tv Olmsted Brothers Legacy at Duke University CSPAN December 30, 2021 12:36pm-1:37pm EST
charter communications. >> charter communications along with these television companies supports c-span2 as a public service. c-spanshop.org is c-span's store. browse through c-span products, apparel, books, decor and accessories. there is something for every c-span fan. shop now or any time at c-spanshop.org. mark hough, our next speaker, has been an intellectual speaker at duke since 2000 where he oversees
resource management and historic preservation. previous to his arrival at duke, he worked for the central park conservancy in new york city where he oversaw several landscapes. outside of duke he is a frequent photographer and a writer who has written extensively on campuses, urban design and the historic landscapes. martin is also a major part of this and a good friend on zoom. it is great to be able to stand with him at this symposium, so mark, take it away.and a good f. it is great to be able to stand with him at this symposium, so this and a good friend on zoom. it is great to be able to stand with him at this symposium, so mark, take it away. >> thank you, deedee. after all we've been through, it's nice to be here and have everybody here in person. i came to duke, like she said, in 2000 from central park, so i
have kind of two olmsted landscapes to work from. i will say one of the things about the central park that was so important to me is not just learning about the greensberg plan, but was learning about the impact of robert moses, good or bad, the impact of betsy rogers and learning from mary ann cramer, doug blansky, chris nolan, people i'm sure most of you all know, and realizing these places were important not only for their design but also their stewardship and how generations of people tend to these places over time, and i think that's really driven me professionally. it's going to drive this talk today. i think duke and stanford side by side are pretty interesting because there are similarities but they're very, very much differences also. so when i came to duke from central park, there was this
anticipation that i'm going to an olmsted campus, there will be this legacy that people will hear about. i was really surprised when i got there that that was not true at all. there are two things to know about duke, one, they're very obsessed with their architecture, and two, that they don't consider themselves historic. we're about to celebrate our hundred-year centennial, but when we compare duke to princeton, other schools they were trying to emulate, it's still a relatively young institution. so trying to think of themselves as a historic landscape, historic place, has been kind of a challenge. so when i got to duke, you know, olmsted -- people knew the name olmsted. i would say few people really knew the olmsted brothers had a big role in the design of the campus. i would say zero. and i mean this to the number that the olmsted brothers worked there consistently for 40 years.
and i don't think that history, even from the historical landscape scholarship side, has ever been told. so it was important to me to kind of learn the history. what is the history, why does it matter? i went to fairstead twice, i went to the library of congress, got as much information as i could, because at duke, they had very little written about the olmsted firm, and they had one drawing, which is this grading plan. i've always thought if you're going to have one plan from the olmsted firm, this is one of the plans to have. i mean, it's remarkable as a graphic, but it is so intuitive as you can look at that, if you understand grading plans, and understand what the issues are with the campus. it is about building a monumental gesture atop a ridge
in the rolling north carolina piedmont. so this was a good starting point for me. i want to talk about four themes today generally: creation, expansion, degradation and reclamation. these are not unique to duke. i think one of the things that makes duke a good case study is because what happened to duke can be translated to many -- at least in the 20th century, can be generalized to any campus design. so i'm mainly talking about west campus. there are many significant landscapes. this is east campus which was originally trinity college and then it became the women's college. obviously a neo jefferson, a
mall. i think the neo campus is also noted for its gorgeous landscape on the perimeter. the other that you might all be familiar with, 52 acres gardens which is its own world within the campus. this is probably the most famous landscape, which is the terraces which were designed by ellen little shipman. of all the landscapes she lost, she designed about 600 gardens or so, and there are very few remaining. i think this is probably one of the best that's preserved. they're just kind of getting those out of the way because we're not going to talk about them much more. a little history about duke, and i will say that i feel very strongly that you can't understand a design without understanding the role of the client. and i think part of that is because i'm a client. but i've learned the history, and it's the same with leland stanford. you really can't pull apart the
designer and the client because they're working together in certain cases. that's certainly the case at duke. so the patriarch is washington duke, his sons james duke and benjamin duke were part of the three that started w. duke and sons company tobacco. then james duke is the one who moved to new york, started america tobacco, and he's the one who had all the money. but combined the three of them brought trinity college from rural north carolina into durham, which wasn't a whole lot more than rural at the time, either, to be honest, so they took their money and education was very important to them, and educating the people of north carolina was very important to them. so these are important names to know. and trinity college, this you see what it was.
