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Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Campus Commission

 Organization

In the first decade of the twentieth century Northwestern University became concerned with developing a coherent architectural and landscape plan for its Evanston campus. Studies of the campus were done by D.H. Burnham in 1905, George Maher in 1907, and the Olmsted firm in 1909. At the instigation of President Abram W. Harris, the Board of Trustees, on February 15, 1909, acted to approve working rules for a Campus Commission. On March 22, 1909 President Harris, Business Manager William Dyche, and five architects and planners formed the Campus Commission.

The purpose of the Campus Commission was to evaluate the various reports on the campus and oversee future development and modification of both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. Throughout 1909 the Campus Commission attempted to develop a plan based on Commission member George Maher's 1907 study that recommended construction of additional dormitories and a parkway parallel to Lake Michigan which would serve as the main axis for future campus construction. Agreement on a workable general plan eluded the Commission and in March, 1910, President Harris, expressing dissatisfaction with the pace of the work, proposed holding a competition among planners to develop a comprehensive plan for the Evanston campus. This course was ultimately adopted over the objections of some Commission members, particularly Maher. The Competition was announced in 1911. Entries were solicited from twelve architectural firms. The design of Palmer and Hornbostle of New York was declared the winner of the Competition. A number of factors precluded the complete implementation of the winning design, however a number of its suggestions were executed, with the North Campus Quadrangle being the best remaining evidence of the work of the Campus Commission.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the Campus Commission

 Collection
Identifier: 0/2/1
Abstract In the first decade of the twentieth century, Northwestern University became concerned with developing a coherent architectural and landscape plan for its Evanston campus. This series documents the efforts of the Campus Commission to solicit and select a comprehensive design. While most of the records date from the period 1909-1910, the series also includes two 1905 letters from Daniel Burnham and George Maher's 1907 study.
Dates: 1905-1910