Stanford University, Inner Quadrangle and Master Plan

Stanford, CA | 1887

Perhaps the best testimonial to the enduring success of the original quad design is that the buildings-more than 100 years after their conception-continue to be the "inner city" of the University, the heart of the undergraduate teaching and academic administration. Functionally and aesthetically, they express a heritage of the importance of university planning. Except for repairing damage from the 1906 earthquake and converting the old assembly hall into space for the business school, the quadrangle buildings remain virtually as they were in 1891 with the exception of a second story that was added to an inner quad building in 1944.


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Shepley Rutan and Coolidge

"What makes [the cost of renovating these original buildings] all worthwhile, is that these outstandingly handsome buildings of sandstone and red tile can be given revived strength, efficiency and airiness that will enable them to continue for many more decades in their original function as the academic heart of the University. They are in harmony with each other, with their environment and with the function of the University."-Peter C. Allen, Stanford University Editor Emeritus

"Grace and fitness have an educative power too often forgotten in this utilitarian age…These long corridors with their stately pillars, these circles of waving palms will have their part in the students' training. . . . Each stone of the quadrangle shall teach its lesson." David Starr Jordan, First President of Stanford University, 1891

"Nearly every part of Stanford University architecture reflects in some way the Richardsonian style, yet handled [by Coolidge] with a boldness and imagination not typical of revivalism." "Paul V. Turner, Stanford Univeristy art historian, 1978

"Evening after evening, I walk through the cloisters of the great quadrangle, admiring the solidity, beauty, and admirable arrangement of the buildings, enjoying their lovely surroundings." Andrew D. White, President, Cornell University, 1892

Note: This text has been drawn from Historic Preservation (April/June 1978)

©2017 Shepley Bulfinch