Archive Materials



Founding Years




Gracious Living

Broader Diversity

Forward Looking





Student Life

Historical Contexts

Wider World




The Implemented Plan

Charles Collens' Dedication Speech and my Closing Comments

In his dedication speech for the new library addition, Charles Collens remarked, “Fortunately for Mount Holyoke College, the buildings which surround the campus have a strong Collegiate Gothic tendency so that there never was any question in our minds as to what this building should look like.”…An argument from modern advocates is that one type of architecture in a group tends to monotony. Even though Collegiate Gothic is the prevailing type at Mount Holyoke, there is so much variation in the individual treatment of mass and detail as to give sufficient diversity to the group. We are somewhat strong advocates of Collegiate Gothic, if it is not carried to extremes in what might be called “over-artiness”. When used simply, it has a flexibility which the Classical and Colonial styles, with their formal and balanced composition, do not admit”

After a discussion regarding the diversity of Gothic Design with one of my favorite MHC art history professors, he commented “Gothic architecture on our campus is varied. The chapel, for example, would be Early English in style with simple pointed lancet windows and rather muscular walls. Shattuck, on the other hand, incorporates the later (14th century) Decorated Style, recognizable by the elaborate double curving patterns of tracery in the windows”.

Collegiate Gothic architecture plays an important part in the historical landscape of the Mount Holyoke Campus. These beautiful, robust buildings are the “ties that bind” our landscape with a sense of history that began with the dream of Mary Lyon and her seminary.

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 2 006