Saturday, March 12 • 10:30am - 1:30pm
University of Washington Campus Architecture Tour: "Building a Polyvalent Campus, 1895-2015"

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Our tour will survey the architectural history of the University of Washington Campus. The University of Washington was founded in 1861 on a site now occupied by the Fairmont Olympic Hotel downtown, but was relocated to its current site to provide additional space in the early 1890s. State funds in the 1890s through about 1909 were meager, and the number of completed buildings few. In 1909, the Regents of the UW agreed to allow the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) to stage its fair on largely vacant university land. The construction of the AYPE made an indelible imprint on the campus, leaving behind an organizational framework still relevant today. The first large building spurt came between 1917 and the mid-1930s. The main quadrangles were planned and built at this time, setting the collegiate Gothic tone for the campus. Building diminished during the Depression and war-time era, only to resume with a second immense surge in the 1950-1970  period. Contextualism held sway during the 1980s and 1990s while the period after 2000 has been  a third building explosion centered in the sciences. During this 120-year span, the campus has grown from one of ethnic/gender exclusivity and siloed departments to one of multi-culturalism and interdisciplinarity, with disparate groups blending and synthesizing academic and social interests.

Maximum Participants: 10

Fee: $10

Accessibility: Walking, standing, navigating city streets.

Transportation: Coach to and from the Westin and the University of Washington. Walking around the campus. Meet your tour wrangler around the North Tower escalators on the Westin's Lobby Level before the 10:30 AM departure.


Alan Michelson

Head, Built Environments Library, University of Washington, University of Washington

Saturday March 12, 2016 10:30am - 1:30pm

Attendees (12)