Phillips Fine Arts Building
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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.
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