1910 Bird's-Eye View of Pennsylvania State College by Richard Rummell

1910 Bird's-Eye View of Pennsylvania State College by Richard Rummell

1910 Bird's-Eye Penn State view by Richard Rummell

This 1910 bird's-eye view of what was then the Pennsylvania State College is an engraving based on an original painting by American artist Richard Rummell. Rummell painted a series of these panoramas of college campuses across the U.S., commissioned by W.T. Littig & Co. at the turn of the century. The original hand-drawn and watercolored painting is on display in the Penn State University Archives in Paterno Library. Art historians aren't sure how Rummell drew such accurate perspectives; many believe he achieved these views from a hot-air balloon, but some believe that he rendered the scenes as he imagined them, without ever leaving the ground. This bird's-eye view is a trip back in time -- note that today's Allen Street Mall was still open to traffic. Fewer than a dozen of the buildings shown are still standing today, among them Schwab Auditiorium, Carnegie Building, Old Botany, Ihlseng Cottage, McAllister Building, University House and Armsby Building. Landmarks that are now gone include Old Engineering, the Armory, Old Beaver Field, the train station and, of course, the original Old Main. To view a larger image, click here.

IMAGE: Penn State University Archives
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