Page:A History of the University of Chicago by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed.djvu/251

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

must have a material equipment in buildings, libraries, apparatus, collections, etc., that will accommodate its students, and enable it to do its work in the most perfect way. In view of these needs the Board appeals to the friends of the University for the sum of five hundred thousand dollars.

Meantime the architect had been hard at work on the problems of the style of architecture to be adopted, and the general arrangement of the buildings on the twenty-four acres of the site. On June 25 he submitted to the committee an elaborate sketch embodying his plan for the disposition of the buildings on the entire site. It was, in reality, a picture, giving a bird's-eye view of the University as it would appear with all the buildings completed. It made a most imposing and attractive picture. It was not intended to represent the buildings as each would appear in solid brick or stone, so much as to indicate the general arrangement and dis- tribution of the various structures. It divided the site into six quadrangles, each surrounded with buildings, leaving in the center a seventh, the main quadrangle, giving unity to the whole design. While this general plan for the grouping of the buildings was not formally adopted, the construction of the buildings was begun and continued, so far as the original site of four blocks was concerned, in accordance with it. The style of architecture finally adopted, after long consideration, was English Gothic, and Gothic, with modifications of that style, continued to determine the construction of all the educational buildings of the University. The committee, with the architect, gave much study to these questions and to the plans for the first three buildings contemplated. On September 29, 1891, the plans for these buildings were submitted to the Board of Trustees with two recommendations: first, that bids should be secured for them, bids for all three together and for each one separately, for granite as the building material, for blue Bedford stone, and for pressed brick with stone trimmings; and second, that the Divinity dormitory should stand on Ellis Avenue near Fifty-ninth Street fronting east and west, that the University dormitory should stand on Ellis Avenue near Fifty-seventh Street, fronting east and west, and that the recitation building adjoin it on the south.

The proceedings of the committee were approved and bids were immediately invited. When these were submitted granite