Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/13/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Art History

First Advisor

Mooney, Barbara Burlison

First Committee Member

Bork, Robert

Second Committee Member

Adcock, Craig

Third Committee Member

Johnson, Dorothy

Fourth Committee Member

Yablon, Nick


Collegiate Gothic architecture can be found on many American campuses, yet its beginnings in nineteenth-century United States are something of a mystery. As the nation’s colleges and universities grew more innovative in their modernized curricula and research, strangely, their architecture became more anachronistic with Collegiate Gothic being the most popular. Around the greens of their campuses, Americans built quadrangles of crenellated buildings and monumental gate towers with stained-glass windows, gargoyles, pointed arches, turrets, and spires, thus transforming their collegiate grounds into likenesses of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Why medievalizing buildings came to represent the archetypal college experience has confounded many educators, scientists, and industrialists, who wondered why some of America’s most revolutionary institutions built libraries and academic halls in a style that seemed to oppose everything that was modern.

Scholarship has not fully addressed the reasons why Collegiate Gothic buildings came to occupy so many American college campuses. Authors have not regarded the style in its own right, having its own history within the nineteenth-century’s dynamic developments in higher education, religion, politics, urban planning, and architecture. My dissertation evaluates these relationships by addressing the Collegiate Gothic’s first one hundred years on American campuses from 1806 to 1906.


american architecture, american collegiate gothic, american gothic, campus planning, collegiate gothic, gothic revival


xlix, 538 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 507-538).


Copyright © 2017 Mary Ruth Springer

Available for download on Tuesday, July 13, 2021