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Report on the Development Problem as Foreseen at Queens College

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Title

Report on the Development Problem as Foreseen at Queens College

Description

A report submitted by architect J. Fredrick Larson to Judge Charles Colden that outlines concerns and suggests strategies for college planning. Mr. Larson had the unique former occupation of a World War I flying ace with Britain's Royal Flying Corps.

Subject

Queens College (New York, N.Y.)
Universities and colleges--United States--Planning

Creator

Larson, Jens Frederick, 1891-

Source

CharlesColdenCollection.Box6.Folder3

Publisher

Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)

Date

1939-04-26

Rights

This material may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). We welcome you to make fair use of the content accessible on this website as defined by copyright law. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

Format

Image
JPEG
319656 bytes
357121 bytes
378767 bytes
379577 bytes
260423 bytes

Language

English

Type

Text

Coverage

Queens College (New York, N.Y.)
Hanover (N.H.)

Text

JENS FREDRICK LARSON
ARCHITECT
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE

THOMAS TASH, ENGINEER
STANLEY ORCUTT

April 26, 1939

Dear Judge Colden:

Enclosed is the promised report on the Queen's College problem.

It was a pleasure viewing the site with you and discussing this very interesting situation. I only hope that this report will help you in your effort to retain sufficient land for the future development. If it does, I am amply rewarded.

I am enclosing also a few facts about myself, as you requested.

With kind personal regards, I am
Sincerely yours,
J. Fredrick Larson

Hon. Charles S. Colden, President,
Queen's College Association, Inc.,
Court Square,
Long Island, City, N. Y.

JFL
W

REPORT BY J. FREDRICK LARSON, ARCHITECT
to
JUDGE CHARLES C. COLDEN
on the
DEVELOPMENT PROBLEM AS FORESEEN AT QUEEN'S COLLEGE
---

Queen's College, developed to serve a predominantly residential community of 1,500,000 citizens, will perforce become a great American center of culture commanding national and community pride in its services and physical environment. Through necessity it cannot be a small college; the demands for student registration are too great. Its present limited plant, therefore, must be expanded to meet the dictates of the future.
Also to be considered is the future relation of Queen's College to the community as a whole. It should be the educational and cultural center of Queen's County, and dignified as such in its architectural treatment and setting. A campus with open spaces and parklike surrounding within a city area is of inestimable value in affording a place for relaxation and quiet thinking, and is a definite need to raise the morale of youth in college.

PLANNING
Care must be taken to plan in such a way that the future is always safeguarded. It is suggested that each division or department of the College curriculum, such as language, social science, natural science, fine arts, applied arts, vocational subjects, and physical education, be housed each as a separate unit. Each unit

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should be planned for its immediate needs, but ample space should be allotted to each on the campus for expansion as the future may dictate. It is of prime importance in the process of growth to be able to expand one department without disrupting all the others. For example: the present buildings could continue to house the various departments, and when a unit for the sciences is built, the remaining departments could be expanded into the space given up, and this procedure followed by other departments until the time when one department, possibly vocational subjects, could take over all of the original Parental School group.

The Library, facing the Worlds Fair Boulevard, should be the center of these future units. The Library can be thought of, not only as an archive for books, but as a reference center for students and for residents of the Borough in research and creative writing. It would serve for instruction in library practice, and further the use of books for recreational as well as cultural reading.
The Social Center will be used by the students for extracurricular work, student organizations and activities. With an auditorium and assembly room for social gatherings, students and residents can participate in drama, music, lectures and exhibits. Here the community garden club, social service and other groups could make their headquarters, much to the advantage of the student who would thus get first-hand experience in community problems as part of his social studies.
The Physical Education department can be thought of as a training center for the students and residents in addition to

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controlling recreation. It would serve the community as a whole by spnsoring interesting sports and gymnastic displays, and wholesome group games.
These are only a few of the possible future demands on the College. A study of such a program, anticipating twenty-five years growth, would readily show the need to contol sufficient acreage to allow for any of these possible demands that can be foreseen. The present 48-acre tract is large enough only for the buildings now on it. One cannot too strongly recommend, therefore, that Queen's College acquire all that property bounded by Kissena Boulevard, the Worlds Fair Boulevard and Main Street, about 135 acres, for the development of its campus. This would allow the new buildings to face the Worlds Fair Boulevard and would increase materially the value and importance of the College as an added attraction in Queen's Borough. It is also recommended that the farm to the south of this property be acquired for development by the Physical Education department. This could be extended to Vleigh Road, and would give ideal opportunity for gymnasium and field house, stadium and ball fields, track, and tennic courts.
If this were done, Queen's College would be protected for all time from the encroachment of private or public buildings. This dedication of sufficient land to Higher Education for the use of generations yet to come will be a worthy memorial to the foresight of this generation in providing for the future. Too many of our American colleges and universities lacked the foresight to retain or acquire land when land was available at minimum cost. This has

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caused a terrific burden of expense in obtaining land for expansion when natural growth made it necessary. Harvard and Yale will illustrate this problem. A good maxim for a college is to acquire land - but never sell. In so doing you guarantee to Queen's College the possibility of useful service for many years to come.

Hanover, New Hampshire
April 26, 1939

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Original Format

Paper
Report
8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)

Citation

Larson, Jens Frederick, 1891-, “Report on the Development Problem as Foreseen at Queens College,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 20, 2017, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/queenscollege/items/show/470.