a little red line there is what this became. it came to durham in 1892. it was very small, very slow growing. so trinity, one of the requirements to get the money, washington duke gave 300,000, and one of the requirements was they had to educate women on an equal basis as the men, which was fairly progressive. this was the only southern white institution that invited booker t. washington to come to campus. so there are hints of progressivism there. so all of this changed. the story of duke changed dramatically. 1924 when james duke put his inventor of trust, $40 million which is about $630 million today. with this he was going to fund orphan care, churches, support
other institutions in north carolina and set up a new university that was going to be named for his father. and there you see $6 million will be made available at once for launching duke university. another little thing in there i think that's kind of clever, found an entirely new institution designed to become the equal of stanford -- stanford -- yale and harvard. no shortage of ambition here. so duke, like stanford, this was his gesture. he was going to be involved in the process. a couple other names that are less important but i think the history needs to acknowledge their role, these two jolly-looking gentlemen here, william preston few was the first president of duke and robert flowers was the second president of duke. so when you look at the correspondence, robert flowers
was the vice president of finance. he said very involved in the money aspect of this. and the other person that i think gets kind of short shrift is frank c. brown who was an english teacher. he was also the comptroller for the university. and i found this letter, it's undated and unsigned in the archives, olmsted archives, and this is the only kind of hint about landscape that i found coming from duke. i'm not going to read it all, but you can see it talks about pleasant interior courts and gardens, walls around them, shrubbery and flowers. the harvard yard expresses the quiet ability of the green, the other campus can also reflect the garden. it doesn't mean a lot, but you
get a sense that they really embraced the southernness, the climate and the landscape. so when duke went about to hire james duke and duke university went about to hire consultants, they had this long list of architects, probably 17 or 18. they drove around to all the universities, university of chicago, northeast, and they ended up with horace trumbauer. he designed the library in harvard, he designed a place in new york. i haven't found any evidence that they consideredth guy the time. what i've read other places, at
the time duke started, rick was doing a lot, so he wasn't really involved. i think he must have been involved somewhat, but you don't really find his name mentioned much in relation to duke. in the same way, horace trumbauer, even though his name is found all over the place and he signs everything, it became clear in the 20th century that really julian able did most of the drawings. he was the first african-american graduate of the architect school at penn, so he was really responsible for all the buildings, even though i'm confident horace trumbauer should not be completely left out of the conversation. so what about duke? if rick is out of the picture, the job of designing duke fell to purcell gallagher, one of my favorite names. gallagher was very culturally
oriented. he designed a lot of parks, he designed a lot of estates. he worked at swarthmore. during the time he worked at duke, he was also supporting architect at vassar. so he had a lot of good experience, but you don't hear a lot about him. i think duke is a good way -- talking about duke is a good way to talk about other people within the firm that don't really get much attention. so when you look a the famous family tree of the olmsted firm, you look at rick up top and there's percival right there. i heard him called percy, but i don't really want to call him percy. so by the time gallagher came in '25, a lot of the work -- this is the women's college -- had been done. they did grading, they did lighting, they did planting, but they didn't really -- he wasn't really involved in laying it out. the original plan was to expand
the campus northward up into the top of the slide, but when they found out that james duke was going to build this big university, they jacked up all the prices so duke had to look had to look for land somewhere. fortunately, this area was not short on land at the time. this is what the north carolina piedmont looks like per duke forest today. so they bought 5,000 acres of land. this is like a mile west of the women's college which we just saw. i think romantically, the duke community has sort of thought about this as this virgin forest that they come in and carve this university out of. the reality is the land was a lot of abandoned farms, a lot of successal woodlands so you weren't cutting down the forest to put in a university. the land actually looked like this. you see the city encroaching
from the north, and you can see the football field being laid out. this is during construction. there's the cross axis. so when i was looking at this the first time i was thinking about the -- you know, you have the topography, you have the trees, you have a very specific image of what the piedmont landscape is. you think about what's driving the design, and i think we have talked about that earlier today. it's like does a designer come in here and say this is what your campus needs to be, and i started looking at james duke's estate. this is duke's park in somerville, new jersey. it was between 1893, which is when james greenly -- this is 1915. buckington miller did some plans and then buckington and miller split up and this is louis
miller's plan, and, you know, what you see is very much a picturesque landscape. this is what james duke wanted. this is how he wanted to spend his money on his 2,700 acres, and he wanted to make a public park. so going back to the other discussion today about campus park, they're not separate landscapes, but versions of the same thing. this is the aesthetic and the experience that he liked. i saw one quote he said where he had planted 2 million trees on his property, which i find a little exaggerated. but you get the sense when you look -- you know, look closer up and you see the lakes, you know, this idea of water. the idea of trees. the interplay of trees and water and topography was very much part of james duke before duke university came along.
