Walking through CSU’s 404-acre main campus, sophomore open option major Nicole Mcmanus takes notice of the varied architectural design amongst the buildings.
She is amazed at the simplistic beauty of Ammons Hall while simultaneously being frustrated and confused by the poorly designed Student Services Building.
“Obviously portions of campus were built in different time periods, but I just think it would have been more attractive and convenient to keep the buildings in one consistent style,” Mcmanus said.
Many of the more aesthetically pleasing buildings are located on the oldest section of campus, the Oval. Eleven of these are on the State of Colorado Register of Historic Places, according to the Main Campus Master Plan, the framework for physical planning of the campus.
These eleven buildings received a state award for preservation work.
” A percentage of the gambling proceeds from Central City, Cripple Creek and Blackhawk (casinos) become state grants to historical preservation societies which is awarded to repair old buildings,” said John Desch, a campus planner.
The older buildings applied a modest form of the Greek revival style of architecture, with occasional buildings of Richardsonian, Italian or Victorian accent. This style was prevalent from 1881 to the 1930s, according to the master plan.
“The oldest building is Spruce Hall, which was built in 1881,” said architect and campus planner, Jim White. “Buildings are a snapshot in time, they really tell the tale because they don’t change.”
During the 1950’s and 60’s a desire to accelerate construction and reduce initial costs led to buildings with more emphasis on durability, strength, low costs and flexibility.
“I don’t know how I know this, but I think that the high rises and Moby Arena are considered Post-modern,” said Shannon Herndon, a sophomore psychology major. ” I was told that those ugly dorms were Neo-Internationalism…I think that by having a variety of styles of architecture (it) keeps the campus from becoming too bland.”
The residence halls are Neo-Internationalism, the high rises and Moby Arena are Post-Modern, and the Chemistry Building is considered regionalism, according to the master plan.