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Yale University Walking Tour, Part I (Self Guided), New Haven

Founded in 1701, Yale ranks among the oldest, free educational institutions in the U.S. Due to its age, Yale University has a great historical and architectural beauty. Its halls and institutions preserve the spirit of history and education. Feel comfortable to learn and enjoy the facilities of Yale University.
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Yale University Walking Tour, Part I Map

Guide Name: Yale University Walking Tour, Part I
Guide Location: USA » New Haven (See other walking tours in New Haven)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: AudreyB
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Yale Art and Architecture Building
  • Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Connecticut Hall
  • Harkness Tower
  • Sterling Memorial Library
  • Sterling Law Building
  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  • Payne Whitney Gymnasium
1
Yale Art and Architecture Building

1) Yale Art and Architecture Building

The Yale Art and Architecture Building (the "A & A Building") is one of the earliest and best known examples of Brutalist architecture in the United States. The building still houses Yale University's School of Architecture (it once also housed the School of Art). Designed by architect Paul Rudolph and completed in 1963, the complex building contains over thirty floor levels in its seven stories. The building is made of ribbed, bush-hammered concrete. The design was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Administration Building, in Buffalo, NY and the later buildings of Le Corbusier.

When the building first opened, it was praised widely by critics and academics, and received several prestigious awards, including the Award of Honor by the American Institute of Architects. New York Times architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable, called it "a spectacular tour de force." As time went by, however, the critical reaction to the building became more negative. Architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner bemoaned the structure's oppressive monumentality. A large fire on the night of June 14, 1969 caused extensive damage and during the repairs, many changes were made to Rudolph's original design. Appreciation of the structure has increased in recent years, with Yale investing $126 million for the building's renovation.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Yale Repertory Theatre

2) Yale Repertory Theatre (must see)

The Yale Repertory Theatre at Yale University was founded by Robert Brustein, dean of the Yale School of Drama in 1966, with the goal of facilitating a meaningful collaboration between theatre professionals and talented students. Located at the edge of Yale's main downtown campus, it occupies the former Calvary Baptist Church. As head of "the Rep" from 1966 to 1979, Brustein brought professional actors to Yale each year to form a repertory company, and nurtured notable new authors including Athol Fugard. The more successful works were regularly transferred to commercial theaters.

The dean of the Yale School of Drama is the artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, with Lloyd Richards (who most notably nurtured the career of August Wilson) serving in this capacity 1979-1991, Stan Wojewodski, Jr., 1991–2002, and James Bundy since 2002. Benjamin Mordecai served as managing director from 1982 to 1993; Victoria Nolan (theater manager) has served in this capacity since his passing.

Of the ninety world premieres the Rep has produced, four have won Pulitzer Prizes; ten productions have received Tony Awards after being transferred to Broadway, and the Yale Repertory Theatre was given a Drama Desk Special Award in 1988 and the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1991. In 2002, the Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre received the Governor's Arts Award from Governor John G. Rowland for artistic achievement and contribution to the arts in the state of Connecticut.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Connecticut Hall

3) Connecticut Hall

Connecticut Hall is a Georgian-style building on the Old Campus of Yale University. Built in 1752, it is the oldest building on the Yale campus (in fact its only surviving 18th-century structure). The building is the last surviving remnant of the Old Brick Row, the rest of which was demolished after the American Civil War.

Connecticut Hall was built under the direction of Thomas Clap, who was president of Yale at the time. The construction was headed by Francis Letort and Thomas Bills; the latter later helped to build the First Chapel. The design was based on Massachusetts Hall at Harvard University. The money used to fund the project came from the sale of a French ship, as well as from a Connecticut lottery and a grant from the Connecticut Assembly. The building was built 100 feet (30 m) long by 40 feet (12 m) wide, and three stories tall. As part of the Old Brick Row, it was known as South Middle and was enlarged to four stories.

When Connecticut Hall faced demolition in the early 20th century, the building was saved by a group of alumni led by Professor Henry W. Farnam. After World War II, the building was gutted and rebuilt by Douglas Orr and Richard A. Kimball. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Today it contains the offices of Yale's philosophy department. The Faculty Room, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences holds its meetings, is located on the second floor.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Harkness Tower

4) Harkness Tower

Harkness Tower is a prominent Collegiate Gothic structure at Yale University. The tower was constructed between 1917 and 1921 as part of the Memorial Quadrangle donated to Yale by Anna M. Harkness in honor of her recently deceased son, Charles William Harkness, Yale class of 1883, and the second son of Stephen V. Harkness, an early investor in the company that became Standard Oil. It was designed by James Gamble Rogers, who designed many of Yale's "Collegiate Gothic" structures.

