Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Phillips Fine Arts Building

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Institution Name: Jacksonville University
Original/Historic Place Name: Phillips Fine Arts Building
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1963-1964original construction; February 1963 - November 1964 Boardman, Robert Smith, Ivan
Designer: Robert Boardman; Ivan Smith
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete slab
Walls: brick
Roof: flat, rolled roof with tar
ca. 1964-present (2006)academic department building (music and fine arts)
ca. 1986-present (2006)museum (after expansions to the building in 1983 and 1986 it became the home of the Alexander Brest Museum)

In 1962 the need to fund and construct a music and fine arts building was a high priority for two reasons: (1) the fine arts and music programs were scattered around campus in five buildings and in two off-campus structures in downtown Jacksonville; and (2) the school was in danger of losing its accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music. With $458,000 in hand, a groundbreaking was held on February 7, 1963. At the dedication on November 20, 1964, composer and Director of the Boston Pops Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, gave the dedicatory speech. The building had the acoustical touch of Bolt and Berenek, the firm that designed the sound system for the Lincoln Center in New York. The structure itself has a striking bas relief sculpture by Roy Craven of the University of Florida, and a sandalwood brick grill facade and ornamental screens covering both the front and back. The new building won a first in a Florida architecture competition. A new addition allowed space for classrooms at the back of the building, and the Alexander Brest Museum. With the museum the university also received a permanent collection of Oriental ivory carvings and Pre-Columbian art.

After a short period of time the building was officially named the Phillips Fine Arts Building in recognition of the gift of $300,000 toward construction made by the estate of Elwyn L. Phillips, Sr. and Catherine Reed Phillips.


Bald, Ralph D. 4 Decades of Growth. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University Office of Public Relations, 1975.

Bald, Ralph D., Jr. A History of Jacksonville University, The First Twenty-Five Years, 1934-1959. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University, 1959.

Hallam, George. Our Place in the Sun, A History of Jacksonville University. Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville University, 1988.

"History of Jacksonville University. Descriptions of the University--Photographs." [n.d.] Carl S. Swisher Library, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL.

Middleton, Bill. "McGully's Gulch: Where It Began." Florida-Times Union, October 23, 1951.


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Last update: November 2006