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Mid-Century Mention

December 15, 2009
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For all the Savannah mid-century fans out there: check out a recent article about the superb Benedictine College campus, and about my years of spreading the news about it.  For some people-centric shots see my flickr stream.  For the full experience go see it yourself–it’s like our own little IIT or Air Force Academy, and there is no more genial host than Brother Tim.

Brother Tim Brown, O.S.B., “The BC Campus—An Architect’s Delight,” The Banner [Benedictine College Newsletter] (December 2009), n.p.

For the past 11 years, SCAD Architectural History Professor, Dr. E. G. Daves Rossell and his students have been studying the architecture of the BC campus. In 1998, at the request of Professor Rossell, a tour of the campus buildings was initiated. To begin with, Fr. Meinrad Lawson, O.S.B. presented a history of the Benedictines in Georgia, which included a history of the school. He then took the SCAD guests through the campus buildings.  As Dr. Rossell and his students proceeded on the tour, he would enthusiastically focus on and discuss noteworthy exterior and interior architectural features of each building.

After Fr. Meinrad left BC in 2001, Br. Timothy Brown, O.S.B. has continued the tradition. Because of listening to Dr. Rossell, Br. Tim has developed a deep appreciation of the campus architecture. According to Dr. Rossell, “all the buildings work together to frame the central parade ground, but the location and details of each signal their particular function…..the relatively elaborate design and details of the monastic complex, including the circular chapel set in a reflecting pool, the arched windows indicating individual rooms, and the richness of interior spaces and finish of materials demonstrate a deep respect for the calling of the monks. The academic building sets the tone for the campus with its clear organization and subtle use of level change and skylights. The gymnasium has a definite grandness created by its height, the curve of the façade and the dramatic cantilevered entry structure. Finally, the cafeteria/auditorium sits at the most public edge of the campus signaling its dual role as a respite from the rigors of academic study and also the setting for plays and services open to the community. A freestanding arcade links the buildings functionally, aesthetically, and in the spirit of the community.”

On a recent visit to the campus in October, Dr. Rossell and some of his students were accompanied by several SCAD photographers who took snapshots of the tour. The photos are going to be included in SCAD’s 2010-2011 general catalog and will be put in the architectural history section of SCAD’s website. This is a first in the history of the school . It certainly demonstrates the architectural importance of our beautiful campus and should foster an appreciation for the hard work that was put into the planning and construction of it. Persons affiliated with the school should be grateful to Dr. Rossell for his interest and his desire to publish the photos which will be viewed by hundreds of people.

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