Blueprints, sketches, models, and photographs have been uncovered to showcase Drake University’s architectural heritage from the world renown architects Weese and Mies.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Harry Weese, and Ben Weese designed five of the buildings on Drake University’s campus such as Meredith Hall and Goodwin-Kirk.
“I think this was one of the things that set Drake apart, to begin this tradition of hiring modernist architects to build buildings on campus. So it started in the forties with a father son team and then through their recommendation Harry Weese, another architect who is featured in the exhibition and his brother Ben Weese who came to work on campus, and then Mies van der Rohe who designed Meredith Hall… I think it was an opportunity for Drake to present itself as forward-looking, as an institution that was poised for the future and not necessarily using historical styles that would tie architecture to the past which have been the tradition and most college campuses and you still seeing college campuses today and I think the other part of it was that for people at the time modernism was also equated with efficiency and cost savings so I think that was one of the appeals for Drake as well so there was this aesthetic component to it but there was also a very practical pragmatic which is that we can build these buildings in a very cost-effective way and that was obviously appealing to an institution that wants to be a good steward of the dollar so they have.” – Maura Lyons, art history professor at Drake University
Drake is building for the future with the past in mind. The significance of the historical architecture on the buildings of Drake’s campus is not being overlooked as plans for renovations and construction of buildings like Meredith Hall are transforming Drake’s campus to accommodate modern teaching and learning styles.
The Anderson Gallery is located in the Harmon Fine Arts Center at 1310 25th Street, at the corner of Carpenter and 25th. There is one more event about the Mies | Weese exhibit scheduled for the semester.
- Thursday, December 7: Lecture on Mies van der Rohe by his grandson, Dirk Lohan, principal at Wight & Company. 7 p.m., Meredith Hall room 106
The Anderson Gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Friday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and extended hours on Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.