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West Campus Rising
Summer 1931

“The West Campus was first occupied in 1930…. Our new Gothic building adjoining the main library was palatial, especially for the small school [of religion]. In the original plans the entire structure between the library and the chapel was intended for the School of Religion, but the depression of 1929-33 curtailed the immediate execution of the plans. The one building under the same roof became two — Religion and Gray, the latter to serve the university as a general classroom and office building....

“The original West Campus was a small and neatly compact compound in 1931. To visualize that campus, shining with promise and excited with plans though it was, you must omit Allen Building and Few Quadrangle opposite, and the first library addition with tower and Rare Book Room, the present Oak Room and Old Trinity dining room.... The whole of the original West Campus was erected at a cost of about $20 million in 1928-30, and completed after the 1929 financial ‘crash.’ Flowers Building then housed Administration, Gray was thronged with the college classes, the Language Building was the original Law School and opposite were botany and biology. Such was the simple compact house in which lived and worked 5,000 students and 200 faculty members.”

Excerpted from “Four Decades of the Divinity School,” by Kenneth Willis Clark, which originally appeared in the Spring 1967 issue of The Duke Divinity School Review, Vol. 32, No. 2.