Some Walls in Oberlin 22
May 26, 2018
The photographs in this and the last two posts are of the Allen Memorial Art Museum on the Oberlin College campus. The original building, on the left, was designed by Cass Gilbert in 1917. The addition, on the right, is by Robert Venturi, built in 1977. The Venturi addition is controversial around here and with alumni of the college. Some people call it the Purina Dog Chow addition. If you don’t remember what the old Purina Dog Chow packaging looked like, go here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1976-Vintage-ad-for-Purina-Cog-Chow-Beef-Bacon-Cheese-Dog-Food-060713-/400520359346?roken=cUgayN. Scroll down for two views of the original building from the front. If you’re ever in Oberlin, you must see this museum for its collections as well as its interior spaces. It is widely regarded as one of the five best college and university art museums in the United States, and admission is free.
That looks great 🙂
May 26, 2018 at 9:58 AM
It is a beautiful building, and a great museum that I can even walk to from home. Thanks for writing, Joshi.
May 26, 2018 at 10:12 AM
Thanks for posting these wider shots Linda. Even though the Venturi addition produced some interesting photos for you, I doubt that’s what the architect had in mind. In fact, after looking at other images online, I have to wonder whether he was even thinking of the original building when he designed the additional space. It seems completely disrespectful of what Gilbert did. I’m with the alumni 🙂
May 27, 2018 at 12:49 PM
Cass Gilbert designed other buildings on campus, and they’re all beautiful. So far, none of the others has an addition. Our Hall Auditorium (http://www.oberlinlibstaff.com/omeka_oca/items/show/82) is undergoing an addition right now, and I’m quite sure I’m not going to like what it is doing to the original edifice.
May 27, 2018 at 12:59 PM
Very interesting, seeing how everything was put together, design-wise, including the brick path that echoes the old roof. The front of the building is an amazing period piece. If I’d been tasked with designing a building addition, I don’t have a clue as what I would do – the original has so much personality, how do you put anything else there without fighting with it?
May 30, 2018 at 3:13 PM
You’re probably right, Lynn.
May 30, 2018 at 3:59 PM