Charles Klauder

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Charles Klauder
Charles Zeller Klauder

February 9, 1872
DiedOctober 30, 1938(1938-10-30) (aged 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materSchool of Industrial Art (Philadelphia)
BuildingsSee below
ProjectsAcademic buildings

Charles Zeller Klauder (February 9, 1872 – October 30, 1938) was an American architect best known for his work on university buildings and campus designs, especially his Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, the first educational skyscraper.


The Cathedral of Learning's Commons Room at the University of Pittsburgh was considered by Klauder to be his greatest achievement

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Klauder was the son of Louis and Anna Koehler Klauder, who had immigrated to Philadelphia from Germany. He studied architecture at the School of Industrial Art at the Pennsylvania Museum. At age 15, he entered the office of Theophilus Parsons Chandler Jr. Beginning in 1893 he worked for prominent Philadelphia architectural firms, including Wilson Brothers & Company, Cope & Stewardson, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1900, Klauder became chief draughtsman for Frank Miles Day & Brother, which led to a 1911 partnership, and the firm's eventual renaming as Day & Klauder. Klauder continued the firm after Day's 1918 death.

Klauder teamed with the English-born Day to design some of the nation's most influential and distinguished campus buildings during the heyday of university expansion in the early 20th century. Along with Cope & Stewardson, Day & Klauder may be credited with the invention of the Collegiate Gothic idiom in American architecture. Their early work at Princeton and Cornell universities set the standard for dormitory and classroom designs in the Ivy League. Klauder extended the Gothic idiom during the 1920s to incorporate elements of Art Deco abstraction and modern building technology. He created campus plans for the University of Colorado (1917) in Boulder, St Paul's School in Concord, NH, Pennsylvania State University at University Park, and Concordia Seminary in St Louis, MO. His work at Princeton included dining halls (1913), Dickinson Hall (1929), dormitories (1921), the Holder group (1928), and the university's second library (1927).[1]

Several of his landmark Neo-Gothic buildings at the University of Pittsburgh are the Cathedral of Learning, Heinz Memorial Chapel and the Stephen Foster Memorial. The Cathedral of Learning, upon its completion, was the tallest educational building in the world, and today it ranks behind only a tower at Moscow University. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Marks Scout Resource Center at 22nd and Winter Streets in Philadelphia was built in 1929. Klauder designed the building in the Beaux Arts style.[2]

Klauder considered his greatest achievement to be the Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning. The Commons Room is a fifteenth-century English perpendicular Gothic-style hall that covers half an acre (2,000 m2) and extends upwards four stories, reaching 52 feet (16 m) tall.[3]

For his lifelong architectural work, Klauder has received the gold medal, Architectural League, N.Y. 1921; Grand Prix Pan American Congress of Architects, 1927; Architectural Medal, Olympic Games, 1928.[4] Klauder was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In 1938 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

Klauder died aged 66 on October 30, 1938. His remains are interred at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Notable works[edit]

Brown University[edit]

  • Littlefield Hall, 1925
  • Hegeman Hall, 1926
  • Metcalf Research Laboratory, 1938

University of Colorado Boulder[edit]

  • Campus master plan, 1918. 15 buildings of the University of Colorado Boulder in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style, characterized by rough, textured sandstone walls with sloping, multi-leveled red-tiled roofs and Indiana limestone trim, were designed by Klauder between 1921 and 1939. The oldest buildings of the CU-Boulder campus, such as Old Main (1876) and Macky Auditorium (1923), are in the Collegiate Gothic style of many East Coast schools.
  • Norlin Library, final building designed by Klauder on the CU Boulder campus, 1939

Concordia Seminary[edit]

14 buildings including:

Cornell University[edit]

  • Baker Hall and Baker Tower, 1913[5]
  • Founders Hall
  • Lyon Hall, 1928
  • McFaddin Hall, 1928
  • War Memorial, 1928
  • Mennen Hall, 1931

Franklin and Marshall College[edit]

  • Dietz-Santee Dormitory, 1924
  • Franklin-Meyran Dormitory, 1924
  • Biesecker Gymnasium, 1924 - 1925
  • Hensel Hall, now the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, 1925 - 1927
  • Fackenthal Laboratories, now the Harris Center for Business, Government, and Public Policy, 1928 - 1929
  • Central Heating Plant, 1925
  • Fackenthal Pool, 1930 - 1931
  • Franklin and Marshall College Master Plan, 1924 - 1925

University of Pennsylvania[edit]

University of Pittsburgh[edit]

  • Cathedral of Learning, 1926-1937
  • Heinz Memorial Chapel, 1933-1938
  • Stephen Foster Memorial, 1937

Princeton University[edit]

15 buildings including:

  • Walker Hall, 1930
  • Holder Hall, 1909, Day & Brother.
  • University Dining Halls, 1916, Day & Klauder.
  • Joline Hall, 1939

St. Paul's School[edit]

  • Central Heating Plant
  • Quadrangle Dorms

Pennsylvania State University[edit]

  • College Master Plan
  • Sackett Building
  • Buckhout and Borland Labs
  • Steidle Building
  • The Nittany Lion Inn
  • Additions to Pond Lab and Sparks Building
  • The Power Plant
  • Henderson Building
  • (New) Old Main
  • Rec Hall
  • Pattee Library
  • Burrowes Building
  • Electrical Engineering West
  • Osmond and Frear Labs
  • Ag Engineering
  • Ferguson Building
  • The Poultry Plant
  • Additions to Steidle and Sparks

University of Chicago[edit]

  • Eckhart Hall

Other academic buildings[edit]

Non-academic buildings[edit]



  • Klauder, Charles Z.; Wise, Herbert C. (1929). College Architecture in America. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. ASIN B002R1JZJ2.


  1. ^ Hewitt, Mark Alan, "Klauder, Charles Z.," Joan Marter, Ed., Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (New York, Oxford: 2011).
  2. ^ "Boy Scouts of America Building". Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  3. ^ Toker, Franklin (2009). Pittsburgh: A New Portrait. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 327. ISBN 978-0-8229-4371-6.
  4. ^ "Charles Klauder". Olympedia. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  5. ^ "3004T-Baker Tower Facility Information". Cornell University Facilities. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Our History". Historic Langhorne. Retrieved 7 September 2023.


External links[edit]