How Gothic architecture took over the American college campus

Matt Zalaznick's picture

The campus of Yale University, 1921. Midnight.

It is perhaps the most important job of your career. You, a successful architect, have been selected by a rich donor to build a new tower here, on your alma mater’s campus, at Yale. The tower, Gothic in style, named “Harkness,” must look archaic, timeless. It is 216 feet tall, one foot for every year since Yale’s founding. You could be building history…except that the tower does not look nearly old enough.

So you—in, presumably, a long cape, high collar, and top hat—sneak to the construction site. You pull a flask from the folds of your garment, uncork it—and throw acid onto the new granite.

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