"Yooperprof's Alma Mater - Wash. U" Saint Louis Travelogue by yooperprof

Saint Louis Travel Guide: 1,123 reviews and 1,960 photos

Washington University campus

I got my undergraduate degree from Wash. U in the early 1980s. Although there are many new buildings on campus, in many ways it hasn't changed at all.

Brookings Hall is probably the most often photographed building at Washington U. Not surprisingly, it is sometimes referred to as "the castle."

Ridgely Hall

Ridgely is the home of the Languages Departments. Also to Holmes Lounge, a tall, wood panelled chamber with comfortable chairs, a very comfortable place to take a break from studying.

Under the arches of Ridgely Hall - a good place to reflect upon the peculiarites of German grammar.

Busch Hall

Named for the brewing Busches of St. Louis, who have been major donors to Wash. U over the years. This is home to the Department of History, and so it is where I first learned my p's and q's about B.C.E. and A.C.E.

The campus is famous for its gargoyles - though most are purely decorative, like this one on Brookings.

Washington University was so-named in honor of the first president of the USA - although he had no obvious connection with St. Louis that I know of. But Washington represented the idea of unity, and unity is what people in Missouri were looking for in the 1853. (The important Dred Scott decision was argued just a few miles from here at just about the same time the university was founded.)

Behind George is Olin, the main library of Wash. U. They've just completed major renovations to Olin, and it is now home to a nifty cafe serving the stimulation needs of the university's notoriously "grinding students. This is one place where Friday night is (for many) a study night.

Graham Chapel

The architectural model for Graham was King's College Chapel, Cambridge. In fact, it's a scaled-down replica of King's. Too bad Wash. U doesn't have its own Rubens, though.

Mudd Hall

Not all of Washington University is in the campus gothic style so popular in America. This is Mudd (aptly named?), home of the Political Science Department. Its bare concrete walls are typical of the "Brutalist" style of architecture popular in the 1970s.

The university's Law School was once housed in a building similar in style to Mudd Hall. But wealthy alumni demanded that it be replaced by something more "traditional" (and less ugly), and the rather hideous building was torn down, even though it was only 30 years old. Now future lawyers at Wash U have something more comfortable to rest their eyes upon.

  • Page Updated Jun 26, 2004
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