Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


University Circle Entrance

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Institution Name: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Original/Historic Place Name: University Entrance
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1902-1903original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Large-scale features:
Gates mark Eastern entrance to campus.
Other characteristics:
Original location of the main entrance to the University, contains the original gates and columns.
ca. 1902-1995other (marked main entrance to campus)
ca. 1995-present (2007)other (marks entrance to Vann Circle, eastern entrance to campus)

Significance: landscape
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The historic gates of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have stood like sentries since the early 1900s. In 1902, the music and expression classes donated the two small pillars that mark the eastern entrance. The larger pillars of the gateway were given in memory of Dr. John Hill Luther, president from 1878-1891. The Class of 1903 provided the necessary funds for the beautiful wrought-iron gates. An arch with the inscription "Mary Hardin-Baylor" connecting the larger pillars was designed and made by Mr. Ralph San Miguel, father of two alumnae. The surrounding lacy ironwork was the gift in 1955 of alumna Mrs. T.J. Furness '49, in memory of her husband. In 1995, due to the creation of a new campus entryway, the stone pillars were repositioned. Although the wrought-iron gates remain affixed to the pillars, the arch was relocated to a prominent position in the center of the campus.For many years, the sophomore class was charged with raising and lowering the flag daily in the flag terrace.

How early the lawn in front of the three-story building facing east emerged as a circular drive cannot definitely be determined, but it appears in the earliest photographs from the time of the fountain, ca. 1904. The fountain was given by the combined efforts of the classes of 1904 and 1905, and defined the center of the circle, the round east lawn in front of Luther Hall. The stone bench, carved to look like a bench of gnarled wood, is a gift of the Class of 1902.

For years, streams of water from the urns of the muses splashed into the circular basin where red goldfish darted. After two disastrous fires destroyed Luther Hall and Wilson Administration Building, and after the center of activities on the campus moved west from the circular drive, the fountain stood subject to vandalism. In recent years, the base of the fountain has been filled with earth and planted flowers. Many alumnae recall scrubbing the fish pond with toothbrushes as a part of their freshman initiation!

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

II. Location of other data:

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Last update: November 2006