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Architectural Marvels: The Timeless Grandeur of the College and Curtis Buildings

In 1932, a silent motion picture immortalized the grand unveiling of the College and Curtis buildings on Walnut Street, between 10th and 11th, in Philadelphia. Designed by the renowned architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer, these buildings are not just structures, but a stunning blend of Art Deco and Neo-Romanesque styles that stand as a testament to the innovative spirit and aesthetic vision of their era. Horace Trumbauer, the firm behind these designs, was not just a name, but one of the most prominent architectural practices of the early 20th century. Known for its opulent residential and institutional buildings, Trumbauer's work often blended historical styles with modern construction techniques, creating timeless and grandiose structures that have stood the test of time. Trumbauer's other notable works include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Widener Library at Harvard University, demonstrating the company’s versatility and commitment to architectural excellence.

The Art Deco influence is evident in the sleek, geometric lines and stylized forms, while the Neo-Romanesque elements are seen in the robust, medieval-inspired arches and decorative details. The buildings' facade, a testament to their grandeur, features a distinctive waterfall roofline and grand arched entryways constructed with orange brick and terracotta. What sets these buildings apart are the intricate details, with gargoyles in the forms of griffins, squirrels, eagles, lions, and the Jefferson Ram, creating a visual treasure hunt of architectural wonders. These unique features make the College and Curtis buildings stand out among their contemporaries.

The interiors of the College and Curtis buildings were designed to be just as impressive as the exteriors. High ceilings, expansive corridors, and detailed woodwork reflect the grandeur of the era. Notably, the classrooms and lecture halls were beautiful and functional spaces, outfitted with the latest amenities of the time, ensuring they were conducive to education and collaboration.

Explore the historical significance and architectural beauty of the College and Curtis buildings, which remain a testament to their era's innovative spirit and aesthetic vision. Today, these buildings continue to serve as important educational and cultural institutions, hosting a variety of events and activities that contribute to the community's vibrancy. Their enduring presence is a testament to their architectural excellence and their continued relevance in the modern world.

Creating Our Third Century

Make your mark on history. In 2024, Jefferson celebrates its bicentennial year. For our students, patients, and communities, the path forward is clear, and new horizons await. Join us in celebrating this 200-year milestone. The Bicentennial Fund will be our springboard into our third century, allowing us to fast-track innovative research, open doors for promising students, propel clinical care, close equity gaps in the community, and much more.