Notable Buildings

OSCAR E. DOOLEY MEMORIAL CLASSROOM BUILDING

Marion I. Manley and Robert Law Weed, architects – 1947

Style:  International

The Memorial Classroom building was the first permanent academic building to be opened on the Coral Gables campus following WWII. 

The building was originally named the Memorial Classroom Building because each classroom in the building was planned to be dedicated to various University benefactors. Several of these rooms include the donor’s portrait.

The building was later renamed and dedicated in honor of Oscar E. Dooly. Dooly was a University of Miami trustee from 1944-1970, and one of the first trustees to support and recommend the George Merrick land in Coral Gables as the permanent new home for the University of Miami.

The 680-foot-long building originally had a two-story north wing and a three story south wing, with a total of 58 classrooms.  Between the two wings stood the Beaumont Lecture Hall, with a small stage and seating for 290. This lecture hall was later converted to the Bill Cosford Cinema.

In a 1948 Architectural Forum article, it was noted that the metal siding along the railings shaded the high transom windows from the sun (Architectural Forum 1948:78-79). The siting of the building is also an important element of its design; the classrooms face east so that the hot sun does not enter them after 9 a.m. At the center of the two-story wing is an extended section, which accommodates a stairwell and bathrooms. A decorative metal screen with a geometric design is also located on the second floor of the foyer.


J. NEVILLE MCARTHUR ENGINEERING BUILDING

Wahl Snyder, architect – 1959

Style:  Post-Modern

The founders of the University included a school of engineering in their plans, but the school experienced considerable hardship in getting started.  Following World War II, enrollment in the school boomed with returning GIs, and the college was able to acquire a considerable amount of war surplus supplies, such as basic laboratory equipment, drafting and surveying tools, etc.

In 1959 a new building was made possible as the result of a $1 million donation from J. Neville McArthur, who funded both the construction and the complete equipping of the engineering building that bears his name.

The J Neville MacArthur Engineering Building was designed in 1959 by architect Wahl Snyder, a Miami architect known for his adaptations of modern architecture to the regional climate. The first floor of the five-story building is comprised of concrete blocks. Above the first floor runs a band of frosted clerestory windows. The upper stories on the southeast side are covered by a metal grille made of diagonally cut cylinders. This grille screens a wall with fixed metal windows.   The northeast façade of the building is clad in pebbled panels and features grouped fixed metal windows.  Large concrete planters flank the stairs to the southeast entrance.

A molded concrete sculptural screen covers the top two stories of the Neville McArthur Engineering Buildings western half. The screen gives the appearance of rippling waves.  This screen is also found on the one-story Environmental Engineering Lab and the two-story Department of Industrial Engineering wing to the northeast, as well as on a two-story wing found to the southwest. Breezeways with waffle pattern ceilings supported by round concrete columns connect the various wings.  A two-story masonry addition to the northwest was constructed in 1990.


JAMES M. COX SCIENCE BUILDING

Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott, architects - 1967

Style:  Miami Modern / Brutalist

The James M. Cox, Jr. Science Building was constructed in 1967.  

The Cox Science Building exhibits its original appearance, and it maintains architectural significance for its Modernistic design.  Its design illustrates MiMo elements as well as the influence of the Brutalist architectural movement on the architecture of the period. Brutalism originated in Great Britain during the Post -World War II period as an inexpensive, modern form of architecture. Brutalist architecture was often used for university campus and public buildings constructed during the 1960s and 1970s. The name Brutalism comes from the French term for raw concrete, béton brut, and is characterized by exposed, rough concrete, angular or block geometry, and the exposure of a buildings function and structure on its exterior. The Cox Science Buildings design adapts the characteristics of brutalism to the South Florida environment. It integrates the brutalist features of exposed concrete, strong angular geometry, and exposure of the building structure, with the characteristic MiMo use of Mosaic tile, attention to sun protection, and transitions between outdoor and indoor space.


ASHE MEMORIAL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

Watson & Deutschman, architects – 1954

Style – Post- Modern

The Ashe Memorial Administration building is named in honor of the first president of the University of Miami, Bowman Foster Ashe.  Known as “the architect and builder of the University of Miami in all its aspects,” he held his office for 26 years, from 1926 until his death in 1952.  He also served as a trustee from 1928-1952.  Ashe single handedly rescued the University from bankruptcy, which it had been forced to declare in 1932 due to the combined effects of the 1926 hurricane and the Great Depression

The construction of the Ashe Administration Building was a visible sign of growing maturity of the University and ushered in a new era of planned growth after the “leaping, bounding, wildly growing era” of post-World War II.

 The Ashe Memorial building was designed by the architectural firm of Watson and Deutschman in 1954.  The Ashe Memorial building consists of a seven-story wing on the north side connected to a south two-story wing. The exterior of the north wing of this building, which is clad in stucco and pebbled panels, is characterized by window bays inset among projecting peers and floor slabs, similar to the defining "egg crate" appearance of Eaton Hall. Fenestration on the north wing consists of single light metal pivot windows.  Porcelain-enamel and steel panels are also found in the bays below the windows. A wall of random course Oolitic limestone runs along the first story perimeter of the north wing.

The second story of the south wing cantilevers over the first story. The exterior of the south wing is clad in stucco.  Fenestration on the south wing consists of a ribbon of single light, fixed metal windows

The Ashe Memorial building was intended to centralize all administrative and educational services for the University. Previously, departmental offices were housed across the campus in the wooden buildings that were originally constructed as temporary housing for World War II veterans. The Ashe Memorial building also included fireproof vaults for the storage of school records.

The Ashe Memorial building exhibits its original appearance. The design represents architectural movements of the 1950s, and is in keeping with the overall appearance of the University developed over the 1940s and 1950s. Due to its architectural and historical significance, Ashe Memorial building retains value has part of the University of Miami's campus In addition, this building is considered to process significance on an individual basis.


OTTO G. RICHTER LIBRARY

Watson, Deutschman, and Kruse - 1962

Style:  Miami Modern

The University of Miami library was begun in 1926 with a modest donation of 250 books, but no facility to house the books would exist for more than 30 years.  In fact, file memos indicate that the lack of a library building began to be “quite a stigma” for the University.

Planning for a library building was undertaken in 1955 by President Jay F.W. Pearson, who asked architects Watson & Deutschman to prepare plans for the proposed 192,000-square-foot general library.  However, construction did not begin until 1959, when the University received an $8.7 million gift from the estate of Otto G. Richter

The original 1962 MiMo library building has a one story rectangular base with a wide overhanging roof that creates a covered exterior walkway over the eastern portion of the structure, supported by simple piers.  The roof overhang has a decorative, interlocking cornice treatment, and the underside of the overhang has geometric, waffle pattern. The roof lines over the second and third story also project, and the overhangs have same geometric waffle pattern.

The original entrance to the library was located on the east side, within the breezeway. One of the notable design features of the library’s original design was a large suspended staircase. During the renovation project from 1999 -2002, the large suspended staircase was removed and the floors filled in to create more usable research and storage space. The Library’s main entrance was also reconfigured, and relocated to the southeast end of the breezeway.

The library stacks tower is located to the west of the breezeway. The north and south faces of the tower have a sawtooth, zig-zag form in plan, with symmetrically spaced windows on every other face. The original stacks tower had 1,175,524 blue-green tiles on the walls.

The Goizueta Pavilion, at the east end of the library, was constructed in 2002 to house the Cuban Heritage Collection.