who was running the largest college library at Harvard. And the two of them together, with Furness, said, “This is how it should work, this is the ideal plan, this would be the type of relationship that would operate,” and then Furness turned it into architecture.
    A similar situation occurred when Louis Kahn [Ar’24 Hon’71] got the chance to do the Richards [Medical Research] Building. Many years ago, when I talked to Britton Chance [Ch’35 Gr’40 Hon’85, then professor and chairman of the Department of Biophysics and Physical Chemistry as well as director of the E.R. Johnson Research Foundation], he said basically, “I wanted this, this, this and this in the basement, which was my territory, and after that it was up to him.” And so Kahn didn’t draw the conclusions from the basement that what Chance wanted was probably relevant to what was upstairs. Instead he went off in this direction that we find enormously intriguing architecturally, and it has been a landmark building around the world because of the definitions and forms that Kahn found. But the people that have worked there have never been happy with it.
Brownlee: I think that’s one of those cases where a client has allowed an architect in a sense to state the program for them: a clear, intelligent, strong program, but slightly at variance with what the client ultimately wanted.
    But the Richards building was built just at the beginning of an enormous surge in laboratory building, and I think it’s fair to say that it was an experiment. There had not been a lot of laboratory construction in the fifties, and this was a chance to redefine the program.
Thomas: It’s a wonderful parallel, because in many ways you can see Kahn as sort of the grandson of Furness, in terms of his ideas about form. They both come out of the Philadelphia progressive machine culture, and they both understand the Philadelphia perspective that things should look like what they are. We know that when Kahn gets good direction, he makes a Salk Institute. And when Britton Chance says, “Do this for me, and after that it’s your baby,” then we get Richards.

From left: sketch from Penn’s 1948 master plan, with a proposed administration tower; inside the Quad; College Hall and the Furness library.

Gazette: How did the Quaker and the industrial-era-Philadelphia worldview affect Penn’s campus?
Thomas: From [Provost Charles] Stillé through Harrison, Penn was a product of the industrial culture of Philadelphia. No one was afraid to put a factory-like power-house where Irvine is. No one was afraid to make the library look like a foundry. There’s a sort of jovial sense of the real world intruding onto the campus and it’s no big deal.
    In the 1890s, Provost Harrison basically said, “Forget that.” And he fired Furness and said rather unkind things about him, not the least of which was that he too strongly believed in his own ideas. If he had to raise the money, he would hire architects with whom he would be happy to work. And he hired Cope & Stewardson and said, “Make Penn look like a great university.”
Brownlee: I think one of the challenges always in talking about a place like Philadelphia, where there seem to be certain leading or predominant values or principles, is to acknowledge the fact and explain the fact that Cope and Stewardson were authentic Philadelphians, too.
Thomas: And Quakers. I think we’ve always misinterpreted this Quaker question. Nineteenth-century Philadelphia was no longer a Quaker culture; I see it as much more related to the industrial culture at the core of what we do. Digby Baltzell and a whole series of historians have made this mistake. It has drastically distorted our view of what made a success in Philadelphia and what the 19th century was about. These are not aspects of Quakerism; they are aspects of a culture that is progressive–because industry is progressive–and that inherently believes in the same values as the men who designed the great machines, who said, “If a machine is right, it looks right”–form follows function. This is the culture that Furness came from. Philadelphia shocked the nation because it was the capital of red-brick, smokestack America, whereas New York and Washington in a sense are about façade. They’re about images–how do you make finance look significant? You put columns on it. You look to Europe, you relate to that culture. There’s a transatlantic culture going at the same time that there’s an industrial culture in the middle states in the 19th century. The industrial culture appeals to those who are part of it, whereas the transatlantic culture appeals to the press and the media, and eventually captures the story of history.
Gazette: What is the role of accident in Penn’s architecture?
Brownlee: The things I would put my finger on are not so much accidents as opportunities that develop unexpectedly. And I think you have to conceive of every one of the University’s siting decisions as having been an opportunity. And some of them have been very happy ones. A peculiar set of opportunities were presented by the street system of West Philadelphia–the system of a grid with diagonals slashing across it–which gives the campus an odd kind of plaid-with-a-jog character, which I think is rather pleasant. The variety of triangular buildings that continue to echo that, even though the streets are gone, is a result of that peculiar opportunity created by that kind of formal setting.
Gazette: To what degree have the personalities of provosts and presidents and trustees affected the architecture on campus?
Thomas: Almost totally. They’re the real players.
Brownlee: And I would say the best buildings that we have built for the University have been built under presidents who had an idea of what they wanted to say with architecture.
Thomas: The leaders of the University who served at moments when there was lots of capital were the lucky ones. In the 1870s, there’s money around because of the post-Civil War expansion, and also in the 1880s, 1890s. That’s when we got much of what we like in the campus. The Philadelphia economy began to collapse in the 20th century when the innovative kids stopped going into engineering and industry and started going into law and finance. As a result, Philadelphia stopped producing new capital and new jobs, and the University’s architecture shows that. You see it in the late 20th century, when it got to the point under Harnwell that we couldn’t afford our own major scientific tools and had to go to the federal government because our regional industry had collapsed.
Gazette: And how did that affect the architecture?
Thomas: Well, it means we were forced to use the GSA [General State Authority], which basically lowered the design standards. I did a little study of this a couple of years ago to figure out how we got Meyerson Hall. It’s a sad and unfortunate tale. GSA announced in one meeting that the way that they determined the good architects was whether they got work done on time and were not argumentative. And that was it!
    In the early sixties, with the Cold War and Sputnik, the feds suddenly threw money into academia, and at that point the states were asked to administer federal money as grants. Penn quickly jumped into that feeding frenzy, and did the Franklin building, Williams, Rittenhouse Lab extensions, Meyerson Fine Arts, the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, the social-sciences complex, and Superblock–mainly buildings that are universally disliked on campus.

