Land Grant College Act

1067 Words 5 Pages
In the mid-eighteenth century an educational revolution was brewing in the country. Many people viewed the traditional colleges as aristocratic and outdated with course work that mainly produced educators, lawyers, and theologians. People called for a new method of collegiate learning, one that focused on broadening the education of students by promoting agricultural centered schools, science, and engineering. These new colleges would not only allow students to choose their own classes but also opened up the doors for higher education for women and African Americans. The turning point in this educational reform came when the Land Grant College Act was passed in 1862 allowing many of the new age colleges to be built. This act granted each congressional …show more content…
Fred Olmsted was one of the leading architects in designing land grant colleges. He was originally mainly interested in the design of public parks and he carried his motivations and beliefs over into the building of college campuses. His core beliefs were “democratic idealism and commitment to the welfare of the working class” (CITATION NEEDED 140) which carried over into the planning of college campuses. He designed colleges to be a part of a large community which would have the sole purpose of promoting a heathy environment for the students. He wanted colleges to not be placed in the middle of rural areas but he was also against placing a campus in an urban setting. In his opinion the perfect setting would be in a suburban environment with the correct mixing of domestic life and nature. To further the domestic feeling of the campuses he designed he would propose a number of small houses being built instead of a large dormitory building which would later be named the cottage system. He rejected the rigid planning of some universities and called for a “free liberal, picturesque arrangement”. (CITATION NEEDED 145). The cottages and academic buildings were normally designed to flow with the land not against it creating a park like area for students. Olmsted did this type of setting on purpose because he believed …show more content…
In the 1700’s colleges would often discourage sports believing it was beneath the gentlemen attending the schools, however in the 1800’s the views towards sports changed dramatically. Many schools started an athletic program and encouraged their students to participate. This new movement greatly benefited the land grant and rural colleges because it gave them a new way to attract new enrollees and bringing about a new type of status among the schools. The more rural schools could also easily expand to include the athletic buildings. This influenced the architecture of the campus because the planners needed to find a eye pleasing way to hide the often huge buildings that housed the

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