In 1824, a few of Easton's leaders, noting that the University of Pennsylvania was the only institution of higher learning in the state east of the Alleghenies, proposed establishing their own. In the same year, Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette returned to town on his triumphant American tour, which offered an inspiring name for the college. Not until 1833, however, did construction begin on a hilltop site north of the town. The original buildings faced the town, but more recently the college has been reconceived around a hilltop green known as the “Quad.” As a result, the central green is addressed by the backs of the early buildings. During the course of the twentieth century, like so many Pennsylvania colleges, Lafayette adopted the uniform of Colonial Revival red brick buildings, preferring architectural unity to innovation.
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