Sterling Memorial Library as Cathedral



Reassessing Yale’s Cathedral Orgy The Ecclesiastical Metaphor and the Sterling Memorial Library by Margaret M. Grubiak

The Sterling Memorial Library (1927–31) at Yale University employed the ecclesiastical metaphor to imagine a new place for religion in the modern university, where secular and scientific concerns increasingly overshadowed religion. Architect James Gamble Rogers patterned the neo-Gothic library after a cathedral, complete with an entrance nave, an Alma Mater altar piece, and a Gutenberg Bible relic. Yet the range of the building’s interpretations, from religion as an omnipresent background to modern inquiry to a mockery of religion, reveals religion’s transitional role in higher education in the twentieth century. Read the rest


Image credits to:
Angelo Mercado (Yale Campus)
Angel G Pachon (Sterling Memorial Library; Reading Room, Sterling Memorial Library)



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