From left: Penn’s power plant (circa 1895), where Irvine Auditorium now stands; Horace Trumbauer’s original design for Irvine (top); digging Irvine’s foundations, circa 1925.

Gazette: In your book, you mention that under Pepper, the era’s academic “specialization would be revealed in separate and distinct buildings” for new programs. Now that interdisciplinarity is the University’s mantra, how will the campus and buildings be different?
Thomas: Good question. One answer is the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology over in the eastern science precinct, which is placed where it is to make connections between the multiple disciplines of that campus. We don’t have the sense that English professors will actually be talking to scientists, but within those precincts we will see lots of institutes and lots of centers either being adapted from existing buildings or new buildings built to make that happen.
Brownlee: It’s certainly true that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Penn symbolized with architecture its specialization–giving each of the professional schools its own face, its own identity through architecture. But the meanings of architecture are, many of them, associative. They’re connected by our imagination and our memories to buildings, not to anything intrinsic to them. And in that respect the reorganization of the University within those façades is something that can be as readily symbolized by those existing buildings, even though they were built for other purposes, as by anything else.
Thomas: Still, when you entered Towne, and you crossed the corridor, you went into these great industrial-shop spaces under big sky-lighted, steel-trussed roofs. When the machines were removed, and floors were added, it turns into just academic space, and all of a sudden there’s really nothing at Towne that defines it as a science building, except the people that are in it.
    These are basically, with very few exceptions, relatively simple, almost industrial-loft-like buildings, in which you can move walls within, change spaces, change configurations, very easily. The unusual thing is the highly configured, highly specified volume such as the Fisher Fine Arts Library or Richards.
Brownlee: Penn has been remarkably fortunate in recognizing the ability to use buildings for things other than what they were designed for. Logan Hall was designed with two gigantic medical amphitheaters in it. Admittedly, they had to be altered quite a lot to make it work, but it still saves the skin.
Gazette: What are some of the real treasures of Penn’s campus, and why?
Brownlee: I’ll take the Richards [building]. I think that the hallmark of that building is a very strongly stated image of what human activity in pursuit of knowledge looks like. It’s an image of people working in teams, gathered together in a common space, in proximity with other teams. And the individuality of those teams, their independence, and yet their participation in a collective activity is represented by the building very strongly. It’s also a building that extremely gracefully places itself in a context of older architecture, of natural landscape, and it does those things with obvious intentionality. There’s not a thing about the building that you can look at and say, “Why is that that way?” and not come up with an answer. And that completeness of expression, that totality of design success, is, I think, the hallmark of a good building.
Thomas: My counter to that is the [Fisher Fine Arts] library, in which Furness achieves all of those same elements with the same ideas, the same evident thought about how people work together and what they do, what the process is, equally convincingly laid out–and again, equally wonderfully woven into a campus. It had been a green campus, but by the way he slides that in, builds the tower out right on the crosswalk in front of College Hall–even though it’s this fire-engine-red explosion at the end of this green academic grove, it’s still part of the setting. And wonderfully welcoming–a great portico right on the axis for everything that moves through–clearly descriptive: “How am I going to use this thing?” The stair with the windows is very obvious. Entrance is on axis into the central reading room, where the card catalogue confronted the user so that no undergraduate could ever say to a faculty member, “I couldn’t figure out either how to get in or what to do.” I mean, these are buildings that are powerfully compelling in the way that they speak to you and make you cognizant of them. And that’s the genius.
