University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 6, No. 1/1996
Historic buildings on campus surveyed

     For the last several years, the UD's Center for Historic
Architecture and Design has been conducting a survey of more than
400 University buildings on the Newark, Wilmington, Lewes and
Georgetown campuses.
     The results will be published in print form by next fall and
also will be available, along with numerous photographs and
sketches, on the UD home page on the World Wide Web.
     The idea for a building survey originated in 1992 with David
E. Hollowell, executive vice president, and David L. Ames,
professor of urban affairs and public policy and the center's
     "It was felt that a survey would serve as a basis for
evaluating the architectural and historical significance of
University buildings, landscapes and agricultural holdings. One
of the goals of the survey was to determine which sites were
eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic
Places," Ames says.
     "We were first approached about a survey of historic
buildings on the Newark campus," Hollowell says, "but it made
sense to expand that idea and include all buildings, to develop
an architectural record of the entire University.
     "The University owns some of the most historically
significant buildings in Newark, and we have an obligation to
preserve some record of them. We need an information base for
dealing with these buildings should the time come to make
decisions on whether to keep them or get involved in renovation
projects. There's a big difference between a building that has
historic significance and one that's simply old," Hollowell says.
     The UD Visitors Center presented precisely this situation.
Built at the turn of the century, the building is one of the last
examples of the residential architecture of that era, and the
University had to decide whether to take it down to expand a
parking lot or to restore a building that had been allowed to
fall into disrepair.
     "If we had had a survey like this as a reference, we may
have been more sensitive to the reasons for holding on to it, as
we eventually decided to do. Today, it's a showcase for
visitors," Hollowell explains.
     The survey also will make it easier for architects designing
new buildings to understand the architectural evolution of the
     "Say you're putting a building next to one built in 1898.
It's helpful to know what architectural details were used at that
point in time-what window types, what paint colors. Each building
on the Mall shares certain architectural details but has some
unique features of its own," Hollowell says.
     For example, he says, "In developing the design for Gore
Hall, the new classroom building under construction on the Mall,
architect Allan Greenberg carefully considered the facade details
on Wolf and Evans Halls, the entrance details on Hullihen Hall
and Brown Laboratory and the original architects' [Charles Z.
Klauder and Frank Miles Day] plan for the Mall."
     Ames gives credit to the past and present trustees and
administrators for the architectural integrity of the University.
H. Rodney Sharp, who graduated from Delaware College in 1900,
became a trustee in 1915 and worked with architects Klauder and
Day in the development of the Mall.
     The customary architectural style at that time was "academic
gothic," Ames says, but Sharp suggested the architects tour
Delaware to get a feel for the area. The result was their
recommendation for a central campus core of academic Georgian
style architecture, based on the Colonial Georgian- and Federal-
style buildings throughout the state. The trademarks are
symmetry, red brick, white banding, trim and cornices.
     The recently completed Lammot du Pont Laboratory and the
Trabant University Center continue to be based on Day and
Klauder's master plan, Ames says. These projects reflect a
"modern flair" to classical design, he says, giving the campus a
feeling of cohesiveness and flow.
     Campus appeal is important, Hollowell notes, because a
campus that is a visual hodgepodge, or run down, may lead
visitors to the conclusion that some lack of attention carries
through the system and that there is no cohesive vision for the
     Although academic reputation is usually the most important
factor students and parents cite when choosing a college, a
beautiful campus also plays a part in the decision, he says. The
web page will allow potential students to tour the campus, and
become familiar with its layout and buildings before they ever
set foot in Newark.
     "Alumni, too, will enjoy the web page," Hollowell says, "as
it provides a chance for people to learn things they never knew
about the buildings and to see what has been added or changed
since they graduated."
     "Most people, even if they've seen these buildings hundreds
of times, are not aware of the stories associated with them, let
alone how the campus as a whole developed or how representative
it is of various periods of campus design in the U.S. This is the
sort of information the web pages will provide," Mark Parker
Miller, Delaware '97M, one of the graduate students designing the
page, said.
     Several other graduate students-Julie Darsie, John Malm and
Sherri Marsh, all Delaware '97M-also have worked with Ames on the
project, developing a file on each building and noting
significant landscape features. The files include construction
dates, architects, construction firms, renovations, the original
and current functions of the building, additions, detailed
descriptions, background material and other relevant data.
                                             -Beth Thomas