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Drake University

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University Ave. and 26th St.

Drake University was established in 1881 on what was then the outskirts of the city. The rectilinear nature of its large three-block site has conditioned the layout of its landscape, street and walk patterns, and the location of its buildings, down to the present day. The most extensive updating of its original grid plan occurred in 1959, with a new scheme drawn up by Sasaki, Walker and Associates (with Harry Weese). The design of its buildings and landscape today is primarily Modernist. The only older buildings that still strongly assert themselves are Old Main and Cowles Library. As the buildings discussed below indicate, the university sought out a number of the most famous architects of the time—Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Edward Larabee Barnes, and Harry Weese—to bring the campus up-to-date.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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