so if you look at this and if you can see through the glare, and see the lakes and see how the circuitous roads come around and then you switch to -- this is an early master plan, 1925, and you'll see more detail. don't worry too much about it here. but you can see the campus being laid out. and so the idea for -- from the beginning was this campus was going to be placed with lakes, so keep that in mind. water was big, topography was big, trees were big. so blowing up that plan, and again this is march 1925. this is percival gallagher's work. trumbauer's involved -- pretty much everything i found from
this period and granted, there's a lot of trumbauer's records were burned, it was about the olmsted brothers farm laying out the buildings. this is how it should lay in the land and it's not like the women's college, go pretty it up. this is an integral collaboration and it seems to me that the olmsted farm was kind of taking the lead here. so what you see is you see this kind of bending, you know, quadrangles, you know? so you see this green space. this is very different from the traditional quad, so what you they're trying to do is nestle the buildings into the grade so you're not coming in here and trying to, you know, flatten the ridge or build something. so it's a fairly sensitive landscape approach to creating what is a lot of building. i mean, that's 20 million cubic
feet, even though we don't think that way anymore. 20 million cubic feet of building sitting on this bending ridge line and yet, it still feels like it's a landscape design. and looking at that in -- from a rendered perspective, i just think this is such a masterful rendering because you get to see the topography. you see how the person rendered this bird's-eye without benefit of drones, and -- but you get the sense that this is really -- this is a campus that's about the landscape. and, you know, there's this list of elements from the olmsted brothers farm that there's a boating lake, a cascade, a geyser fountain, a grotto, a bridge. and you can see those in there. you see the cascade down to the lake at the front. you see the boating lake in the back. i mean, this is quite some commission for a landscape
architect at the time. you're like score, this is great. so but, you know, things don't always work out. so october 1925, james duke dies. so the man with the money is no longer there. i mean, he's given them money, so there was a $6 million endowment in the trust. he had already given $2 million, and in his will he had $11 million more to give to duke. so duke had $19 million to spend, and they quickly realized that, well, that's not going to build 20 million cubic feet of buildings. so administrators sent back to the design team and said, you need to go from 20 million cubic feet of buildings to 12 million cubic feet, cutting 42% of the project and i'm sure the
consultants in this room are cringing, i remember a project like that. i think we had a couple of those at duke, actually, after this. so things changed. so everybody realized, okay, we can't build this. we can't build this wonderful olmsted landscape in the piedmont, and so trumbauer came back with this plan. i'm sure this was exclusively able/on trumbauer. julian was a devotee of the bose arthur. you suddenly get this different sense. this is about architecture. this is about an architecture form on the landscape, and you see it doesn't even address the landscape. so here's kind of the rendered version of that. it's still quite nice. you get some elements of the picturesque. you get the sweeping drives.