Rogers said his design for the tower was inspired by "Boston Stump," the 272-foot (83 m) tower of the parish church of St Botolph in Boston, England. The 15th-century Boston Stump is the tallest parish church tower in England. The tower contains the Yale Memorial Carillon, a 54-bell carillon. It is a transposing instrument (the C bell sounds a concert B). Ten bells were installed in 1922; 44 were added in 1966. The instrument is played by members of a student-run group set up for the purpose, the Yale Guild of Carillonneurs, and selected guest carillonneurs.

Harkness Tower is 216 feet (66 m) tall, one foot for each year since Yale's founding at the time it was built. From a square base, it rises in stages to a double stone crown on an octagonal base, and at the top there are stone pinnacles. It was built of separate stone blocks in the authentic manner.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Sterling Memorial Library

5) Sterling Memorial Library

Sterling Memorial Library is the largest library at Yale University, containing over 4 million volumes. It is an example of Gothic revival architecture, designed by James Gamble Rogers, adorned with thousands of panes of stained glass created by G. Owen Bonawit. The Library has 15 levels, each with its own category of books.

In 1971, the adjoining underground Cross Campus Library was built. It was renovated and renamed to Bass Library in 2007 and connects to Sterling via an underground tunnel. Bass Library currently contains an additional 150,000 volumes. Although the original architect, Bertram Goodhue, originally intended Sterling to be taller and resemble the State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Nebraska, plans changed under the new architect James Gamble Rogers.

The main entrance of library is adorned with symbols and writings in various ancient languages, the work of architectural sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan who executed the designs produced by Lee Lawrie. The rest of the sculptures throughout the library; gargoyles and interior panels and ornamental designs were designed and executed by Rene Chambellan. The Nave is decorated with marble reliefs depicting Yale's founding and the history of New Haven and Connecticut.

The most famous detail about the construction of the library, however, is its windows. In total, there are some 3,300 hand-decorated windows in the library. They depict everything from fiction to history and even small insects on otherwise unadorned panes created to look real. In 2000, one former librarian published a book about the windows.

Operation hours: Monday to Friday: 8.30 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm; Sunday: 1 pm - 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Sterling Law Building

6) Sterling Law Building

Sterling Law Building is the building of Yale Law School. It is located at 127 Wall Street, close to the downtown area, in the heart of the Yale campus. It occupies one city block between the Hall of Graduate Studies, the Beinecke Library, Sterling Library, and the Grove Street Cemetery.

The Sterling Law Building was built in 1931. Its model follows the English Inns of Court. In contains classrooms, offices, a law library, a dining hall, a day-care center, and a courtyard. The building is named after Yale alumnus and benefactor John William Sterling, name partner of the New York law firm Shearman & Sterling.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

7) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (must see)

Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library was a 1963 gift of the Beinecke family. The building was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft of the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and is the largest building in the world reserved exclusively for the preservation of rare books and manuscripts. It is located at 121 Wall Street in the center of Yale University in Hewitt Quadrangle, which is more commonly referred to as "Beinecke Plaza".

A six-story above-ground tower of book stacks is surrounded by a windowless rectangular building with walls made of a translucent Danby marble, which transmit subdued lighting and provide protection from direct light. The public exhibition hall surrounding the glass stack tower displays contains, among other things, one of the 48 extant copies of the Gutenberg Bible.

Two floors extend under Hewitt Quadrangle. The first level down, the "Court" level, centers on a sunken courtyard featuring sculptures by Isamu Noguchi that are said to represent time (the pyramid), sun (the circle), and chance (the cube). This level also features a reading room for researchers, offices and book storage areas. The lower level of the building, two floors below ground, has compact shelving for books and archives.

Operation hours: Monday to Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm; Friday: 9 am – 7 pm; (Only The Exhibition Gallery) Saturday: 12 pm – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Payne Whitney Gymnasium

8) Payne Whitney Gymnasium

The Payne Whitney Gymnasium is the gymnasium of Yale University. Built in the prevailing Gothic architecture style of the campus in 1932, the building has a Gothic tower, third-floor swimming pool, a polo practice room, and a rooftop running track. It is the second-largest gym in the world by cubic feet and the ninety-fourth largest in the United States by square footage. The building houses the facilities for the basketball, fencing, gymnastics, squash, swimming, and volleyball teams.

The building was donated to Yale by John Hay Whitney, of the Yale class of 1926, in honor of his father, Payne Whitney. One myth holds that Mrs. Payne Whitney wanted Yale to build a great cathedral with her money, but that the University preferred a gym. Since she was getting old, the story goes, administrators thought they could get away with a bit of fraud. They instructed architect John Russell Pope to design a gym that could pass for a cathedral. Then, when it was completed, the President drove Mrs. Whitney past the finished building. She died not long after, content in the knowledge that she had given Yale such a grand house of worship, and not what came to be known as "the cathedral of sweat".

For the design of Payne Whitney Gymnasium, architect John Russell Pope was awarded the Silver Medal at the 1932 Olympic Games Art Competition.

The stuffed original Handsome Dan, the bulldog mascot of Yale and the first college mascot in the United States, resides in a glass cabinet near the entrance to the building.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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