The Weird Stuff At Yale

I just took another look at my Yale shots from yesterday. As I walked the campus I snapped shots of anything everything that looked interesting.

There are lots of architectural ‘touches’ on campus. Some are beautifully ornate and reflect the stature of Yale and those who made up its student body back in the day. Others are just plain weird.

Judge for yourself.

7 Responses to “The Weird Stuff At Yale”

  1. evi from Danbury says:

    Wow… mostly weird….

  2. DAF says:

    the Hebrew translates to Yale’s motto: Light and Truth (Lux et Veritas). Hebrew was in vogue among scholars in the late 18th century.

    Every gargoyle has some meaning, most were created in the 1930s. Often, the craftsmen would use the face of another craftsman as a model- to kid around.

  3. meredith says:

    Gargoyles have historically been the stonemason’s creative outlet. Often they were the editorial cartoons of the era in which they were made, just one in-joke after another. I’m sure the ones at Yale are no exception.

    Yale has all sorts of architectural oddities, perhaps the most notable being Sterling Memorial Library. Its design was based on Gothic cathedrals, with the circulation desk as the “altar”. The kicker is, while cathedrals were all built to face East, the library faces West; and when you stand at the circulation desk and look up, where in a cathedral you would usually see some depiction in stone or fresco of an angel, saint, or other religious figure, there you see a stone bat baring its fangs and flexing its talons at you.

    (My sister got her PhD in Medieval Studies at Yale, and has it on good authority that Umberto Eco’s classic “The Name Of The Rose” is actually a deeply veiled parody of the Yale library system. I’m inclined to believe it…)

  4. DAF says:

    Meredith is dead on. I think James Gamble Rogers and the masons saw the fun in recreating Gothic Oxbridge in 1930s New Haven. (the memorial quadrangle, harkness tower and Old Campus pre-date this.) they splashed acid on the rooftops to age the look, broke windowpanes and re-leaded them to look old. (Causing a few breezy nights for me 60 years hence…) @geoff: IMO, the law school has the best gargoyles. Wall between High and York. The ones under the front door alone are a riot.

    Urban legend disproven: Beinecke donated by heir to S&H green stamp fortune. The building doesn’t belong there, but it’s really neat inside. Nothing like it!

    Yale poorly planned. Funny example is Davenport College, next to Pierson. The outside mirrors the Gothic across the street. The inside transitions to Georgian- too expensive to go Gothic on the inside. If you can, take a Yale tour from admissions. It’s a great tour and you’ll see more inside the gates.

  5. I have an acquaintance working on a book about the stone carvings and gargoyles at Yale.

  6. Ann Booth says:

    I did a post on my blog last month with some interesting architectural things at Yale–all different than what you show. nice post!

  7. Sarah SSM says:

    Please take a picture of the one with the student asleep on his desk, surrounded by books! It’s in the hallway off to the right as you face the circulation desk. Have been searching for a photo for years. (-:

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