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Stanford University
"The Chemistry Building, Gymnasium, and Library were constructed during a massive development campaign that stretched from 1899 to 1906. Once the family estate cleared probate five years after the death of Leland Stanford Sr., Jane Lathrop Stanford was eager to witness the fulfillment of her husband's vision for their new university. Violating the original campus plan of 1888 on Mrs. Stanford's orders, these buildings, and the adjacent Leland Stanford Junior Museum, were designed as individual neoclassical monuments sited prominently outside of the linear succession of quadrangles envisioned by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Worried that project funds might be diverted to other uses after her death, Mrs. Stanford rushed the building process. The pressure to finish such elaborate structures quickly influenced some unwise time- and money-saving choices, including the decision to forego broad, flaring foundations similar to those specified by Senator Stanford for the Inner Quad buildings. Reflecting upon the time he called the University's 'second stone age,' Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan, wrote in a personal letter, 'these buildings, including the gymnasium and library, were put up by a tour de force, and the living organism of the University was almost starved in the process.'"
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