A variety of architectural styles are represented on the Quad: Italianate, Queen Anne, Richardsonian, and classical revival. Most of these buildings were standing in 1917 when then-president George Norlin hired the firm of Day and Klauder to do a master plan. Norlin had a dream of a unified campus, and Klauder helped fulfill that dream. At first, Klauder suggested an English Gothic style, similar to the nearly finished Macky Auditorium, but he later settled on the Tuscan vernacular style.
In 1982, this cruciform-shaped open space—and all the buildings facing it—were added to the National Register of Historic Places. An Historic Resources Advisory Committee advises planners and designers on projects within the district.