Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Downes Memorial and Clock Tower

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Institution Name: Trinity College (CT)
Original/Historic Place Name: Downes Memorial and Clock Tower
Location on Campus: adjoins Williams Memorial on the east
Date(s) of Construction:
1958original construction Willis, Harold Buckley Collens, Willis & Beckonert
Designer: Harold Buckley Willis (Collens, Willis & Beckonert)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick, limestone
Roof: flat roof: presumed asphalt and crushed stone
ca. 1958other (Board of Trustees meeting room)
1958-present (2006)other (clock tower)
1958-present (2006)faculty offices
1958-present (2006)administration

Downes Memorial is a refined and subtle example of the survival of Gothic elements on Trinity's campus even as the modern movement was sweeping Europe and America. The choice of Gothic, here recalling late English Perpendicular Gothic, was no doubt due to the fact that Downes formed the link between Burges's Long Walk range, including Williams Memorial, and the Trinity College Chapel. Downes's red brick and limestone walls form an attractive contrast to the rugged brownstone of the Long Walk range/Williams Memorial and the smooth planarity of the Trinity College Chapel.


Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History. Hartford, CT: Trinity College, 2000.


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Last update: November 2006