there was a lake left at that point. there's still the geyser fountain, but gradually all of that gets -- you know, you still have this -- so this is to jump around a little bit. this is the survey of the land. you'll see the roads are kind of ghosted in. so from what i can tell, trumbauer takes this new design and gives it to percival gallagher and says, make something of this. what he had to do was take this new form and, you know, keep in mind it's no longer about stepping buildings into the landscape. now it's about a plant, essentially. it's about building these buildings as -- you know, say you got to here. you can tell it's not flat, but it's flattish compared to what it was going to be before. so the other big changes here is that you no longer have -- one thing that was so nice about the other plan is you had a visual
connection, had a visual access to the chapel, but you approached by going down around and then back up. i think that's important. let me show you that real quick. so you see how when you -- at the bottom -- let me get rid of james -- how you drive down and around and then come back up. so it -- so you have a visual access, but you don't have a functional access. so now suddenly, you do have the functional access. that's how you get to campus. here it is graded out, looking back towards the road. you have a land bridge now which is much more of a straight line feature. this is from the olmsted archives looking back, they sketched it, the chapel, and you sort of see the part -- the
partee here is trees get as close to the road as possible and then you see the monumental chapel at the end. there's the final master plan and olmsted brothers are thankfully noted here. they're not on much of the plans. i think what you see is you kind of get graphically the idea of the topography and the trees and the water. all of those things are still important. and so here it is. this is the drama that is the approach to duke chapel, and it's very effective. i don't think we're worse off for not having the other one. i do think one thing that they did beautifully that most people won't realize is this vertical curve when you drive in there that you see here is perfection. it's like if that was a straight line in terms of a vertical just drive up to the chapel, it wouldn't be very different. this is where you see sort of
see the artistry of the firm. it seems subtle but once you realize it's there, it really is a very important part of it. and the other thing about the trees is it's easy to tell in hindsight how much they thought about it. they thought about the trees, preserving the trees. what are the good trees, what are the bad trees. it was always about how you see architecture within the context of trees. so this idea of -- of the university and the forest is just embedded in these drawings and i find them so useful. this is a later -- so 1930, many of the buildings have been built. so that they're coming back and doing the planting plans, and there's this description from percival gallagher that talks about the -- so the organizing
feature are the blue stone walkways. there are to be trees along either side of the two main eight foot walks that are situated about 35 feet from the sides of the buildings that enclose the campus. these trees are to be planted at a regular distance to the park and at irregular distances from the park in order to humanize from the large oak trees. this is the first time i heard of this and sure enough when you look at the old drawings, you see they had tried to save these trees and you really get it. you get this sense of, you know, bringing the forest into the quadrangle. but you also look at the construction site. i'm sure plenty of landscape architects in this room have seen construction sites like this and this is their attempt at saving the trees. and yeah, a valiant effort,
a-plus for effort. but not realistic. this is important to me, not because of the six or seven trees, but because this to me is part of the ethic of the university. so for me as a contemporary practitioner at duke, i can say, you know, this is part of the dna. this was what we're about. it's not a tree for the sake of a tree. it's really about, you know, the goals of the university going back to james duke. and i will say that with this type of information, i get a lot more leverage within administrators to say something goes back to the james duke legacy than it does to the olmsted legacy. that is not having the story that stanford has. but that's part of what i have been trying to do for 15 years is kind of bring this story out to make people know about it. up -- so as planted, you know,
it's kind of bleak at first, right? it has a lot of architecture. so alex huxley when he visited the campus in the 1930s, he talked -- you walk out and you see the amazing city of gray stone, which actually is true because you realize here how much this campus needs trees. how much it needs landscape. and going back to percival gallagher again, in the main campus and between the long straight front walks and the buildings, there would be many kinds of flowering and broad leaf, small growing trees of which crepe myrtle, evergreen privets and flowering shrubs would be used. these would be disposed at -- as to harmonize with the architectural composition of the
facades. now, i think most -- many of us in this room can question some of the plant choices in hindsight, but this image i found very effective to show you what that -- what that scheme looks like. because it really took me a long time after being at duke to figure out what the rhyme and reason was. but it's a lot of long and it's basically random placed shrubs and trees in the long -- on the ground. so you get the sense that it's very quiet. it's very soft. it's very residential almost. we'll get back to that in a minute. but with this early design phase, so gallagher and cohorts did a lot of other work. they did planting plans for faculty houses. this is the planting plan for the main drive to campus. the dam that they created to
