Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Landmark for 2 Kinds of Beauty Architect's Work Enhances Nature's, Wins Honor at Principia College

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Landmark for 2 Kinds of Beauty Architect's Work Enhances Nature's, Wins Honor at Principia College

Article excerpt

Students say what they like best about Principia College is the small-campus friendliness, the remarkable faculty expertise and the serious, religious atmosphere.

But it certainly doesn't hurt, they say, that their 2,000-acre campus overlooking the Mississippi River bluffs in Elsah, Ill., is simply gorgeous.

Today, the college's 550 students, all of them Christian Scientists, will gather to honor the architect largely responsible for the campus' beauty - the late Bernard R. Maybeck.

A contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright and considered a curiosity in the profession, Maybeck designed 12 buildings on Principia's campus. Because of Maybeck's fame and his extensive work at Principia, the Department of The Interior has designated the college a national historic landmark.

The college is holding a ceremony to mark the designation today at 4 p.m. on the campus Chapel Green, near the New England-style church that Maybeck designed.

The public is invited and national and local dignitaries will attend. John Schaumburg, 21, a senior from Beaumont, Texas, will definitely be there.

"I think it's amazing how he can change styles so easily, like with the New England chapel versus the (Tudor-style) dorms," he said as he walked, in a dark brown suit and tie, along a paved foot path to the church Sunday morning.

"He could pick up these styles so effortlessly. Whatever he does, it's Maybeck."

Maybeck planned Principia's campus to represent a serene English village. The college moved to Elsah from St. Louis County in 1935. Among the buildings Maybeck designed are the church, made of Bedford limestone, and dormitories that look like large cottages with fireplaces and roofs of colored tile.

According to histories of the college, Maybeck was a friend of the son of Mary Kimball Morgan, founder of The Principia, a private school for kindergarten through college.

When the school decided to move the college from St. Louis County, Maybeck urged the Principia trustees to find land for the college near the area's rivers and bluffs. …

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