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Bucknell University (University at Lewisburg)

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University at Lewisburg
1846 established. University Ave. off S. 3rd St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • Old Main (© George E. Thomas)

Founded by the Baptist Church in 1846 as the University at Lewisburg, and renamed in 1886 in honor of William Bucknell, trustee and benefactor, Bucknell University is noteworthy for its architecture. In 1849, Baptist architect Thomas U. Walter designed “Old Main” with a classical pediment carried on brick piers. It faces the river and occupies the highest point in Lewisburg. In 1900, a quadrangle began to take shape when Wilson Brothers (also from Philadelphia) built West (now Kress) College at a right angle to Old Main. Then in 1905, the Carnegie Library by Ackerman and Peabody of New York City was constructed across from it, and two years later, East (now Trax) College completed the square. Today, the campus reflects the master plan drawn up in 1931–1935 by Jens Frederick Larson, planner of colleges from New England's Colby and Dartmouth colleges to Lehigh and Princeton universities. Larson's new quadrangle (1965 completed) shifted the college toward Georgian Revival with the Bertrand Library, another of the many offspring of Independence Hall.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Bucknell University (University at Lewisburg)", [Lewisburg, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 412-412.

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