make the access road, which when you look at that, when you get the planting plan i mean it's very ornate and very carefully drawn and considered which is something that you don't really get from the main quad. the other thing they did which is a whole with story unto itself, if you look at east campus now women's college then on the right, and west campus to the left, they had to get between the two campuses. so they designed this road that was called myrtle drive then, but it's later been called campus drive. so there's a lot of drawings about not only how to do the horizontal and vertical alignment, but what is the planning strategy? and it was viewed as faculty housing connecting the two campuses. so they were very involved in pretty much all aspects of building duke at the time. and so this is the 1930s. these are taken about the same time. i think they're interesting. i'd like to consider the one on
the left, sort of the landscape architects' perspective and the one on the right being the architects' perspective, where on the left you sot of -- you really understand the trees and the topography and how it sits on the landscape and the importance of it and on the right, well, we built a very big quad of buildings and flattened the ridge and they're both kind of true. but it's very much sort of the man over nature thing, as opposed to the more sensitive picturesque. so this kind of ends the first period. and then 1934, percival gallagher sadly dies. this is the obituary written in landscape architecture magazine. 40 years of quiet unassumed devotion in the practice of his art. a artist self-subordinated to his art. so catholic in his appreciation
of beauty in every aspect of nature and wherever it appeared in any work of man. notwithstanding his own artistic skill, he was self-critical in striving for the fest qualities attainable as he was uncompromising in rejection of the mediocre. i don't know. that's pretty nice. i would like to have somebody say that about me one day. but, you know, but it sort of -- the humility part of it sort of explains why we don't know more about him. i would love to know more about him. so this kind of talks about something we mentioned earlier. you know, generationally what happens to a firm, and when, you know, when times change. not long after gallagher died, the firm sent this letter to the president of duke. i'm not going to read it all, but it's essentially saying, yeah, mr. gallagher died or he's no longer here, but we want to
still work at duke. i think the line -- but in this as in all of our work, the plans and ideas work to a considerable extent worked out in consultation with our other partners and designers and reflect, therefore, the ideals and experience of not only of mr. gallagher, but of our office as a whole. so that kind of gives you some sense of how the office functioned. so even if rick was working on the west coast, you know, i get the sense -- i'm confident there's more interaction there than we have documentation for. so we go into the '40s. this is looking over the campus. this is at a football game. it's actually a beautifully designed football stadium. one thing you start to see here and granted there's a football crowd is how parking is starting to come into the equation already in the '40s. so 1943 is here.
1944, a decade later is when the gi bill kicks in. so suddenly, you have 2 million plus g is coming and trying get into the school system. trying to get into the universities. and so schools are having to deal with things they didn't have to deal with before. you know, rapid growth, new facilities, new cars. so a year later, i guess duke realized they needed help so they reached back out to horace trumbauer and the olmsted firm and requested to see if you're still interested in doing work 59 duke university. you will see that julian ables' name made the letter head after trumbauer died. so this was sent to william hubbard and looking here on the family tree, william hubbard had been a partner since 1920. he around this time was about
70, but he was still practicing, and the other person who i think did much of the work here was karl russ parker who we heard about earlier. so now we're starting to see the next generations of firm members come in, and you're seeing that the new generation facing completely new challenges. you know, this is not the days of duke and stanford you have this land and you can build a new campus, where you have to think about expanding. so this is what the campus looked like at the time. 1945. not a lot different than before. so they basically had a surette. i think by august they had a report, so they were charged. so this is karl parker and william frank from the trumbauer firm, came what do you need and duke said we need to find places
for seven buildings, that was it. okay, we can put your seven buildings here. and, you know, this is kind of disturbing if you're somebody who loves historic campus design. what you start to see is the patterns completely just have broken down instantly. and you understand how building something so specific on top of a ridge is essentially a pattern that you cannot perpetuate pause you can't just keep building linear -- it's not like stanford where it's relatively flat and it's the low lands. you're up on the hill. what they did, it's easy to criticize them, but this is suburbia. you're building lab buildings which are builder than the buildings they have built before and stringing them alongside roadsides and they're adding roads to accommodate the new buildings.
