Saturday, November 6, 2010

Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut

Even for a well known prep school, Choate has an abundance of architectural gems, the centerpiece being the Paul Mellon Art Center (1972) designed by I.M. Pei. The older campus buildings are Georgian Revival in style, including Hill House (1911, Francis Waterman), the Andrew Mellon Library (1925, Edward Mellon), the Paul Mellon Humanities Center (1938, Charles Fuller), and Archbold (1928, Ralph Adams Cram). Built in brick (Flemish bond), many of the hipped roofs are pyramidal design. The stately buildings feature modillion cornices, doric columned porticos, gables, demi-lune windows, dormers, pedimented entrances with transoms, and an abundance of keystones over the windows.

PMAC is sited at 333 Christian St. and the isolated nature of the building does the I.M. Pei design justice. Pei also designed the Carl C. Icahn Center for Science (1989), so named as a result of a gift (2001). Pei is best known for his glass and steel Pyramid at the Louvre. Pei is also known for the construction problems with the Hancock Tower in Boston.

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