Since the move to the land campus it is on today, Trinity’s administration did not want to waste time in rebuilding another campus. First, the College Building Committee hired English architect, William Burges, whom specialized in High Victorian Gothic style architecture. Burges promised Trinity that he would build “nothing less than one of the most extensive university buildings of the present day”. Burges designed what he thought would be the most pristine campus for a college, and constructed the Four- Quad Plan on blueprints. Never actually visiting the site of his newly designed campus, Trinity’s College Building Committee then hired a new architect, twenty- nine- year old, Francis H. Kimball. It was September 29, 1874, Burges “officially signed off the project”. Leaving his detailed plans for Trinity’s campus in the hands of Kimball, Burges comments on the new architect’s skills as being “entirely laudatory”.
As plans began to set in to start building, the Four Quad Plan was too costly for the college to follow through with. The new design would then consist of “one large quadrangle headed on its north side by a portion of the chapel… and the library, and on the west by a continuous block of lecture rooms”. The main architect in terms of today’s campus design is credited to Francis H. Kimball, not the original architect, William Burges. Although Burges was the original designer, Kimball gives most of his credit to the final product. In a report written in February of 1878, Kimball writes about his contact with Burges since 1874. Quoted from the report, Kimball says he has “supplied [Burges] with tracings of all things made for his approval and have profited by his criticisms”.
Construction on the Long Walk began in July 1875 after plans were finally set in after the commencement ceremonies, and Jarvis Hall was the first to be completed in 1878. Jarvis Hall was named after Abraham Jarvis, the second American Episcopal Bishop. It was designed as a dormitory, which to this day still houses students, with rooms for ninety- two students. This dormitory includes room of six to eight person suites, with two or three bathrooms and a common room in each. The basement does not serve as a dormitory, but as study rooms.
Jarvis Hall, one of the three buildings on the Long Walk, was constructed on the North side of the Long Walk and “considered the finest examples in America of High Victorian Collegiate Gothic architecture”. Instead of the Four- Quad Plan, Kimball constructed a “long bar- like range, whose bold silhouette dominates the central green space of the campus known as “The Quad”. Measuring in the extent of nearly 300 feet on the same line as Northam Towers and Seabury, the dormitory has both Medieval and post- Medieval styles, with ashlar brownstone from Portland, Connecticut covering the exterior of the building. Completing the Medieval architecture and creating a contrast against the dark brownstone, a cream- white sandstone is used in the string courses, door jambs, frame of the doors, and interior work such as fireplaces. Jarvis Hall is muscular in form, bold in the expressive brownstone- faced walls, and “use of structural color reflected the writings of the English art critic Jon Ruskin”. This gives the building its Medieval style and allows for more aestheticism to take place on the exterior of the hall. The dormitory is the extent of nearly 300 feet on the same line as Northam Towers and Seabury.
Albert Entress added sculptures and tympanums to Jarvis Hall in 1907 and 1908.Read More
North side of Long Walk at Trinity College
- Trinity College Jarvis Hall Sculpture0MI / S
- Trinity College Williams Memorial Building0MI / N
- Trinity College Downes Memorial Clock Tower0MI / NE
- Trinity College Northam Towers0.1MI / S
- Trinity College Chapel: Damon and Phintias; Aeneas and Achates Windows0.1MI / NE
- Trinity College Chapel: David and Jonathan; Philip and Nathanael Windows (Biblical Friendships)0.1MI / NE
Available in these Tours
- Armstrong pg. 207
- Armstrong pg. 208
- Armstrong pg. 209
- Armstrong pg. 210
- Council of Independent Colleges
- Armstrong, Christopher Drew. “‘Qui Transtulit Sustinet’: William Burges, Francis Kimball, and the Architecture of Hartford’s Trinity College.” : Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 59, no. 2 (2000): 194–215.
- Irving, Robert Grant. "The Burges Buildings: Trinity College, Hartford, CT." : Thesis. Trinity College, 1962. Print.