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Learning from Lewisburg
1. Campus and town
1 Start on campus, standing on the walk at the east front of Roberts Hall — facing town and river:
  East façade of Roberts Hall
(click on this, or any image, for a larger version)
Evolution of the university landscape
 

The University at Lewisburg — now Bucknell — was started in 1846 as a Baptist college. Roberts Hall, an austerely Baptist version of a Greek Revival building is the second-oldest college building at Bucknell, dedicated in 1850. Originally called Main Building and then “Old Main”, this plain building was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter who also designed the exuberant present dome on the U.S. Capitol.  

  Said to be the largest academic building in America at its time, Roberts contained recitation rooms, a chapel, a library, meeting rooms, and a Commencement Hall on the third floor, which was the site of early commencements. The wings contained study rooms and dormitories. You are standing on the east side which was once the principal façade of the structure. This spot has been largely forgotten as the campus has turned its focus away from town and river, and toward US 15.
  Romanesque pile that is Bucknell Hall
  Visit Prof. Russell Dennis's fine historical mapping of Bucknell at http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/edu/photo_history/ , for more details on the evolution of the campus, history of the the buildings. 
  Lewisburg is nestled in the valley of the Susquehanna River between several ridges.
  Montour Ridge, seen from the upper campus; an elongate upwarp of rock makes this ridge shaped like a breaching whale.
2 Walk down three short sections of staircase and travel left down the walkway to the bottom the hill:
  At the bottom of the hill are "The Gatreways", apartment-style student housing built in the late 1980s on the site of the 1880s football field -- spectators sat on the now-brushy slope. The Gateways completed the reduction of this area to the "back" of campus; it is ironic that they are so named. The formal entrance to campus is now at the traffic light; we move into the 21st Century.  
  Pause at the flagpole between the brownstone 1906 gateposts and face down University Ave. You are now standing at the original ceremonial entrance to campus; you are looking along the wide avenue which led to "The Hill" as it was known.
The spatial relationship between the town and the university.
  Note that University Ave. cuts diagonally toward campus defying the rectilinear plan of most town streets (as the map of the town can show you), and self-consciously connects the town to the periphery and to the isolated academics who had taken residence on the hill to the south of town.
  Nineteenth Century presentation of the University at Lewisburg as an academy perched on a hill at the edge of town.
  Today University Avenue is tree-lined and unremarkable, with broken-up sight-lines; note by-passed brownstone gate.
  To your left, on the opposite corner, is the President's House. It was built in 1855 by Rev. Justin R. Loomis, Professor of Natural Sciences and President who bought a one-acre lot from the Trustees for $ 400.00 and built the Gothic Revival house. In 1879, the University bought the house and enlarged it for David J. Hill, who was President from 1879 to 1888. It has been the home of Bucknell presidents ever since.
  President's house: Gothic Revival gem originally straight out of an Andrew Jackson Downing plan book, ca. 1852, for "A Cottage in the English rural, or Gothic, Style"
  Downing's Gothic plan brought the romance of a Black Forest cottage to the urbanizing and industrializing eastern US.
< Previous/ 0 Main/ 1 Campus/ 2 Connections/ 3 Susquehanna/ 4 Preindustial town/
5 Read a house
/ 6 Deindustrializing/ 7 Downtown/ 8 Lower town/ 9 Highway/ 10 Past & future / Next>