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Landmark College (Windham College)

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Windham College
1968, Edward Durell Stone. River Rd. South at U.S. 5

This is a pristine example of 1960s modernism that is rare in Vermont. Windham College, a small liberal arts institution, commissioned Stone to build a new campus on one hundred and twenty-five acres in Putney. Drawing on the classicizing modern vocabulary and formal planning strategies he used in a number of projects, including SUNY Albany in 1962, Stone produced a striking vision of a contemporary campus, modestly scaled and in an idealized open green. Using a scheme descended from the Lawn at the University of Virginia, he organized the academic buildings as a series of rectangular two-story pavilions behind a single-story colonnade that defined a three-sided grassy plain. He set the residential units of the college apart and overlooking the main campus from a wooded hillside. They consist of identical, hipped-roof buildings that deliberately contrast with the academic units in character and by their placement at an angle to the orthogonal scheme below. Although the budget required simplicity, Stone incorporated a number of signature features: exaggerated projections of thin flat-roof planes on the pavilions and colonnade, repetitive geometries in the rhythm of full-height panels separated by windows on the pavilion facades, and a geometric decorativeness in pyramidal skylights and in pierced eaves designed to cast a play of patterned light across the facades. The college failed financially in 1978 and was scheduled to be converted into a minimum-security prison. Landmark College, an institution pioneering in teaching students with learning disabilities, purchased it in 1984. Through a systematic program of renovation, the campus has been conserved and revitalized. Though the masonry has been scrubbed of its white paint to reveal red brick and some of the eaves grilles have been roofed over, the campus retains the essence of Stone's orderly vision.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Landmark College (Windham College)", [Putney, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-WH30.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 411-412.

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