University of Southern California’s Romanesque ArchitectureMay 17th, 2011
Nearly 37,000 students attend the University of Southern California, one of the leading research institutions in the world. But USC has more than academics to attract students to its university.
USC juxtaposes a unique sense of historic architecture and modernity within its buildings to create an aesthetically-pleasing environment.
Built in the Romanesque style in 1932, the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library is one of the oldest buildings on campus. Numerous architects, painters and contractors, including Samuel J. Armstrong and Wilbur Herbert Burnham Sr., designed the $1.1 million structure. Doheny’s round arches, stone walls, and sculptures, including two of Dante and Shakespeare, are classic Romanesque features.
With an inverted entrance of bronze doors, large stain glass windows, and a reading room that is 131 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 2½ stories high, Doheny is nothing short of grand.
Doheny’s magnificence, in addition to having nearly one million books, has earned it a nickname among Trojans: the “Hogwarts Library.” The building is definitely a must-see when visiting USC.
Just down the way from Doheny Library is USC’s new Ronald Tutor Campus Center. The campus center opened in August of 2010 and yet it maintains a Romanesque feel with a modern twist with its brick exterior, large pillars, high ceilings, winding stair cases, and tapestry mural of USC students. USC received the 2011 Association of College Unions International Facility Design Award of Excellence for the campus center.
The campus center houses the admission center, the alumni center, educational support offices, entertainment, and study rooms. The International Plaza, with a food court, fountain, and comfortable seating, is just outside the campus center. The area has really become the hub of campus.
Both Doheny Library and the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s impressive architecture has played an important role in alluring students to study and enjoy the social scene. It’s no wonder that a sea of bikes and students surround the library during finals week and that the campus center is packed during breaks and lunch hours.