Brownlee: And just to show that we’re not bigoted Philadelphians entirely, Hill House, by Eero Saarinen, is again a building in which you’re really never in doubt about what the architect’s intention is. It’s a building that is rough and nubbly and protective-seeming on its outside; entered circumspectly, through an almost guarded route that leads you literally over a bridge and through a narrow doorway, and then, for that student, an explosion of light and a sense of an enormous family literally gathered around the table–the center of the whole experience is dining. And those clear ideas about how a human society is to be protected and then organized within that protection–that is conveyed throughout the design.
Thomas: The Quad does those same things with the same genius. It’s a wonderful vessel that contains activities that get the kids off the street and provides them with their own safe zone, where they can have their little private rituals of beating each other up for bowls and spoons and things. It provides a setting for the juniors, who were the sophomores the year before, so that in the midst of the battle between juniors and sophomores, they as juniors can now look down upon it. But also, again, with this wonderful sense of entrance and activity. It is just a stunningly wonderful building. Every dormitory that has been built on the campus since those buildings has thought about the lessons of the Quad.
    It’s intriguing that we keep coming back to these sort of two pivotal moments–the 1950s-60s and the 1880s-90s.
    And we have a couple of other buildings that you can’t not talk about–the University Museum is maybe the most wonderfully colorful, evocative, engaging–particularly from the outside. It’s less good as a museum, except for the big rotunda spaces. But those outside courts are just knockout, drop-dead spaces, and the sort of Japanesque, Middle East, arts-and-crafts wonder of the exterior, the Lombard romance.
Brownlee: Yes, it’s a wonderful demonstration that to be strong, architecture doesn’t have to be pure. One of the fallacies of aesthetic judgment is that something that’s impure cannot be strong–it’s polluted or diluted. But in fact most of these designs that we’ve talked about are in some ways conflicted, or they’re about opposite things. That results from an intelligent architect dealing with difficult problems and literally trying to solve them all.
Thomas: A couple of other little pieces are nifty, and I think really humanize this campus. Those little clusters of small houses that confront or juxtapose the high-rises give that sense of the intimacy of domesticity in the larger institution. There is the little cluster on 34th Street–Morgan and Music leading to Smith Walk in the very reticent and elegant North Italian style: marvelous little buildings, great little place-holders with a lovely sense of detail. There’s a lot of modest, small-scale but intensely interesting buildings–and they’re in many ways the buildings that hold the campus together.
    Jaffe [the Jaffe Art History building near 34th and Walnut streets] is another one. The Joseph Potts house by the Wilson Brothers that’s now WXPN–though that needs to be treated as a separate little domestic piece, as opposed to just a side-yard of Superblock. We need to piece these little things together and give them back their special character. Contrast is often as or even more effective than contextualism in making you understand places. When everything’s horizontal, something vertical gets your attention, and when everything’s big, something small can get your attention. Penn’s lucky in that sense to have an enormous array of textures and scales. And ironically, much of this was almost totally unplanned, the stuff that now makes the mix of the campus so wonderful.
Brownlee: Penn now owns a substantial number of very interesting buildings that are not on what is traditionally thought of as the campus. The former Christian Science Church. The former Divinity School. And the Daily Pennsylvanian building. These are buildings that are not associated with us by history, for which we were not the clients; we have, by happenstance, come into possession of remarkably significant works, and I think that they add to what is that, as George says, very interesting texture of the University.
Thomas: It’s a really important opportunity that the campus has, because it happens to be settled in a pretty rich and architecturally interesting area. Penn has the chance, as the nineties end, to reestablish itself as a partner in the community. How it adapts these buildings–and the way that it makes the community understand itself–will be the measure of their success in this whole process.

