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Founding Years




Gracious Living

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Forward Looking





Student Life

Historical Contexts

Wider World



The Envisioned Plan

Designs for the Chapel and Library Expansion


Proposed Plan for Abbey Chapel. Courtesy of MHC Archives.
Proposed Expansion Plan for Williston Library. Courtesy of MHC Archives.

The planners submitted sketches of proposed buildings designed in Collegiate Gothic style, which included an expansion of Williston Library and a building site for the new Chapel. The proposed Gothic chapel was to be located near lower lake with a bridge running across the water, rendering a pleasing reflection of the chapel. Its tower was massive and reached up the sky in an elegant spire. Shurtleff compared the new chapel design to the Princeton University chapel, which would assume a powerful presence in the community.

Williston Library’s expansion plans resembled a sanctuary or a citadel for military defense holding people rather than books inside its portals. It lacked a feminine quality or a welcoming feeling that seemed unsuitable for a prestigious women’s college. The modified Gothic towers of the building would relate to Shurtleff’s theory of a unified skyline within the academic quadrangles. The designers envisioned harmony in the structures by using complimentary architectural lines that would not clash and skylines in agreeable relationship to each other.

For More Information on Shurtleff and Cram

Atlas Home Page

Home Page

The History of Gothic Architecture:
Cambridge and Princeton
About Ralph Cram

A Time of Transition:
Bryn Mawr
Mary E. Woolley
Frederick Olmsted Jr.

The Envisioned Plan:
Program for Campus Development
Designs for the Library and Chapel
Shurtleff and Cram Present Their Ideas

The Implemented Plan:
Meetings and Discussions
Collens' Library Designs(Exterior)
Collens' Library Designs (Interior)
Bertha Blakely's Influence
Abbey Memorial Chapel
Charles Collens Dedication Speech and closing comments

Trivial Pursuit Question





This page was created by Ellie Perrier '07 FP in History 283, Spring 2006