duke is not unique in this. many, many campuses have faced these same issues. so that was it. that was the olmsted brothers part. but they worked all through the '50s. in the '50s they did site plans for new buildings, planting plans for new buildings. here are three surface parking lots that they did which is again frustrating but it's the realty of the work. they were solving problems. problems that landscape architects helped to solve were how do you deal with all of the cars? so further fragmenting the campus, but they're doing work that really needs to be done. into the '50s, you see the quad there. six of those seven buildings have been built. so from an aerial perspective, you see this kind of
disintegration of the forest, and this seems to me like a time where having 5,000 acres of land is kind of a mixed blessing. and i will say that -- so stanford has 8,180 acres and duke has 8,6923 acres. so we're bigger. but, you know, having all of this land is actually harder sometimes than having a smaller footprint where you have to work about the puzzle pieces fitting stuff together. so into the '50s, they contacted olmsted brothers firm again. this time, artemis richardson, my second favorite name and joseph hudek were part of this. so most of this was artemis richardson's work. this was more of a campus planning project. much more of a traditional, you know, where do you put the science buildings. where do you put the dorms. so it's land use planning on the
left. and then on the right, you start to see where they can put new buildings. the pink shade there is unfortunately more surface parking lots. so this is before parking garages became the ubiquitous things they are on the campuses. if you want to look at that in a different way, you know, so the lines are proposed roads, the dash lines are existing roads and then you have the parking. i think this clearly describes what was happening on many college campuses at that time. one thing -- one really good thing about this plan -- well, mostly good thing about this plan was they really started to think about the landscape because all of this time, '40s, '50s, into the '60s you don't get a sense there's any thought about the landscape. that it's result about practically where do we put buildings. so i don't know if this came up
from -- came from duke or from the olmsted brothers' firm, but this idea of the green belt. green belt of not less than 150 feet in width and closed the section of the campus which has been developed in stone gothic architecture. within this belt, there should be a stand of trees and evergreen shrubs and no parking garages should be developed in the green belt. the idea is to preserve the integrity of the quad and it has the inverse effect of everything outside of it less of a priority. by prioritizing one thing, you deprioritize, you know, something else. so while i think it's a great gesture, you know, it sort of perpetuated a problem that was already existing. so this was published in the duke alumni magazine. the white buildings are proposed
buildings, but you see it's still -- you just feel like it's this free-for-all. we're just putting buildings where we can find the spot for them. so at the same time, this was published in 1961. the plan was done in 1960. and in 19 60, a group of faculty got together and wrote -- complained to a university committee about the landscape. i'm going to read one thing, what they called a problem. the duke university grounds are now superficially attractive, and they are thrice deficient. the aesthetic quality of the buildings is marred by improper plantings, plantings that are bow tannual useless and the trees are being destroyed by lack of foresight and care of the land.
the present abusive practices must be stopped at once. so this is another thing that we haven't talked about today is that, you know, the constituencies at a campus are vast. you have the students who i find are more engaged than they used to be. i think that's probably cyclical, and we haven't really talked about the faculty. but when you have a faculty that has a design school, you know, these people are engaged. this is their community so you're going to get all of this input, some wanted more than others, and, you know, all of that kind of layers in the decision process. so i'm sure lori and michael and others can talk about their complicated university clients. but there are all of these different layers involved. whether or not -- how ever much that complaint mattered, olmsted
brothers were once again -- this is still with artemis richardson were brought in to look at the campus and kind of help fix it up. and so this is early 1960s photos taken by the olmsted firm. i want to do a general acknowledgment to the archives, to the national park service because a lot of the images i stole from them. but you start to see sort of, you know, overgrown shrubs. you are starting to see the results of that planting that i showed you in the beginning where you have shrubs coming out and it really makes less sense once they reach their age. so they engaged the firm to do plans. if you look at the left this is the key map. so each box is a separate plan, and then in each plan, they did existing conditions for paving, existing conditions for planting. they did proposed planting and proposed paving.
so, you know, do the math. it's a lot of sheets and it's pretty complex work. i mean, they literally went in there and showed how many new plants needed to be taken out. how many needed to be added. i don't think any of this happened. i have not seen any evidence that they have paid -- they added some parking at the front of the building laid out by the olmsted firm which continues this theme i have been on. so this essentially is the last of the olmsted firm. it's 1965, so the firm is, you know, not really much by that point anyway. so this is what we're left with in the '70s. so suddenly, you know, unfortunately we don't experience campuses from the air. on the ground you get a sense of more contiguous trees but nothing like there used to be. so the '70s and '80s were kind of a design wasteland.
and then in the mid '90s we had a change of administration and we -- i wasn't there yet, but we called our old friend lori olin to come -- i won't put words in his mouth, but the idea was how do you take this fragmented campus, this place that's gotten so mangled and try to use the landscape to tie things together? and there's more to it than this graphic. there was no funding with this, but we actually, if you look at this plan, we have done quite a bit of it over time. you know, periodically. but this was really the first switch back to hey, we need to think more comprehensively about our landscape. did the master plan in 2000 with lee coke land and it was the first for the entire -- this isn't obviously the 8,000 acres
but for the main contiguous campus. a few things that step out from that, kind of the same principles that kathy was talking about, but so historic and dynamic campus. we respect our history, but we have to move with the time. duke is a university in the forest. again, having this in print, having this endorsed by the board of trustees as a is sentence has helped us to say we value our trees. and also, it has -- it has the same using in-filled development. the whole plan was about how to infill and how to reverse suburban planning and build in the center of campus again to make it more pedestrian. and then the last one which i think is most important is this idea of a collection of memorable places. when you site buildings you site buildings to create positive open space. so none of this siloed buildings that exist just for themselves.
