View from the President's house, 1886

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The original Old Main is in the distance. Trees line the Allen Street mall. Students gather informally near the duck pond. Even in the 19th century, thanks to the beautification work of Professor of Horticulture William Waring and other pioneer faculty, Penn State's campus exhibited an idyllic quality, as seen in this 1886 view from the residence of President George Atherton and his family (and which now is part of the Hintz Family Alumni Center). The bridge in the foreground eventually was replaced by the current stone arch span that is named for Ridge Riley, a 1932 alumnus and executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association from 1947 to 1970. 

Penn State's first formal master plan to guide campus development came about in 1907, when renowned New York landscape architect Charles Lowrie, commissioned by the Board of Trustees, overlaid the existing campus with a rectangular grid of streets and proposed grouping new buildings by academic discipline. The Lowrie Plan provided the foundation for later master plans that helped the University avoid haphazard growth and create one the most attractive and people-friendly academic settings in the nation.

Last Updated June 16, 2015