Karen Van Lengen
& Lisa Reilly
Vassar College: The Campus Guide distinguishes the landmark buildings that reflect developing expressions of change in women’s education, home to a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Places. Founded in 1861 as a premier women’s college, Vassar emphasized the shared ambitions of knowledge through education and diversity through research and understanding. It is home to one of the largest undergraduate library collections in the United States. This Campus Guide is a beautiful and engaging portrait of Vassar’s 1,000-acre campus in Poughkeepsie, New York, with its diverse collection of historic buildings from the traditional Collegiate Gothic to the sleek and ascetic International style by such prominent architects as Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and Cesar Pelli.
The remarkable arboretum that is the Vassar campus boasts more than 200 species of trees, a native plant preserve, and a 400-acre ecological preserve.
Vassar’s first building (1865), designed by James Renwick (architect of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle”), housed the most interior space of any American building and contained the entire college under one roof.
Contemporary landmark buildings reflect major investments in diverse fields, the sciences (Mudd Chemistry Building by Perry Dean Rogers) and the fine and performing arts (Lehman Loeb Art Center, containing works by Picasso, Rothko, O’Keefe, Pollock, Bonnard, Cézanne, and Durer, and the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, both buildings designed by Cesar Pelli)
Authors Lisa Reilly and Karen Van Lengen, both Vassar College graduates, take the reader on an insider’s tour of this idyllic campus. Reilly is a professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia. Van Lengen is dean at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.