so let's go back to the 1930s for a second. 2.3 million square feet we oar not doing cubic feet anymore. and jump to 2020. 20 plus million square feet. i'm not sure 23 i think might be right. the red building, the red footprints is what has been done since i have been there. since 2000. in addition to this, we have done from my calculations 115 acres of new landscapes or restored landscapes with a nice list of consultants like stanford, you know. we value our buildings and landscapes and an attempt to hire, and this isn't all of them. this is what would fit on the slide. but so, you know, what i try to do in my role is to take all of this, all of this work, find a way to generalize it.
so what this is, this is something i put together a few years ago. landscape character and design guidelines, it's not to tell people how to do things but really what are the elements of the landscape that make a duke landscape a duke landscape. just to switch gears a little, we need to talk about students more because when you talk about campus landscapes, what we're really creating places for them. and how they use these spaces. it dictates a lot. this is the main quad. this is the olmsted able quad. so 1950s, you saw a lot of this, you know, passive sitting on the lawn, listening to a band or a lecturer. 1960s, you start what kathy was saying this is the heart of the campus. this is where they protest. this is where they go for meaningful discourse. this is where they go to make change. so these central spaces, these
hallowed spaces really become, you know, the most important landscapes on the campus. duke has a couple unique things that i don't necessarily love, but we're stuck with it. so after big basketball games, duke students go out there and they take the big benches they make and do the huge bonfires on the landscape so you see the shadow of the chapel there. this used to anger me a bit and then i eased up a little. this is what we're here for. this is student life, this is what they do. and, you know, if they destroy the landscape, we find a way around it. i'm not saying i love it or anything. the other thing -- this is the last day of classes. so thousands of people saw -- i'm sure some more inebriated than others and this is party central. you look at the trees, this is the remaining trees that were
back from percival gallagher days, holding on for dear life. and again, compaction. you know, all of this has an impact on the landscape. so when i started, this is pretty much indicative of what the landscape looked like. it had been beaten down. extremely low maintenance. from my perspective -- needless to say. you know, for me it's like don't these people know how important this landscape is? and, you know, i'm only a landscape architect, but the only thing i did internally was -- with one person on my staff, we did a landscape master plan which we're saying what if we have $10,000 here, $20,000 there, $5,000 there, how can we incrementally set the stage for improvements?
and we did maybe 12 projects off of this plan which made a difference, but we knew it wasn't going to be, you know, what we needed. so in 2011, we hired reed hilder brand to do a master plan. completely redo of all of the landscape, so taking what was there was this the denuded landscape. we turned it into something like this. and the big moves were really making the sidewalks bigger so people could fit on them. beefing up the plantings to help people know where they're supposed to be and not to be and improve the infrastructure of the quad. improve the drainage, improve the soil. so all of this stuff works together as a system, so all of this is its own ecology which no one had thought about it that way before. so, you know, one of the things
that we did was we added this granite gutter which was meant to make the sidewalk wider. but what we wanted to do was use it as a tool to improve the drainage. so all the water goes into the granite channel underground, but you have a nice design detail. you see where we -- where we encountered roots. we stopped it. as much as we tried to save those trees, we've probably lost three of them since then. the other thing we did at the time, made the decision, if you see the guy in the blue walking on the right. that's the historic paving so that's the ash -- the full color range of the blue stone and the left is the new where it's a more contemporary application, but it's still blue stone. so it's this sense of you respect history, but you don't -- you're not a slave to it.
