Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Long Walk, The

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Institution Name: Trinity College (CT)
Original/Historic Place Name: Seabury Hall; Northam Towers; Jarvis Hall
Location on Campus: west of central area of campus, bounded on west by Summit St. and on east by "The Quad."
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1873master plan (partially realized) Burges, William
1878original construction; Seabury and Jarvis Halls Burges, William Kimball, Francis Hatch
1883original construction; Northam Towers Burges, William Kimball, Francis Hatch
Type of Place: Building group
Style(s) of majority of buildings: Gothic revival, Victorian
Style(s) of minority of buildings: not applicable
Building group type: none specified
Relationship to landscape:
none specified
Ideas associated with building group:
none specified
1878-present (2007)residence hall (Jarvis Hall and Northam Towers)
1878-present (2007)faculty offices (Seabury Hall)
1878-present (2007)administration (Seabury Hall)
1878-present (2007)classrooms (Seabury Hall)

Significance: architecture, culture, education
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Trinity's "Long Walk" range, consisting of Seabury Hall, Northam Towers, and Jarvis Hall, constitutes the first group of buildings constructed after the College's move in the 1870's from downtown Hartford to its present location. In an ambitious gesture, then President Abner Jackson chose William Burges, one of England's leading architects, to design the new buildings. Burges never traveled to the United States, and Francis Hatch Kimball served as the local architect. The Long Walk was executed in the so-called High Victorian Gothic style, popular in England and the United States in the second half of the 19th century. Its bold, muscular forms, expressive brownstone-faced walls, and use of structural color reflected the writings of the English art critic John Ruskin. The Long Walk set the pace for the appearance of the campus's future buildings. Burges had wanted the buildings to be arranged in quadrangular fashion, but his early, grandiose plans were drastically cut back to form a long bar-like range, whose bold silhouette dominates the central green space of the campus known as "The Quad." There is no question that Burges's Long Walk established Trinity's architectural identity.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Armstrong, Christopher Drew. "Qui Transtulit Sustinet: William Burges, Francis Kimball, and the Architecture of Hartford's Trinity College." Society of Architectural Historians Journal 59 (June 2000): 194-215.

Bush-Brown, Albert. "Image of a University: A Study of Architecture as an Expression of Education at Colleges and Universities in the United States between 1800 and 1900." Ph.D., Princeton University, 1958.

Crook, J. Mordaunt. William Burges and the High Victorian Dream. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Dober, Richard P. Campus Landscape: Functions, Forms, Features. New York: Wiley, 2000.

Gaines, Thomas A. The Campus as a Work of Art. New York: Praeger, 1991.

Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Architecture of American Colleges VII. Brown, Bowdoin, Trinity and Wesleyan." Architectural Record 29 (February 1911): 144-166.

Turner, Paul Venable. Campus: An American Planning Tradition. New York: Architectural History Foundation; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984.

Weaver, Glenn. The History of Trinity College: Volume I. Hartford, CT: Trinity College Press, 1967.

Willard, Ashton R. "The Development of College Architecture in America." New England Magazine 16 (July 1897): 513-34.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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