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Cutler Hall (1878-82) was Colorado College when it was first built, standing alone on the empty prairie, nearly a mile from the new city's main street. The completion of Cutler Hall affirmed that education, stability, and traditional values had arrived in Colorado Springs, in keeping with General William Jackson Palmer's intention for a civilized, cultured community that included a college. General Palmer, a railroad owner, founded the city and was the driving force in establishing the college. He believed a college would bring educated professionals to the community, develop new leadership, keep the city's youth in Colorado, and contribute to the region's financial health. He contributed funds for the campus land and for the construction of this first building.
Nationally prominent architects Peabody and Stearns designed Cutler in the Gothic style. The building was totally renovated and restored in the late 1990s with substantial assistance from the Colorado Historical Fund. The hall houses the college's admissions office.
General Palmer and others like him looked to the American East for inspiration and for institutional models to emulate. These leaders, transplanted Easterners themselves, chose forms and landscapes that copied colleges and preparatory schools in New England.
Cutler Hall anchors the western edge of the east-west axis of the college's central quadrangle, which is laid out in the baroque style of the then fashionable Beaux Arts. Again, influences of the East and of Europe dominated the consciousness and decision-making of the college's founders.
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