Architect’s Sketchbook – Montclair State University (Sketches by @FrankCunhaIII, 2017)

College Hall is where the history and the future of Montclair State meet. It’s where every student’s college journey begins with Undergraduate Admissions and ends with the submission of their final audit to the Office of the Registrar for graduation.

College Hall is where it all started. Back in 1903, the New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton could no longer support New Jersey’s growing need for qualified teachers by itself, so the state approved plans for a new normal school to serve northern New Jersey. (A normal school was a post-secondary school devoted to training teachers.) And in 1908, the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair admitted its first students.

College Hall’s Spanish mission-style architecture, which was adopted for other buildings on campus, was the inspiration of benefactor Edward Russ, a member of the New Jersey State Board of Education who liked buildings he saw on a trip to California. So he integrated the style into plans for College Hall, complete with red-tile roofs—a look that lives on in campus construction today.

In the beginning, College Hall housed almost everything—administrative offices, classrooms, a library and a gym. Today, it is Montclair State’s administrative hub, housing the offices of the President and the Provost, University Advancement, Admissions, the Registrar, the Graduate School and more.

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Dedicated to the first president of Montclair State, Charles S. Chapin, in 1928, it is one of the original buildings of the Montclair State Normal School. This former residence hall was renovated in 1974, and again in 2009, and is now the home of the John J. Cali School of Music. The Leshowitz Recital Hall is also located in Chapin Hall.

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Russ Hall was built in 1915 and served as the first residential facility of the State Normal School at Montclair, now of course known as Montclair State University. Converted at one point to an administrative building and then later renovated back to a residence hall, Russ Hall provides suite-style accommodations for approximately 100 students.

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IMG_2253Dedicated to Allan C. Morehead, an alumnus and former professor, executive vice president and provost at Montclair State. Morehead Hall was used as a demonstration high school from 1929 to 1973. It now houses several student support services offices.

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Iconic Modern Building Demolished

In a world of full of disposable commodities and a world filled with lust for the trendy new toy it is no surprise that an iconic school (designed by Charles R. Colbert) which was considered one of the best examples of modern architecture in New Orleans was recently demolished. The World Monuments Fund placed the structure on its World Monuments watch list in 2009 along with the ruins of Machu Picchu to no avail.  We just can’t seem to learn our lesson about preserving our iconic buildings!  Check out the article here.

In it's Hay Day -- PHILLIS WHEATLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Being Demolished -- PHILLIS WHEATLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


Penn Station – Photo of the Day

“Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when
we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve
tin-can Architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by
the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.”
– “Farewell to Penn Station,” New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963