SCUP
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Frederick Law Olmsted and the Origins of Modern Campus Design

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From Volume 25 Number 2 | Winter 1996–1997
By David Schuyler

Although his reputation for park design is perhaps greater, Frederick Law Olmstead left an indelible mark on campus design and the way we think about campus land use planning. The author outlines five of Olmstead’s basic principles for good design that are still employed today: the campus is an extension of the community in which it exists; buildings should be domestic, not institutional, in scale; student dwellings should approximate those they will inhabit in later life; the quadrangle is too inflexible a design; and the physical campus helps to shape the "tastes, inclinations, and habits" of the students.

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