The Campus

The Campus

Place Apart

Streaming Video - 2007
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Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia - the first American campus - is like its founder in exemplifying the national capacity for self-invention. Palladio's shade hangs over the individual house-temples which line the landscaped mall - a uniquely American idea. University builders have sought to separate the campus, by locating it in the country or by erecting walls - walls of stone or of style. Since universities teach the past, they often reflect architecturally the sources of Western civilization - the past America itself lacks: the invented medieval past of Yale's Gothic buildings or St. Paul's; the monumental classicism of the U.S. Naval Academy; and classicism updated in Chicago's I.I.T., where I-beams replace Doric columns. Whether in the futurism of G.M. Tech or the Air Force Academy, the integration of city and campus at the University of Chicago or the Roman Forum re-invented for the Loyola Law School, today's campus seeks to combine the dream of the past with the materials and problems of today.


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