Title: UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO OLD MAIN HALL
Location Current Site: Boulder CO UNITED STATES
Creator Personal Name: Dimick,Erastus H.
Creator Assoc Person Biography: Undergraduate Architecture student enrolled in independent study course with Lynn Lickteig in Fall 1996
Creator Assoc Person Name: Midyette-Seieroe & Assoc., Rodriguez,Vincent
Creator Assoc Person Role: Associate, Photographer
Date.Creation: ca. 1876-1876
Subject.Image Description: Bell tower & trees
Creator.Personal Name Label: Dimick,Erastus H.
Description.Image Comments: Mansard roof & bell tower, belfry. View through trees Iron cresting widow's walk Brick corbelling
Style/Period: Second Empire
Style/Period Description: SECOND EMPIRE
(1859 - 1870s)
The Second Empire Style is also called the Mansard Style or Second Empire Baroque, because it revived the forms of Baroque architecture, especially 17th and early 18th century French churches and palaces, including those of architect Francois Mansart. In the United States, it has been called both the Mansard Style and the General Grant Style because of its popularity for public buildings during that President's term, 1869-77. Second Empire refers to a political era, the reign of the French Emperor Napoleon III (1852?1870), whose building campaign transformed Paris. The remodeling of the Louvre (1852?1857) brought back into vogue the mansard roof, which has two slopes, the lower one being very steeply piched. Other distinctive characteristics include symmetry, projecting pavilions each with its own mansard roof, highly sculptural facades articulated with paired columns, and superimposed columns each set of which is only one story high.
The first major Second Empire building in the United States was the Corcoran Gallery (1859?1861) in Washington, D.C. by James Renwick. Subsequently, many public buildings, including federal buildings, state capitals, county courthouses, and city halls, were designed in what was considered to be the most fashionable style of its time. The availability of mass circulation magazines in this period popularized Parisian fashion. The mass production of cast-iron ornament and columns facilitatied its use from coast to coast. Second Empire Style houses were also popular. These were frequently of wood rather than masonry, and are distinguished by their mansard roofs with dormers, round or segmental arched windows, or other details derived directly or indirectly from early 17th century France or from 19th century European revival of it.
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, general view
Description.Subject Report: OLD MAIN HALL, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER
Old Main housed the entire University of Colorado when it opened in 1877. The new University occupied a prominent but treeless fifty acre campus. Architect Erastus H. Dimick designed the three-story building, which is typical of college and schoolhouse architecture of the late 19th century throughout the United States. Distinguishing features were large, regularly spaced windows and towers or belfries. Similar structures in the state include Cutler Hall at Colorado College (Denver, 1878-81), the now destroyed Old Main at Colorado State University (Pueblo, 1879), Loretto Heights Academy (Denver, 1891), and Belleview College, formerly Westminster College (Westminster, 1892-1909). The Boulder Old Main opened its doors on September 5, 1877, to a class of forty-four students. Within its red brick walls were classrooms, student dormitories, a laboratory, a library, and a chapel. It was also the residence of the university's three professors, the janitor, and the university's first president, Dr. Joseph Sewell and his family. The three story, 30,000-square-foot structure has a cross-corridor plan, accessed by doors on all four facades. The four-story bell tower has a Mansard roof, a hallmark of the French Second Empire style, popular in America in the 1870s. The building's pointed arch doorways and windows are characteristic of the Gothic Revival style. Other details such as the corbelled cornice and crenellations atop the tower's lower level also demonstrate the stylistic eclecticism typical of 19th century architecture. The sandstone of the foundation level and the window hoods and lintels was quarried nearby. Old Main's original slate roof was soon replaced by cedar shingles. Located on north side of the Norlin Quadrangle, Old Main is an integral part of the historic campus, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Elm trees planted at the time of dedication still surround the building. It was renovated in 1984 - 86 by the Boulder firm of Mideytte Seiroe, and now houses the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office. The Campus Heritage Center on the third floor contains a collection of campus artifacts, documents, and memorabilia, including a diorama depicting architect Charles Klauder's 1919 campus design and drawings of campus buildings and grounds.
Sources: Front Range Research, "Site Survey," 1986.
Ellen C. Micaud, Alone on the Prairie." Colorado Heritage 4(1983): 2-17.
National Register of Historic Places Inventory. "Nomination form." 1974.
Thomas Noel. Buildings of Colorado, New York, 1996.
Kay Oltsman, director CU Heritage Center. Interview, 1997.
"Visitors' Guide to Norlin Quadrangle Historic District." Brochure. Boulder, no date.
(Cathleen Norman, 1997)
Creator.Biography: ERASTUS H. DIMICK. Dimick was born in Burlington, VT in 1852, the son of an architect and contractor of the same name. He moved to Colorado in 1874, and settled in Boulder. Dimick designed Old Main Hall, the first and only monumental structure on the University of Colorado campus when it opened in 1876. In 1879, Dimick moved to Leadville, Colorado. When he died in 1892, his son, Herbert C. Dimick, continued the profession. Herbert designed the Carnegie Library, now the Heritage Museum (1904), and the Taylor House (1895), both in Leadville. Sources: CU Heritage Center; Thomas J. Noel, Buildings of Colorado, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. (Cathleen Norman, 1999)
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 34697
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
Date.Restoration Circa: ca.
Source.Requestor Full Name: Lickteig, Lynn
Rights CU Copyright Statement: The contents of the University of Colorado Digital Library are available for your use in research, teaching, and private study. Some of these items are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and some items may have additional restrictions. If you use the items in this collection, make sure you abide by any restrictions stated in the descriptive data window in the field called "Rights Description". The nature of these collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. We have made every effort to provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the descriptive data window. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to use the item according to the terms governing its use. If you are a copyright holder and the rights description information is either not listed or listed incorrectly, please let us know so that we can update the information on our site.