Franklin & Marshall
Charles Z. Klauder, Henry Harbaugh Apple, and Campus Design in the 1920s
Charles Zeller Klauder was selected as Franklin & Marshall College's architect and planner in 1923. The Board of Trustees engaged Klauder "for the purpose of preparing a plan for the development of the campus and the location of buildings in the future." By December 1923 the Board had commissioned Klauder to design two dormitories, Dietz-Santee and Franklin-Meyran, and named him supervising architect for Biesecker Gymnasium. For the remainder of the decade Charles Z. Klauder contributed to the physical development of the college. In addition to the dormitories and the gymnasium, he designed Hensel Auditorium, Fackenthal Laboratories, and the Central Heating Plant; he was probably the architect for Fackenthal Pool as well. Klauder also prepared the College's first master plan in 1925. In a span of about seven years Klauder determined the physical shape of a campus so changed that contemporaries referred to it as the "new" Franklin & Marshall.
Together with Day, and for two decades following Day's death, Klauder became an extraordinarily prolific designer of educational buildings, particularly for institutions of higher learning. He is best known for his work in the collegiate Gothic style, including Holder, Hamilton, and Madison halls at Princeton (with F. M. Day), and the Cathedral of Learning, Heinz Chapel, and Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh. Klauder also designed a Beaux Arts site plan and Italianate classical buildings for the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, four master plans and thirty-two buildings over a quarter century for Penn State, and, with obvious acknowledgment of Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia campus, the Mall, Memorial Hall, and flanking red brick Georgian buildings at the University of Delaware. Structures Klauder designed continue to grace the campuses of Wellesley, Yale, Penn, Cornell, Chicago, and numerous other schools; his book, College Architecture in America (1929) was the first important work devoted to the history and design of collegiate buildings. An article reporting on the dedication of Hensel Hall in 1927 noted that Klauder "has erected more collegiate buildings than any living architect." Clearly, Henry Harbaugh Apple, Franklin & Marshall president from 1909 through 1934, found in Klauder an architect whose conceptual skill and breathtaking vision complemented his own aspirations for the college.
By 1929 Apple had accomplished all this and more: he had increased the size of the campus, launched the college's first capital campaign, erected nine new buildings and renovated several older structures -- which the president proudly claimed was "an achievement unique in the annals of American small colleges" -- and commenced the transformation of Franklin & Marshall into a residential college. Together with Klauder, President Apple was the architect of a "new" Franklin & Marshall. What they accomplished constitutes a remarkable legacy.
By September 1924 Apple's vision for the campus was taking shape. As part of an energetic capital campaign, that month the college published the first issue of a new quarterly, The Franklin and Marshall Alumnus, which featured a lead article entitled "The New Franklin and Marshall." The text praised the college's building program, which, it asserted, was "hardly exceeded by any educational institution in the country in proportion to existing equipment." The following pages presented sketches and short descriptions of the two dormitories, Dietz-Santee (which, when constructed, would require moving the observatory) and Franklin-Meyran, the Central Heating Plant, and Biesecker Gymnasium, as well as the announcement of a new auditorium to be erected in memory of William Uhler Hensel, a prominent Lancastrian and former president of the Board of Trustees. The college had embarked upon an ambitious building program, the construction of what F. W. Biesecker termed "this magnificent structure, this greater Franklin and Marshall." But while the Alumnus article implied that Klauder had completed a comprehensive plan, the plat dated July 15, 1924 was still very preliminary: Hensel had not yet been located, and the dormitories formed two sides of an open quadrangle with the gymnasium at the north.
The placement of Hensel defined the "heart" of the new campus Klauder designed. His September 1925 sketch plan located Hensel facing College Avenue, on an east-west axis with the new Academy Building, later known as Hartman Hall. Two additional dormitories, mirror images of Dietz-Santee and Franklin-Meyran, extended to the north and created a north-south axis with Biesecker, an open quadrangle marked by a distinctive east-west axis. "Here, the life of the college will center, the fellowship of students and their college will be developed," the Alumnus predicted. "It will be the beating heart of the new Franklin and Marshall, destined to give it life and strength during the coming years."
The new Franklin & Marshall presented a new architectural imagery. Older buildings on campus had been designed in an array of styles: the three original Gothic Revival structures, Goethean, Old Main, and Diagnothian, had been designed by the Baltimore architectural firm of Dixon, Balburnie, and Dixon in 1853; Watts de Peyster Library was an exuberant high Victorian building of vividly contrasting colors and textures; James H. Warner introduced English Tudor elements to the design of the old gymnasium (Distler House); and C. Emlen Urban, Lancaster's first professional architect, designed the new Beaux Arts science building (Stager Hall) in 1900. On Franklin & Marshall's campus, as elsewhere, the eclecticism acceptable to an earlier generation gave way, after the triumph of the World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893, to an emphasis on architectural unity. On many campuses the new ensemble was Gothic, at others Beaux Arts classical. Franklin & Marshall, where the earliest campus buildings were Gothic Revival, turned to the colonial.
