AKA: Stanford University, Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings; built works - recreation areas and structures - gymnasiums

Designers: Warnecke, John Carl, and Associates, Architects (firm); John Carl Warnecke Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1967-1969

view all images ( of 1 shown)

655 Campus Drive
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

San Francisco architect John Carl Warnecke, Sr., (1919-2010) made extensive connections with the facilities planning department at Stanford University, his alma mater, and won the commissions for a number of buildings on campus after 1960. Of Maples Pavilion, Richard Joncas, Paul V. Turner, and David Neuman wrote in their Campus Guide to Stanford University, "Maples was based on a design Warnecke had prepared in 1957 for a radical new Stanford Sports Pavilion covered by a red-metal butterfly roof. Maples tripled the number of available seats to 8,000. Its steel space frame anchored at the corners provided unobstructed views from any seat. Maples was also conceived as a model space for concerts and other cultural activities in addition to sports events. The exterior highlights the stepped seating within, offering shelter below its reinforced concrete cantilevers. Corten steel, turning to a rust patina, clads the upper walls and is an abstract homage to the red-tile roofs of the old quad buildings." For many years, new buildings at Stanford had to retain red tile roofs; this requirement eased during the 1960s, when abstractions like the use of rusting steel walls became satisfactory nods to the past. In Stirling and Gowan's Engineering Laboratory Building, Leicester, UK, (1959), the architects also expressed the steps of auditorium on the exterior as a major compositional element.

The building was named for the lumber executive, Roscoe William Maples (born 01/20/1880 in Tulare, CA,-d. 01/17/1963 in San Francisco, CA), who donated most of his $2 million fortune to Stanford at his death. In the mid-1920s, Maples was Vice-President of the Dwight Lumber and Box Company in San Francisco, CA. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1926, p. 1402.)

Building Notes

The American Institute of Steel Construction bestowed its Award of Excellence on John Carl Warnecke, Sr., (1919-2010) for Maples Pavilion in 1969, highlighting its innovative Cor-Ten steel design.

A renovation on the Roscoe Maples Pavilion was completed in 2004.

In 2017, Maples Pavilion seated 7,233 spectators.


Stanford renovated Maples Pavilion in 2003-2004 at a cost of $30 million.

PCAD id: 6833