This Date in History

May 22, 1936: Tributes to the late Dr. Charles E. Hill who, prior to his death May 10 was for 20 years a member of the faculty of George Washington University, were paid at memorial services held at the university.George Washington University ca. 1930s


2 Responses to “This Date in History”

  1. Love the old view of (left to right) Stuart Hall, Lisner Hall (the library at the time) and Bell Hall. These innovative Art Deco buildings still grace the southern end of Universty Yard at GW. The building group was designed by DC famed architect Waldron Faulkner and the University had renderings done by Hugh Ferriss to promote fundraising for their construction. At the time of completion, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC asked for photographs of the buildings for its Architecture Department Collection. Other buildings on campus by Faulkner include the Hall of Government, Lisner Auditorium and the Tompkins Hall of Engineering.

  2. Waldron Faulkner and His Influence at GW
    From GWUEncyc
    Faulkner’s contributions to the University illustrate the school’s growing financial resources, the concomitant desire to establish a sophisticated presence in the community and the architect’s developing design skills. President Marvin had changed the direction of the University, firmly establishing his goals. Faulkner was an architect whose philosophy meshed with that of Marvin. Their synergetic relationship made it possible to materialize their ideas. The result was the establishment of a new form for the University, one which reflected Marvin’s intent ion that George Washington University be seen as a major academic institution with an identifiable image.

    Faulkner, born in Paris in 1898, educated at Yale, and apprenticed in New York, moved to the District of Columbia in 1934. His father was a painter and intimate of John Singer Sargent and Francis Millet. He spent his youth in Connecticut and graduated from Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1919. He worked in engineering for a year before deciding to turn his career to architecture. He was employed in the office of R. M. Dana, Jr. and York and Sawyer, returning to Yale to pursue a B.F.A. He graduated in 1924, the recipient of an AIA student medal and a traveling scholarship to Rome. He practiced architecture in New York from 1927 through 1934. During this time he designed the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, Illinois and the original campus of The Madeira School in Greenway, Virginia. But the Depression made Faulkner look to Washington for work. In 1934, he moved here to work with another displaced New York architect, Alexander B. Trowbridge. Faulkner and Trowbridge designed the Strong Residence for the Y.W.C.A. (demolished) and Strong Hall for George Washington University. He then worked independently until 1939 when he established a partnership with Slocum Kingsbury. In 1946, they were joined by John Stenhouse. The firm became known as Faulkner, Stenhouse, Fryer and Faulkner from 1965 to 1968 when he retired. In 1973, at the age of 75, Yale awarded him a Master of Architecture degree.

    Faulkner’s work centered on institutional design. He was responsible for many school and college structures, as well as hospitals and office buildings. Beyond his work for George Washington University, Faulkner’s buildings include Gallinger Hospital-Tuberculosis Ward (1940) , D.C. Morgue (1940) , Vassar College Infirmary (1940) , Lisner Home for Aged Women (1940) , Suburban Hospital and Nurses’ Home (1943) , St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bethesda, (1948); administrators and nurses quarters for ten veterans hospitals (1950-51); Salvation Army Building, Washington (1950) , the Hannah Harrison School of Industrial Arts, Washington, (1950) ; buildings for St. Alban’s School, Potomac School, Mt. Vernon Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary, Holton Arms School (1933-51); Veteran’s Administration Hospital, New Orleans, LA (with Favroz and Reed) (1968) . His own house at 35th Street in Cleveland Park, completed in 1937, was called by Washington Post architecture critic Wolf von Eckardt as “among the city’s first ventures into modern architecture. But – and this is characteristic of Faulkner’s architecture – it is gently modern, a sublimated art deco.”

    Faulkner’s work at George Washington University clearly illustrates his ideology. Consistent with contemporary architectural thought, his design philosophy centered around massing and proportions, not ornament or style. His buildings present emphatic statements abstracting classical principles to their most basic forms His continued selection as the architect of major university projects is not surprising. Strong, often severe, designs respond to and create the urban environment envisioned by the University. In addition, just as the architect had cemented his relations with the University, he had captured the attention of its benefactors. Both Strong and Lisner had used him to design buildings they had donated to other institutions. Indeed, a man whose abilities matched the opportunity to design large institutional buildings, Faulkner’s design philosophy was in perfect consonance with that of President Marvin.

    [edit]Document Information
    Images: 0
    Photographic Credit: n/a
    Author or Source: Application for Historic Buildings Registry/RG0031; Kayser, Bricks Without Straw, p.311
    Document Location: University Archives
    Date Added to Encyclopedia: December 21, 2006
    Prepared by: G. David Anderson

    [edit]For more information about GW history

    Special Collections Research Center [1]
    The Melvin Gelman Library [2]
    The George Washington University [3]
    2130 H Street, NW Suite 704
    Washington, DC 20052
    Please send us your questions and comments about the encyclopedia.
    This site is maintained by the Special Collections Research Center and the Web Development Group.

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