Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Armstrong Quadrangle

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Institution Name: Colorado College
Original/Historic Place Name: Quadrangle
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1878original construction Cameron, Robert A.
Designer: Robert A. Cameron
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Function:
ca. 1878-present (2006)outdoor space
 

Narrative:
The Colorado College main quadrangle, now known as Armstrong Quad, is anchored by Cutler Hall (1878) on the west and--approximately one and one half city blocks away--by Shove Memorial Chapel on the east. Palmer Hall (1903) occupies a key site on the quad's northern boundary. Two newer buildings from the early 1960s--Tutt Library and Armstrong Hall--and a student center from 1988 complete the enclosure. One could argue that the Shove/Cutler, east-west axis ends in fact with Pikes Peak, about twenty miles to the west, because the has a major presence on campus.

The quadrangle's axial development was part of the initial campus plan from the late 1870s and relates to General William Jackson Palmer's formal concepts for the design of Colorado Springs. Palmer was the founder of the city and a major benefactor of Colorado College in its early days. He donated twenty acres north of downtown as a "college reservation" because he believed a college was a necessary feature of an affluent, cosmopolitan community. He sought to emulate design models from the East coast and Europe, which he believed to be the standard.

After 125 years the quadrangle retains its essential form, although modern intrusions and haphazard landscaping have compromised its original simplicity and purity. An extension to Tutt Library penetrates the quadrangle on its northern edge. Similarly, the original Cutler Hall driveway crescent has been shortened to accommodate a student center built in 1988. Fortunately, the gravel paths of the early campus are largely extant. On the other hand, post-World War II construction (Tutt Library, Armstrong Hall, Worner Center) includes concrete walkways and building aprons totally at odds with the more rustic, pastoral gravel walks. Recapturing the quadrangle's original design will be a major challenge for the college.
 

References:

Abbott, Carl, Stephen J. Leonard, and David McComb. Colorado: A History of the Centennial State. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated University Press, 1982.

Abele, Deborah. Downtown Historic and Architectural Intensive Survey. Report. City of Colorado Springs, 1985.

Brettell, Richard. Historic Denver. Denver, CO: Historic Denver, 1979.

Buildings of Colorado College, Past and Present. 1984. Revised 1988, 1991, 1996. Special Collections. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.

Dober, Richard. Campus Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1992.

Dober and Associates, Inc. The Colorado College Planning Study. [s.l.: s.n.], 1983.

Educational Facilities Laboratories. Bricks and Mortarboards: a Report from Educational Facilities Laboratories on College Planning and Building. [New York]: Educational Facilities Laboratories, 1963.

Freed, Elaine. Preserving the High Plains and Rocky Mountains. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1992.

Fuller, Timothy, ed. This Glorious and Transcendant Place. Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado College, 1981.

Hershey, Charlie Brown. Colorado College, 1874-1949. Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado College, 1952.

Langford, Roy. "The Buildings of the Colorado College." Revised manuscript. 1994. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.

Larson, Paul Clifford, and Susan M. Brown, eds. The Spirit of H. H. Richardson on the Midland Prairies: Regional Transformation of an Architectural Style. Minneapolis, MN: University Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 1988.

Loeffler, Bruce. Recapturing the Past: Envisioning the Future. Exhibition panels. Special Collections. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.

Loevy, Robert D. Colorado College: A Place of Learning 1874-1999. Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado College, 1999.

Lucas, Andrea J., and R. Laurie Simmons. Historic Resources of Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado. National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form. Washington, DC: U. S Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.

Main Street Design. Design Guidelines: North Weber/Wahsatch Historic District/Prepared for the City of Colorado Springs and the Comprehensive Planning Division, Planning, and Development by Main Street Design. [Colorado Springs, CO]: Main Street Design, 1990.
Manning Architects, John Prosser Architects, and Winter and Company. Colorado College: Historic Preservation. [New Orleans, LA and Denver, CO: Manning Architects, John Architects and Winter and Company], 1993.

Michaud, Ellen C. "Alone on the Prairie." Colorado Magazine 4 (1983): 2-17.

Noel, Thomas J. Buildings of Colorado. Society of Architectural Historians, Buildings of the United States series. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects. Plans for planting and grading at Colorado College. [Brookline, MA: Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects], 1924.

Reid, J. Juan. Colorado College: The First Century, 1874-1974. Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado College, 1979.

Reps, John W. Cities of the American West: A History of Frontier Urban Planning. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 1979.

Riley, Gresham. The Colorado College--An Informal History. New York: Newcomen Society in North American, 1982.

Sprague, Marshall. Colorado: A Bicentennial History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.

Sprague, Marshall. Newport in the Rockies: The Life and Good Times of Colorado Springs. Denver, CO: Sage Books, 1961.

Thompson and Rose Architects. Recapturing the Commons: The Colorado College Campus Master Plan: A Vision Through the Year 2025. Report. [Somerville, MA: Thompson and Rose Architects], 1995.

 

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