Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


J. Arthur Howard Administration Building

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Institution Name: Jacksonville University
Original/Historic Place Name: J. Arthur Howard Administration Building
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1970-1973original construction; June 1970- April 1973 Kemp, Bunch & Jackson
Designer: Kemp, Bunch & Jackson
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Other (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete slab
Walls: cast in place concrete and brick
Roof: flat, rolled roof with tar
ca. 1973-present (2006)administration

In 1958 a revised master plan first identified the need for an administration building. In 1970, a fund raising program called Planned Action for a Center of Excellence (PACE), a $10 million capital construction proposal, was presented by JU President Robert H. Spiro. At the time of the PACE campaign kick-off the administrative offices were located in several buildings on campus, including Founders and Council. Mrs. J. Arthur Howard, wife of one of the founders of Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, donated $1.5 million for an administration building to bear her husband's name. Groundbreaking for the building was held in June of 1970, although the building was not dedicated until April 1973. The building's cast-in-place concrete and harsh sculpture forms are typical of American Brutalist architecture.

In April 1984 the Jacksonville Museum of Arts and Sciences donated its 12 l/2-inch reflecting telescope, which was placed in a concrete-domed observatory on the roof of the Howard Building. It has been said this addition to the highest spot on campus suggested "new horizons and vistas and areas to be explored…a fitting symbol for the campus."


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