From left: Hill House, by Eero Saarinen; the Richards building, by Louis Kahn.

Gazette: Do either of you wish you could have intervened at certain strategic moments in the building of campus?
Brownlee: I wish very much that we had been able to be more conscious of the potentials of the 38th Street corridor to the campus when we were putting the Wharton executive center there, placing the new large parking garage there, and essentially abandoning the west side of that. Now some of these things we can fix, and the new Wharton building may accomplish some things in that respect, ’cause I think there’s a large swathe of missed opportunities through the center of the campus.
Thomas: This could be a grand entrance. We demolished the entire west side of the street–Frank Furness houses and Willis Hale houses–to make the street. It would have been just a perfect opportunity for a sort of Venturian billboard, Las Vegas, drive-through architecture, and instead we came up with a series of set pieces that look like they’re refugees from the old campus but with the wrong detail.
    We’ve done the same thing on Walnut and Chestnut streets. The Walnut Street opportunity–we turned our whole back to the street and turned inward: “Circle the wagons, boys, the Indians are out there, get the women and children and cattle inside.” Van Pelt Library is the great curse of that street.
Brownlee: And we’re now, at vast expense, trying to turn the Annenberg School around, to give it an entrance on the street. And the astonishing thing that we should create a theater [the Annenberg Center], a public theater, and not place its entrance on the street, is almost unmatched in the annals of planning history.
Thomas: God knows, there are buildings on campus that one regrets. Not the least of which is the Franklin building, which is the most appalling administrative center, complete with its own hayloft.
Gazette: How about 3401 Walnut?
Brownlee: I think 3401 is the product of extraordinarily good intentions, a great deal of intelligent architecture and a faulty definition of the program that led to some extraordinary misunderstandings. The building was supposed to be a multi-purpose building, and the architects got off on the notion of trying to express the variety of functions it might serve. In the end, it has become the home of a number of enormous departments, and its variegated façade misrepresents what goes on inside to an extent that’s almost unbelievable.
Thomas: On the other hand, in many ways, it’s a nice Jane Jacobs building. It gives us retail on the street; it gives us a center of activity in the Food Court; it spills out onto the right side of the building, which is the north, quiet alley side, as opposed to having tables on Walnut Highway.
Brownlee: In terms of design, almost every physical feature of it can be explained and understood; there isn’t anything willful or happenstance about it.
Thomas: The other thing that I think is sad is that we have denatured and not taken advantage of a lot of the spaces that we have.
Brownlee: The top floor lounges of the high-rises are some of the most extraordinary spaces in the city of Philadelphia. They’re simple, handsome spaces–and virtually unused. I mean, the new College House system has made use of them to an extent that’s never been true before, but that we should possess them for any period of time without using them …
Gazette: What about Superblock?
Brownlee: To some extent I think its major defects actually stem largely from its lack of clarity and conviction rather than too much. I think there’s nothing more inspiring than a tall building, and one of the challenges is to make the most of it rather than try to make it fit in. But the irony that we should have three skyscrapers with rooftop lounges that no one goes to is a kind of an emblem of the fact that no one actually acknowledges that they are tall! And it never really got through to the culture that what this was about was this giddy contrast between tall and low buildings.
Thomas: But you still need some cafés to breathe some life into them. All the lobbies are basically empty. One of them should have some sort of sidewalk café and the support for it; it should be part of the life of the street here.
Gazette: What about the future of the campus?
Thomas: When a leader has a sense of the future of the institution and what they’re trying to do with it, then you get a chance to make architecture that is compelling. Now, more than ever, Penn needs to do some serious thinking about what it’s building. If we continue to build what I refer to as “Penn Lite,” then no one will care about what we do in the future, and the institution will run a terrible risk for its longevity. That’s the core: we’re not thinking grandly. We’re not really focusing on the human opportunities, and we’re just trying to make things pretty–that’s a problem.
Brownlee: I agree with that entirely, and I am guardedly optimistic that we are close to having it right in defining what we want to do and obtaining the designers to do it intelligently in the work that we’re going to be doing at this end of Penn [the remaking of Superblock].
Thomas: The key remains that you have to define it right, and then you have to urge [the architects] to be provocative–and then Penn has to not say, “Well, why is this tower here, and why is this thing here”–the stuff ought to be evident as to why it’s there. That’s what Philadelphians think makes good architecture. But then we have to let it be interesting. We can’t just keep toning it down and value-engineering it–we have to realize that we are committing the future of residential life at this institution to this block, and that means the same care, the same daring, of the Quad. That was a daring idea–to build probably the biggest building in Philadelphia–it was enormous!
Brownlee: It’s an astonishing project: Begin something in 1893 and complete it in 1959, and actually keep doing it. It’s a project not unlike, in that respect, the filling-in of the William Penn grid plan for the city. It didn’t exist for most of the life of the city–just in certain people’s heads. They just knew that it was the way they were going to go. That’s what comes from having an idea of power which is shared and which can be sustained over a long period of time.



