Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Upper Campus

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Institution Name: Ripon College
Original/Historic Place Name: Upper Campus
Location on Campus: area in middle of upper campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1851original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Building group
Style(s) of majority of buildings: Other: no single architectural style dominates
Style(s) of minority of buildings: Greek revival, Italianate, Romanesque revival, Colonial revival, Modern/post-WWII, Postmodern
Building group type: Quadrangle; Other
Relationship to landscape:
none specified
Ideas associated with building group:
none specified
ca. 2004-present (2007)outdoor space (for classes, ceremonies, gatherings, picnics, etc.)

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The plan for the College's original campus, now called the Upper Campus, evolved in three stages over a period of more than a hundred years, with its present arrangement of eight buildings forming a quadrangle surrounding a large open courtyard. No one architectural style dominates.

The original campus was a line of three buildings along a ridge on the outskirts of the new frontier community. When growth of the College required new construction, the campus moved down the slope in front of the three buildings in a way that eventually enclosed a fairly large park-like area. Although at least two master plans for the campus were drawn--one by the noted Chicago architect, Thomas Talmadge--neither of them really served as the basis for the present arrangement. It just grew. The "park" includes two areas that can be used for small outdoor classes when weather permits; the porches of two of the buildings are used as stages for larger gatherings such as Commencement exercises or concerts.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Ashley, Robert and George H. Miller. Ripon College: A History. Ripon, WI: Ripon College Press, 1990.

Peotter, Tonya, Dianne Bell, George Miller, and Louise Schang. "Ripon College Buildings: Past and Present." 1989, revised 1991. Archives, Lane Library, Ripon College, Ripon, WI. Online (2006).

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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