Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Atwood Hall

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Institution Name: Clark University
Original/Historic Place Name: Atwood Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1938original construction Johnson, G. Adolph
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
1938-present (2007)auditorium

Significance: culture, education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterClark University (1980)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Used as Clark's main auditorium since it was built, Atwood Hall is a two-story collegiate gothic that meshes architecturally with nearby Academic Hall. Atwood has been the site of countless events. In addition to many academic activities, it has hosted numerous persons of note, many of whom were a part of the Fine Arts Series that began in 1922 and continued for about 50 years. During this time, hundreds of people came to perform, do readings, or talk about their art. In literature speakers included Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Pearl Buck, Ogden Nash, James Michener, Thornton Wilder, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. In theater performances were done by Lilian Gish, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Katharine Cornell, Alexander Woollcott, and Cornelia Otis Skinner. Artists who spoke included Homer Saint Gaudens, Rockwell Kent, James Montgomery Flagg, and Charles Dana Gibson. Music performances were held by Igor Stravinsky, Andres Segovia, the Viennese Boys' Choir, and the Trapp Family Choir. Dancers who performed included Martha Graham, Jose Greco and Troupe, Ted Shawn, and Ruth St. Denis. In addition, other significant performances have occurred in Atwood Hall, including performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Bruce Springstein. Many politicians have spoken or debated here as well, including John F. Kennedy.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Clark University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Koelsch, William A. Clark University, 1887-1987: A Narrative History. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press, 1987.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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