The transformation of the college's architectural imagery was intentional. During the decade when the sesquicentennial of American independence inspired a revival of interest in Georgian architecture, the Alumnus dismissed the campus's late nineteenth-century buildings as "departures from the Colonial style" and presented the newly designed structures as a "reversion" to the college's architectural roots. The Alumnus further noted that the trustees chose a colonial revival architecture because they considered it "representative of the small American college."
Even before the construction of Hensel, what contemporaries termed the "Academy problem" became a major issue. Klauder's plan projected new buildings that assumed the demolition of the old Academy building, which led to considerable discussion among the boards of the two schools. Some members of the Academy board suggested that the auditorium be placed near the corner of Buchanan and College avenues, but Klauder objected because a new building in that location would be isolated from the rest of the new campus and would occupy space that might, in the future, be more advantageous for other uses. The site facing College Avenue, on an axis with Hartman, the architect asserted, was "an essential feature of the whole scheme and necessary to its architectural beauty and symmetry." Klauder was adamant about this location, Apple reported to the board: "In his judgment it is the crowning feature of the whole plan, and to be deprived of it would mar and detract from the unity of purpose and design."
Another issue that affected the development of the new campus was the location of fraternity houses. Apple and the trustees envisioned fraternities as a means of enhancing residential opportunities for students on campus, and when Chi Phi sought authorization to erect its chapter house on college grounds, the trustees approved the request and asked Klauder to report on suitable locations. In an oral report presented in August 1926, Klauder attempted to reserve the ground north and west of Hartman Hall -- that part of the campus extending north from Buchanan Park -- for future use as the site of college buildings. The fraternity houses should be placed adjacent to the gymnasium, he advised, which would effectively create a residential zone of the campus, and should be designed in an architectural style that contributes to the overall effect of the buildings recently erected there. Klauder expected that the Chi Phi chapter house would be sited to the east of the gymnasium. The building, designed by Philadlephia architects Walter T. Karcher and Livingston Smith in a red brick Georgian style, nicely complemented the structures Klauder had recently designed. The location the college ultimately approved, however, to the west of the Academy building along Race Avenue, reflected Apple's expectation that the college's eight fraternities and one social club would erect houses in a row rather than Klauder's conception of the campus as a ensemble of functionally-related buildings.
During the 1920s the campus landscape also attracted considerable attention. Construction of underground steam lines from the Central Power Plant to other buildings necessitated some improvements to the landscape, as did grading and filling associated with eight building projects. Other improvements included the construction of the wall, semi-circles, and stairway between Franklin-Meyran and Dietz-Santee, a symbolic transition from the eclectic old campus to the comprehensively planned and designed new college; the planting of trees on the northern reaches of the campus; and the attempt to restrict automobile access to Buchanan Park through the campus. The observatory had been relocated to the north on the college's property, and the old gymnasium had been enlarged and converted to a new use as the Campus House.
This ambitious building program created a Franklin & Marshall in 1931 that was very different from the college which existed only eight years earlier. Students lived and socialized on campus, took science courses in a modern, state of the art building, attended lectures and other events in a handsome new auditorium, participated in sports in a gymnasium and swimming pool that were the envy of many another school. To be sure, the old Academy buiding still occupied the site Klauder intended for a new dormitory, but to a remarkable degree he and Apple had transformed the college.
Charles Z. Klauder presented President Henry H. Apple with a copy of College Architecture in America on June 1, 1929. The inscription graciously acknowledged Apple's "Helpful Cooperation in Erecting College Buildings," two of which -- Hensel and Dietz-Santee -- Klauder chose to illustrate in the book. But for reasons unexplained in surviving documents, the relationship between Apple and Klauder had deteriorated. Perhaps Klauder was frustrated at Apple's inability to solve the "Academy problem," and complained that East Hall was a blight on the campus; perhaps Apple was frustrated that Klauder had so many commitments elsewhere that he wasn't spending enough time at the college. The effects of the stock market crash and the ensuing economic uncertainty may have been a factor; so might cost overruns in the construction of Fackenthal Pool. It is also possible that two determined men, convinced of the wisdom of their judgments, reached a point where differences in opinion had become insurmountable.
This much is certain: although Klauder was the college's architect at the time Fackenthal Pool was planned and constructed, and although the building bears a strong resemblance to others he designed at Franklin & Marshall, his name has been stricken from the record. At the meeting of the Board of Trustees held on January 22, 1931, the day Fackenthal Pool was dedicated, the trustees voted, without explanation, to "rescind all previous resolutions referring to the employment of Mr. Charles Z. Klauder as architect."
Klauder must have been deeply hurt. A New York Times obituary devoted a paragraph to the institutions of higher education in which Klauder erected significant buildings, a list undoubtedly provided by his office or family. One college for which Klauder had done extensive work was omitted from the list. Franklin & Marshall.
1. President's Report, Board of Trustees Minutes, June 12, 1923, p. 473; Board of Trustees Minutes, Dec. 7, 1923, pp. 482-82; Meeting of Special Committee on Erection of Dormitories, Dec. 28, 1923, pp. 487-88, all in Franklin & Marshall College Archives, Shadek-Fackenthal Library. See also "The New Franklin and Marshall," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus 1 (Nov. 1924): 1-5.
