Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

David P. Schuyler

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The most prolific and perhaps most well known academic architect, Charles Zeller Klauder (1872-1938) influenced numerous campuses across the country in the early 1900s. He began his tenure as an architect with his partner Frank Miles Day. After Day's death in 1918, Klauder established an independent firm. In 1921 he won the Gold Medal of the Architectural League of New York, and in 1928 Klauder was awarded the Medal in Architecture at the Olympic Games. Working either independently or with Day, Klauder designed numerous buildings on campuses such as The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he built his most famous building, the Cathedral of Learning.

The majority of Klauder's designs were in a "collegiate gothic style;" however, during his partnership with President Henry Harbaugh Apple, Klauder's designed his buildings to complemented the existing colonial brick structures on Franklin and Marshall's campus. In his Annual Report of the President and Treasurer to the Board of Trustees, Apple argues to "adopt a general plan of the grounds...suitable Dormitories with Refectory for students... suitable Auditorium building... provide for the physical development of each student... central heating plan will be necessary to satisfactorily and most economically heat and light the various buildings" (p. 10). Stemming from these goals, Klauder designed Biesecker Gymnasium, the Central Heating Plant, Dietz Santee Hall, Franklin Meyran Hall, and Hensel Hall to fulfill Apple's demands of expansion. Deemed the "Greater Franklin and Marshall College," by the Lancaster New Era in September 1925, these new buildings were part of a comprehensive plan to create a new quadrangle of buildings on the existing campus. Klauder was instrumental in designing and erecting the buildings.

Despite Klauder's work, the Board of Trustees "rescind[ed] all previous resolutions referring to the employment of Mr. Charles Z. Klauder as architect" on January 22, 1931. Although it is unclear why the college withdrew its support from Klauder, the Board's decision resulted in the great works of this famous academic architect going unacknowledged for many years.