so, you know, what's historic stays historic. what's new looks new. so just a couple of images. here we go, what was there before. this is after the construction. you know, part of this was the lawn too, about soils, drainage. they didn't really know about those things in 1929-30, like we do today. trying to introduce horticulture practices in here, and then so we could get a healthy stand of lawn that can deal with compaction that can handle these -- all of the events better. so if we go back to this image, so this was -- this was the postcard image that couldn't quite live up to the reality of how students use spaces. so these are those three arches by the time that i got there. we did one other paving thing
between them, but after each project we ended up saying, well, we have to acknowledge that this is about circulation. you have to let students move pause you have hundreds of people going through the arches at a time. and really kind of beefing up the landscape and you can see the two, you know, paving treatments there. so coincidentally at the time, all of these restorations, the board of trustees made a decision to name all of the quad able quad. named for julian f. able, the african american architect who designed all of the buildings and there was universal support for this. so i wrote an article for duke magazine where i talked about where i wanted to kind of balance the conversation, where i wanted to say, he's so great, but let's not forget the
contributions of the olmsted brothers. so was this the intro here. and for the past 16 years, this well deserved recognition meaning abel raises an interesting question. to what extent does it consistent a work of architecture? here he argues that a quad is made up equal life architecture and landscape. with each being less meaningful in the context without the other. that was my argument. let's celebrate the architecture, let's really acknowledge it for what it is, but let's don't forget that the olmsted brothers, percival gallagher mattered and that the generations of people who worked on this campus have really mattered in terms of the campus landscape. so last thing i wanted to go back to this image. so we had these two lakes that
james duke wanted, and obviously percival gallagher wanted to design, and so we never got to do them. so water was one of things that got cut out when they ran out of money. interestingly in the 1980s if you know duke and duke gardens, we built a storm water pond with the help of linda jewel as the designer. so this storm water pond in a way becomes one of -- one of the lakes, you know? it slid -- it slid down a bit, but it's basically achieving the same purpose that they wanted. a few years ago, we built the other lake which is on the other side of the chapel. this was a lake we -- a pond we built to -- this saved us 100 million gallons of potable water each year. it's a storm water collection that serves our water plant so
it was important to me when we did this this is not a utility and we have to design this as a work of landscape architecture, so i hired the architect which created this landscape. which is not only beautiful and ecological and functional, but it is about -- it gives the students a place to go and a place to hang out and, you know, to me it's sort of the epitome of all things which try to do with campus landscapes. we have got to be sustainable and we've got to create social spaces. so we're stewards of the university community, as well as stewards of the environment. you know, to me just to be able to say this supports the history, this supports the, you know, master plan and that makes it much more significant. so thank you. [ applause ]
♪♪ so how exactly did america get up to its neck in debt? >> we believe one of the great greatest characterizations is we're striving to provide equal opportunity for all citizens. >> c-span's video competition, 2022 and there's behind the scenes looks as the students work on their entries. if you're a middle or high school student you can join the conversation by entering the c-span student cam competition. create a five to six minute documentary using c-span video clips that answer the question, how does the federal government impact your life? >> be passionate about what you're discussing, to express your view no matter how large or small the audience will be and know that in the greatest country in the history of your
effort, your view does matter. >> remember the content is king. and just remember to be as neutral and impartial as possible in your portrayal of both sides of the issue. >> c-span awards $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at winning the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20th, 2022. for competition rules, tutorials or how to get started, visit our website at student cam.org. during a recent virtual program hosted by the u.s. capital historical society, historian joseph ellis looked at how the founding fathers can provide for today's society. >> the founding fathers were brilliant but they were flawed. they succeeded triumphantly in
many respects. they could imagine and successfully bring off winning a war against the dominant military power on the planet at that moment -- great britain. if you think about it how many wars did great britain lose between 1750 and 1950? one. they could imagine a nation sized republic that had never existed before. they could imagine the separation of church and state, the creation of a secular society from the point of view from government authority. that had never happened before either. and finally, a principle that political scientists think is crucial and an invention of the creation of the doctrine of federalism. meaning, that their shared sovereignty. there's no single source of sovereignty in the american republic, which anyone thought you had to have.
all those are great triumphs and in the midst of the triumphs there are two enormous tragedies. one is the failure to reach a just accommodation with the native americans and the other is to end slavery. >> watch the program and thousands more at c-span.org/history. washington unfiltered. c-span in your pocket. download c-span now today. our next speaker is frederick fritz steiner, president of the school of design, whose exceptional leadership was recognized this week by the university of pennsylvania which extended his services as dean. i guess that perhaps no good deed goes unpunished so congratulations to you. for 15 years, before joining the university of pennsylvania, he served as dean of