The University, under Provost Charles Janeway Stillé, flees the urban squalor of Center City and moves to then-suburban West Philadelphia. Notable buildings: College Hall and Logan Hall (which originally housed the School of Medicine), by Thomas Richards.


After Stillé steps down, following a power-struggle with the University’s trustees, Provost William Pepper 1864M unleashes a period of tremendous growth, though most of the important buildings of his era (many designed by Frank Furness) have since been torn down. Notable buildings: The Furness library, now the Fisher Fine Arts Library.


Sugar-magnate Charles Custis Harrison 1862C becomes acting provost and then provost; according to Dr. George Thomas Gr’75, lecturer in historic preservation and urban studies, Harrison wants to “make the place fun” for undergraduates. He also contributes a good deal of his own money to campus construction. Notable buildings: the Quad, by Cope & Stewardson; Houston Hall, by William C. Hays Ar1895 and Milton B. Medary Jr. Ar1894 (under the direction of Frank Miles Day Ar1883); the first stage of Franklin Field; the Law School’s Lewis building (now Silverman Hall), by Cope & Stewardson; the University Museum (founded under Pepper but built under Harrison); the Towne Building; and the Morgan Building.


President Gaylord P. Harnwell –”like Pepper, another scientist unafraid of the modern world,” in the words of Thomas–takes advantage of a vast infusion of federal and state capital to launch another period of intensive construction, with mixed results. Notable buildings: the Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Building, by Louis I. Kahn Ar’24 Hon’71; Hill House, by Eero Saarinen.

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