Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Campus plan and buildings

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Institution Name: University of Richmond
Original/Historic Place Name: Campus plan and buildings
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1910original construction Cram, Ralph Adams
Designer: Ralph Adams Cram
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Regionalist/Vernacular, Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1910-present (2006)master plan (campus)

In 1910, Ralph Adams Cram of the architectural firm Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson was commissioned to design an entire new campus for the University of Richmond. The commission included all site development and six original buildings. Warren Manning was engaged for landscape architecture; he assigned the work to a young Charles Gillette.

The campus developed as a picturesque arrangement of quadrangles and individual buildings, executed in the Collegiate Gothic style for which Cram was already famous. In subsequent decades, campus development was accomplished with extraordinary respect for Cram's original plan. Nearly all buildings were realized in the Gothic Revival style, and the campus became an archetype for southeastern landscaping.

Scholars and other visitors frequently remark on the "constancy" of architectural vision realized on campus. The campus is an extraordinary expression of Cram's vision of an inspirational setting for education. In 2000, the campus earned the number one rank on the Princeton Review's list of America's "most beautiful" campuses.


"University Buildings Reference Number--Part I." Architectural Forum 43 (December 1925).


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Last update: November 2006