2. Biographical information on Klauder is drawn from "Charles Klauder, Noted Architect," New York Times, Oct. 31, 1938; Sandra L. Tatman and Roger W. Moss, Biographical Dictionary of Philadelphia Architects: 1700-1930 (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1985), pp. 449-450; Henry F. Withey and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1970), pp. 349-50. Out of respect for Frank Miles Day, Klauder retained the firm name Day & Klauder until 1927. For a discussion of Klauder as architectural renderer see "Monographs on Architectural Renderers. IX. The Work of Charles Z. Klauder," Brickbuilder 23 (1914): 220-22.
3. For an overview of Klauder's campus designs see Paul Venable Turner, Campus: An American Planning Tradition (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984), pp. 235-40; for the Cathedral of Learning see Mark M. Brown, The Cathedral of Learning: Concept, Design, Construction, exh. cat. (Pittsburgh: University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, 1987); and for Klauder's prolific career, "Hensel Hall Dedicated," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus 3 (Feb. 1927): 36. See also Kurt W. Pitluga, "Charles Z. Klauder at Penn State: The Image of the University," M.A. thesis, Pennsylvania State University, 1990. Klauder co-authored College Architecture in America with his longtime friend, Herbert C. Wise. The book, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, contains photographs of numerous Klauder buildings as well as those of other architects.
4. Henry Harbaugh Apple to the Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College, in Annual Reports of the President and Treasurer to the Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College For the Year May 15th, 1915, to May 15th, 1916 (Lancaster: Intelligencer Press, 1916), pp. 9-10; H. H. Apple to the Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College, 1928-29, in Annual Reports of the President and Treasurer to the Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster: n. p., 1929), pp. 1-3, 12-13; H. M. J. Klein, "President Apple's Twenty Years of Service," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus 5 (May 1929): 73-76.
5. H. H. Apple to the Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College, 1928-29, pp. 12-13; H. M. J. Klein, "President Apple's Twenty Years of Service," pp. 73-76.
6. Board of Trustees Minutes, June 13, 1922, pp. 455-57. The earliest surviving plan of the dormitories, dated November 9, 1923, depicts an H-shaped complex, with two buildings linked by a cross-wing. By 1924 the link had disappeared and the design for two freestanding buildings approved. The new dormitories were illustrated as noteworthy examples of Georgian style collegiate architecture in Architectural Forum, Dec. 1925, p. 348.
7. Withey and Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, pp. 490; "William C. Prichett," Lancaster New Era, Mar. 16, 1925. The New Era described Prichett as a "Philadelphia architect who designed a number of buildings here and who was well known in Lancaster."
8. "The New Franklin and Marshall," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus 1 (Nov. 1924): 1; F. W. Biesecker, "Building the Greater College," ibid., p. 2.
9. "The Heart of the Campus," ibid. 2 (Nov. 1925): 5.
10. Information drawn from a document entitled "Buildings List," compiled by college archivist Charlotte Brown and updated by her successor, Ann M. Kenne. On the influence of the World's Columbian Exhibition on campus design, see Turner, Campus, pp. 163-213.
11. "The Hensel Auditorium," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus1 (May 1925): 3; "Hensel Hall Dedicated," ibid. 3 (Feb. 1927): 35-36.
12. President's Report, Board of Trustees Minutes, Dec. 12, 1924, pp. 30-31.
13. Apple, Report of the President to the Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees, Dec, 3, 1926, pp. 18-20; E. M. Hartman, Report of the Principal of Franklin and Marshall Academy, June 1, 1926.
14. Board of Trustees Minutes, Dec. 3, 1926, pp. 100-3, June 3, 1927, p. 117.
15. "Largest Gift Ever Made to Our College Announced at 141st Commencement," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus4 (Aug. 1928): 109-11; "Ground Broken for Fackenthal Laboratories," ibid. 5 (Feb. 1929): 41-43; President's Report, Dec. 13, 1929, pp. 9, 12. It seems likely that the projected wall at the south of the new quadrangle would be similar in scale and design to the wall connecting the two new dormitories. One contemporary appraisal described Fackenthal Laboratories as "part of a new quadrangle which has been developed on the campus of this men's college during the past eight years. All the new buildings, which are in the Georgian Colonial style, are finished very effectively in red tapestry brick" (Jens Frederick Larson and Archie MacInness Palmer, Architectural Planning of the American College [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933], p. 125).
16. "The New Franklin and Marshall," p. 5; "Ground Broken For Swimming Pool--Gift of Dr. B. F. Fackenthal," Franklin and Marshall Alumnus 6 (July 1920): 100.
17. On issues of campus landscape see Board of Trustees Minutes, June 5, 1925, pp. 55-58, June 4, 1926, pp. 95-96. The brick wall is described in "The Hensel Auditorium," p. 3.
18. Board of Trustees Minutes, Jan. 22, 1931; "Charles Klauder, Noted Architect," New York Times, Oct. 31, 1938.
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