The genius of an excellent liberal arts college lies in a faculty committed equally to scholarship and inspired teaching. Such a faculty and its students need attractive smart classrooms, libraries, labs, learning commons, performance and athletic areas and funds and equipment for field trips.
Colorado College has the best facilities it has ever had. And it has a splendid mix of dedicated faculty and students who are committed to challenging themselves on the Block Plan. We also have the wonderful advantage of relatively small discussion intensive seminar classes, and the distinctive Block Plan itself.
Yet what makes a place magical or memorable is less what a place is than what happens there. A liberal arts college at its best is a liberating and freeing place – a place to fall in love with ideas, music, art and much more, a place to create things, to break apart models and theories and build them back up in fresh reformulations, a place to come to grip with new perspectives on the world, a place to imagine and wonder and a place to transcend parochialism and hypocrisy.
Colorado College is right in the middle of some of the most awe-inspiring buena vistas imaginable, and just to contemplate these mountains and valleys can be magical in itself. At the same time this is a special place for learning where students can confront the ultimate questions such as: Who am I? What is really important? What is truth, beauty, virtue and justice? How does the mind, body and universe work? How can I make a difference?
Investing oneself in a place is what gives meaning to it. It is the places where one does something special, often with friends, colleagues and teammates, where one acts, creates, performs, finds and changes oneself, or even falls in love, that become special, memorable and magical.
Places and spaces matter. Few people pass through Colorado College without developing rich attachments to certain buildings, pathways, practice or study areas, or distinctive nooks in or nearby this academy. Call it nostalgia, sentimentality or whatever, it becomes a home away from home and often home itself – at least for a while, at a consequential time in one’s life.
Students are impressively adaptive and have an uncanny way of making Colorado College their own. They do this at the very same time they are discovering not only themselves but also new authors, composers, poets, theorems and developing critical analytical and writing skills.
All this is enhanced by spaces that promote learning and discovery. What follows are lists of favorite places in and around Colorado College (from our extensive yet unscientific surveys). Here too are photographs to remind us of the beauty and character of this place we call home.
Venerable Campus Buildings
- Palmer Hall (1904) nearly everyone’s favorite, with its pink peachblow sandstone from Colorado. Romanesque Revival in style.
- Cutler Hall (1880) CC’s oldest icon. Collegiate Gothic in style, of Castle Rock Rhyolite.
- Bemis Hall (1908) our most distinctive residence hall. Tudor Revival, also of Castle Rock Rhyolite.
- Shove Memorial Chapel (1931) Nondenominational spiritual center in Norman Romanesque style with an exterior of Indiana Sandstone.
- McGregor Hall (1903) Dutch Colonial Revival (McGregor, Bemis and several neighboring buildings including Ticknor, Montgomery are referred to by current students as Old Town.)
- Cossitt Hall (1914) Once the main gym, Neoclassical and Art Moderne.
- Stewart House (1899) A picturesque Mediterranean Renaissance Revival Wood Avenue House, variously used as a faculty club and residence for the president. The Stewart family famously hosted President Teddy Roosevelt on some of his hunting (for both bears and votes) trips to the region.
- Arthur and Jackson Houses (1881 and 1900) respectively. Of note is that from 1901 to 1922 Arthur House was home to Chester Alan Arthur, II, son of the former U.S. president of the same name.
Distinctive “Newer” Buildings:
- Honnen Ice Arena (1966) Nondescript 1960’s style. Legendary for club and intramural hockey competitions.
- Packard Hall (1976) donated by former trustee David Packard in honor of his parents (both members of the class of 1902); a Bauhaus influenced building designed by award-winning architect Edward Larrabee Barnes.
- Worner Campus Center (1982) named in honor of long time President Lew Worner.
- Barnes Science Center (1988) named for a longtime Chemistry Professor and exceptionally generous donor Otis Barnes
- The Lodge at Baca (1992) located at the north end of CC’s 300 acre wilderness campus near Crestone, Colorado. Pueblo-adobe style by Colorado Springs architects Nakata/Wallace.
- Tutt Science Center (2003) named in honor of long-time Board Chair Russell Tutt.
- Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center (2008) Distinctively modern in style by noted New Mexico-based architect Antoine Predock.
Distinctive Tiger Spaces
- The incredible views looking west over Washburn and Stewart athletic fields
- The Arches Entryway “Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you Free” to General William Palmer Hall
- The much rubbed nose of General Palmer’s bronze dog, located on the west stairwell between 1st and 2nd floors of Palmer Hall (rubbed to a shine by students seeking good luck before quizzes and exams)
- The Lincoln Room and Colket Learning Commons in Tutt Library
- The view from high atop Shove Chapel’s bell tower
- Packard Hall’s crown jewel of a concert hall
- The small Greek amphitheatre on the south side of Cossitt Hall
- The iconic Tiger Flag Pole, and the new Tiger walk curving down to Washburn Field
- Black Box, Film Viewing Room and South Theatre in Gaylord Cornerstone Center
- Organic Student Gardens, west side of Stewart House; Xscape gardens around Dern Southwest Studies House
- Small Japanese Gardens beside Elbert House’s “Asian Wing”
- Fish Pond in back of Max Kade House
- View from the CC Cabin – 35 miles west of campus
- The beauty and magic of the CC Baca campus in San Luis Valley
- Observatory atop Barnes Science Center
- “Stone hedge” seminar seating area immediately west of Cutler Hall
- Intramural fields on Armstrong and now also on the Yampa Field
- Listening to the Shove Chapel Organ and contemplating the majestic stain glass windows, spacious nave, and wooden ribbed ceiling
- Admiring the relatively new solar panels atop Gaylord Residence Hall
- The new (2007) 60 foot diameter, 11 circuit Labyrinth, Chartres style, adjacent to Shove Memorial Chapel
- Community service projects such as helping to feed the homeless and struggling Colorado Springs residents at the Shove Chapel Sunday Morning Soup Kitchen.
- The distinctive and historic old Van Briggle pottery building down on corner of Uintah and Glenn streets, longtime home of the CC Physical Plant/Facilities Services
Notable Get Away Destinations
- Garden of the Gods Park
- Manitou Incline
- The World Arena for Tiger Hockey
- The San Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Countless Mountains for Skiing and Hiking
- The Arkansas and Colorado Rivers for Rafting and Fishing
- “LoDo” Neighborhood – Denver
- Santa Fe for art and opera
- Moab and Canyon lands
- Hot Springs at Mt. Princeton and in San Luis Valley
- Poor Richard’s
- Wooglin’s Deli
- Adams Mountain Cafe
- The Broadmoor (when parents visit!)
- Most any Geology Fieldtrip Expedition
These are among the most mentioned spaces, places and familiar destinations. There are plenty of other magical or memorable spots that are etched in countless alumni memories.
Please send us your nominations or suggestions about your favorite or magical spaces at the College, with a brief explanation. Photos welcome too. Thank you.