V. The Howard/Wheeler Campus, 1901-24
The University Library bears the name of Charles Franklin Doe, a San Francisco businessman and book collector who was the major private donor. The facade is one of Howard's most erudite compositions, based, in the honored academic tradition, on several previous libraries-that of Christopher Wren at Trinity College, Cambridge; the public library of Sainte Geneviève, Paris, by Henri Labrouste; and, especially, the library of the Ecole de Médecine in Paris by Léon Ginain.
The large reading room can be "read" on the exterior because of the high north windows above blank walls (against which books are shelved). Column capitals depict open books supported by acanthus leaves. "Entrance" is emphasized by a large Athenian portal surmounted by Ionic columns. In total, this library is the major masterpiece of Howard's campus, and of his whole career.
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Last updated 01/10/01.