Drake Architecture Tour with Iowa Architectural Foundation

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Join the library and the Iowa Architectural Foundation for a walking tour of the Drake University campus, deemed the place “where a new age of modern architecture began.” In the mid-twentieth century, father-son architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen set Drake on a fresh course with nine buildings, beginning with the Ingham Hall of Science and Fitch Hall of Pharmacy (1949), then lauded as “remarkably successful and beautiful examples of integrated design.” Next came the Quadrangle Dormitories (1951), four economical dorms linked by minimal pedestrian bridges; Hubbell Dining Hall, with floor-to ceiling limestone panels and glass walls; and Medbury Hall and Scott Chapel (1955), a landmark of mid-century modern architecture that showcases wood beams and shafts of diffused light. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe extended the Saarinens' modernism with his design of Meredith Hall (1965), an icon of Mies’s “less is more” philosophy and a hallmark of craftsmanship and precision. Brutalist architect Harry Weese followed with the Olmstead Student Center in 1973. The forward-facing orientation of Drake’s architecture is more recently embodied in the Harkin Center, which set a new standard for inclusive design with its completion in 2020. Led by local architects, this walking tour will open your eyes to the modern spirit of Drake’s campus.

This tour is offered by the Iowa Architectural Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the appreciation of architecture and design through adult enrichment and youth education programs.

Space is limited to 30 attendees due to volunteer capacity.



The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.