Shurtleff’s landscape plans envisioned
shorter and more direct pathways within the
quadrangles enabling the college community
to reach their destination in a shorter length
of time. Cram, the consulting architect, envisioned
a repositioning of the buildings’ entryways,
from College Street to the inside of the campus,
resulting in quick access to the buildings.
New groves of shade would be created and lawns
planted only where grass needed to be cut.
In an opposing viewpoint of Olmsted’s
landscape plans, shrubs and flowers were to
be planted for a picturesque effect and only
in specific areas and regions that were free
from foot travel. A bird’s-eye view of
this landscape design shows the campus as a
grid of rectangles outlined by rows or trees
on the outsides of the quadrangles.
plan that Arthur Shurtleff and Ralph Adams
Cram devised for Mount Holyoke is intriguing
in the way it took existing buildings, already
in Collegiate Gothic style, and redressed
them in grander, more monumental form.
Shurtleff claimed, “The belief
prevails that if the ideals and needs are
carefully fostered, the new College campus
will retain all the loveliness of the old
Mount Holyoke, but will gain greater beauty
with its greater usefulness” (14).
Perhaps Shurtleff and Cram, in their desire
to create an elegant Anglo-Saxon appearance
on the campus, failed to take into consideration
that the “heart and soul” of
Mount Holyoke was related to white clapboard
and a Victorian church…a kind of elegance
in a small-town atmosphere (15).
In many instances fate steps in with circumstances
beyond our control, for which we can be thankful.
After a period of prosperity in our country,
the stock market crashed in 1929 followed
by the Great Depression. This national catastrophe
placed the architectural plans on hold, never
to be brought to fruition on the Mount Holyoke
History of Gothic Architecture:
About Ralph Cram
A Time of Transition:
The Envisioned Plan:
for the Library and Chapel
and Cram Present Their Ideas
The Implemented Plan:
Library Designs (Interior)
Dedication Speech and closing comments