Campus Architect Emeritus Bill Deno is quick to make one thing clear about the book Body & Soul: A Partnership of Architecture and Academics at the University of Colorado Boulder. It’s not just an architectural history.
Earlier this month, a day before he turned 90 years old (Or is it 88? He’s decided to start counting backwards), Deno’s passion for the CU Boulder campus burned just as brightly as it ever has as he described the Centennial Update edition of the book that’s just been released.
“It’s a tool to be used by the university to maintain the campus as we’ve known it for the last 100 years,” Deno said. “It’s an important reinforcement of the good work that’s been done by campus leadership to preserve the campus style, and it’s an important reminder for future presidents, chancellors and others who make changes to campus so that they’re doing it with the knowledge of why and how.”
Deno wrote the original Body & Soul in 1994. The release of the Centennial Update marks 100 years since the Philadelphia-based architecture firm of Day and Klauder began working on a master plan for the campus that spawned the architectural style CU Boulder is known for today. The new edition, available through the CU Book Store, got an upgrade, with full color and a hardbound cover. It also adds perspective of the two decades-plus since the first book was published, during which time the campus has seen nearly two dozen new buildings or additions built.
It was University President George Norlin whose vision for a campus “body” that was “worthy to be the outward frame of the University’s soul” brought the firm of Day and Klauder to Boulder. Dubbed by architect Charles Klauder the “University of Colorado Style,” the campus architecture stirs emotion in students, alumni, faculty, staff and countless others who set foot in Boulder.
The book is a reminder of the past 100 years and how we got to where we’re at. We don’t want to damage that. As far as I know, we’re the only campus that has ever developed a style and stuck with it for the entirety of the past 100 years.” –Bill Haverly, campus architect and director of planning
To be sure, the Centennial Update of Body & Soul includes a historical account of how the University of Colorado Style came to be and has developed over time. But it also takes a deeper dive into the campus design description, the building materials palette and why it’s important the university protect the ideals of the style with every change that’s made going forward.
“What’s truly amazing is that this style of campus buildings has lasted this long,” Deno said. “It’s just unbelievable, and it’s through the efforts of Norlin and the regents of that era.”
Deno holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from CU Boulder. He began working at the university as a student in the late 1960s and remained until his retirement in 2002, serving as campus architect for nearly two decades. Protecting the University of Colorado Style is part of what motivated Deno to write the original Body & Soul.
“I wanted to keep in front of the decision-makers on campus, including campus architects and particularly those who are in charge of making improvements, such as the Board the Regents, the University Design Review Board and others,” Deno said. “It was a methodology for maintaining this style. James Corbridge, chancellor at the time, bought into the idea for the book.”
While the CU Board of Regents owns the copyright to the book, Deno paid for production of the update. That includes the first run of 5,000 copies, which he’s donated to CU Boulder’s office of Planning, Design and Construction. Proceeds from those sales will benefit students in PD&C’s mentorship program, which could someday produce a future campus architect and guardian of the University of Colorado Style.
“Bill Deno played a great role himself in nurturing and protecting the architectural style of CU Boulder created by Charles Klauder,” said Bill Haverly, CU Boulder campus architect and director of planning. “The book is a reminder of the past 100 years and how we got to where we’re at. We don’t want to damage that. As far as I know, we’re the only campus that has ever developed a style and stuck with it for the entirety of the past 100 years.”