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Iconic Buildings, Modern Uses

University Feature

  • Cupples I and Cupples II were among the 11 original Cope and Stewardson buildings, with cornerstones set for both in May 1901. A major renovation to the interior of Cupples II was completed in 2011. (Joe Angeles)

‘Pioneer Group’ of Cope & Stewardson Buildings

Special to Washington University is the large concentration of buildings designed by the Philadelphia firm Cope and Stewardson between the time they won the university’s architectural competition in 1899 and the time that the firm disbanded as such in 1912. (Successor firms, such as Jamieson and Spearl, designed many subsequent Washington University buildings beginning in the 1920s.)

The Cope and Stewardson buildings completed on the Danforth Campus were as follows:

Busch Hall – cornerstone laid Oct. 20, 1900; renovation completed 2009

• University (now Brookings) Hall – cornerstone laid Nov. 3, 1900

• Cupples I Hall – cornerstone laid May 11, 1901

• Cupples II Hall – cornerstone laid May 25, 1901; renovation completed 2011

• Liggett (later Prince) Hall – cornerstone laid June 15, 1901; demolished 2006

• Ridgley Library – cornerstone laid 1902; Holmes Lounge renovation completed in 1997

• Tower Hall (later Lee and now Karl Umrath) – cornerstone laid October 1902; renovation completed 2012

• Francis Gymnasium – cornerstone laid fall 1902; renovation to be completed 2015

• Eads Hall – construction begun 1902; renovation completed 1998

• McMillan Hall – cornerstone laid 1906; addition and partial renovation to be completed 2013

• Graham Chapel – cornerstone laid 1909; renovation completed 2002

The buildings that were completed in time for the 1904 World’s Fair were leased to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company for use by its administration. Washington University moved to the new campus and began to hold classes there in January 1905.

“We have a great stock of buildings of a period,” says Jamie Kolker, assistant vice chancellor of campus planning and director of capital projects. “You can stand at some locations on our campus and be transformed to 1904; just whichever way you look, you’re surrounded by buildings of that time period.”

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