Top Five Tuesday — Top Five College Campuses

I grew up just down the street from a college campus (see below).  Since it was so close and since my father worked there, I spent a lot of time as a child walking around it.

I suppose that’s why I still like investigating and appreciating what it is that makes college campuses so unique.  The combination of spacious courtyards and timeless architecture make a stroll through a nice campus one of life’s great pleasures.

Here are the five that I’ve liked the best . . . and consider the best looking.

5.  Princeton UniversityI spent more time walking around this one than any other.  The Gothic buildings on the upper, original campus never fail to impress, especially when covered with snow.

And the archways form a rite of passage from dormitory to classroom.

So since it’s my alma mater and the Gothic structures are so classicly beautiful, why isn’t it higher on the list?  Because the lower campus is a disappointing hodgepodge of architectural styles that renders the campus as whole much less than the sum of its parts. 

4.  UCLA.  It’s hard for anything to be unattractive in Southern California, isn’t it?  That includes this gorgeous campus known for its covered walkways and peaceful gardens.

3.  SMU.   Isn’t it true that when you grow up around something you take it for granted?  So it is with me and the SMU campus.  When I return there as an adult, I’m always impressed by its clean lines, clear landscaping, and classic Georgian Revival architecture.

The entrance to the Boulevard is simply breathtaking:

2.  Davidson College.  Just up I-77 from Good Shepherd is this elite Presbyterian college that’s home to good basketball and great scenery.

1.  Rice University.  Houston’s Rice University has one of the best schools of architecture in the country.  It’s obvious where they do their first — and best — work.