Before Jefferson, There Was Ramée

Before Jefferson's Campus, There Was Ramée's 1

Martin Benjamin

Joseph Ramée's 1813 plans for Union College arranged buildings around a wide lawn, and placed a classical rotunda in the middle, on the site now occupied by the Nott Memorial.

The American college campus as we know it—with buildings organized in a parklike setting—turns 200 this spring. A couple of weeks ago that milestone was celebrated with a weekend-long symposium here at Union College, where in early 1813 a collaboration between a French architect and the college's president produced a remarkable series of plans and drawings that Union has stuck by, more or less, ever since. Just as importantly, those plans have