Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Campus building group

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Institution Name: University of Mary
Original/Historic Place Name: Campus building group
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1954-1960original construction; first phase Breuer, Marcel
1962original construction; second phase
1965-1968original construction; Science Hall, University Hall, and L-shaped men's and women's residence halls
Designer: Marcel Breuer
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1954-present (2006)master plan (campus)

The University of Mary has the only post-World War II structures designed and inspired by Marcel Breuer in the state of North Dakota. The entire campus consists only of these structures.

The university sits on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and is within view of locations associated with the Lewis and Clark journey, as well as the home of the Seventh Cavalry--the locale from which George Custer left for his ill-fated battle of the Little Big Horn.

The Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, learning that the former Bauhaus designer and architect, Marcel Breuer, was employed by St. John's University, Collegeville, MN, inquired of his interest in building them a convent south of Bismarck, on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. Breuer agreed to take on the project. This complex was constructed in two phases beginning in 1954. The first was completed in May 1960 and the second in 1962 and is now known as The Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership. Breuer was secured for the construction of the Science Hall, University Hall and L-shaped men's and women's residence halls (1965-68). All subsequent buildings have been specifically designed to integrate with Breuer's design principles and spirit, and characteristic use of concrete and local materials. Three of these buildings have received AIA architectural awards: Honor awards for the Clairmont Center and Hillside Hall, October 9, 1993; and Merit Award for the Welder Library, September 2000.


Breuer, Marcel. Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961. New York: Praeger, 1962.

Gatje, Robert F. Marcel Breuer: A Memoir. New York: Monacelli Press, 2000.

Hyman, Isabelle. Marcel Breuer, Architect: The Career and the Buildings. New York: H. N. Abrams, 2001.


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Last update: November 2006