Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Casino Building

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Institution Name: Georgian Court University
Original/Historic Place Name: Bachelor's Court
Location on Campus: center of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1899original construction Price, Bruce
Designer: Bruce Price
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: New Jersey brick set in mortar
Walls: gray stucco with white terra-cotta brick trim, marble, and wood
Roof: originally slate; now shingle
 
Function:
ca. 1899gymnasium (indoor polo field, indoor pool, tennis court, and hand ball courts)
ca. 1978student union
ca. 2004-present (2006)gymnasium (basketball facilities, fitness room, and offices)
ca. 2004-present (2006)auditorium (ballroom)
 

Narrative:
The Casino is a large sports and recreational building. Its construction was begun in late 1898 and was completed on December 21, 1899. The exterior design resembles that of the Mansion. Large sculptures in high relief are placed in semicircular spaces over the east and west entrances. The building is located on a rise of ground to the north of the Italian Gardens and is two hundred and fifty feet long by one hundred and seventy five wide. It is built of brick and stone with a roof of glass (eventually replaced by wood), trussed up and supported by light iron girders and braces. The center of the building was a riding ring covered with tanbark (this is now an auditorium/ gymnasium with wooden floor). Around the riding ring on the north, west, and south sides, spaces about forty feet in width accommodate various sports facilities. The interior walls of the central section are of white and red brick, with a slanting wooden wainscot four feet in height. The brick walls are broken occasionally by lion heads and grotesque medallions of stone in relief. Balconies for spectators overlook the arena from opposite sides. The four corners afford entrance to the building. At the SW entrance, space was given to a paddock for the horses.

There is a swimming pool on the south side of the building constructed of porcelain-faced brick. The surrounding floor is tile and walls and supporting pillars are marble, the railings brass. There are bowling alleys on the west side of the building, indoor tennis courts on the north, and squash courts on the west. On the second floor above the sports facilities are rooms which formerly accommodated about thirty-five guests but are now used as student offices, recreation rooms, and speech and drama classrooms. A full length verandah on the north side of the Casino overlooks a balustraded terrace, providing a view of the outdoor sports area (portion of description taken from National Register report, "Georgian Court," [1978]).
 

References:

Geis, M. Christina. Georgian Court. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.

Geis, M. Christina. Georgian Court: An Estate of the Guilded Age. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Art Alliance Press, 1983.

H2L2, LLP. Campus Master Plan [Georgian Court University]. [Philadelphia: H2L2], April 2003.

 

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Last update: November 2006