Facilities Management

University of Colorado Boulder

Campus Architectural Heritage

How did this happy result occur? What was the inspiration for this unique building style? What role did the building materials play? Who was the original architect? Why has the style endured?

The "State University" was housed in one building in 1876, now Old Main. Other buildings in a variety of architectural styles followed until a pause in 1919 to develop a master plan for a 3000 student campus. The Philadelphia firm of Day and Klauder, well known for its work at eastern seaboard colleges and universities, was commissioned to do a master plan, a scale model, and the first new buildings called for in the new campus development plan.

Their first designs were presented in the usual English Collegiate Gothic style used prominently in their work. The existing Macky Auditorium was designed in this style.

However, because of the setting adjacent to the mountain backdrop, the available indigenous stone, and for budget considerations, they proposed a new and unique architectural style for the Boulder campus. After a building or two was constructed, the new style began to be appreciated by the community and since then pressure has never wavered to keep it constant.

Other links of interest:

CU Heritage Center
The Hannah Barker House - Historic Boulder
Campus Master Plan
Office of Facilities Planning