News & Publications
The College Magazine - Summer 2008
St. John's Forever
AN EMERGING CAMPUS
A rider stops to gaze up at the St. John's campus in the early 1960s. A few years before, St. John's President Richard Weigle described the property—the bulk of which was a gift from architect John Gaw Meem and his wife, Faith, as "240 acres of piñon- and juniper-studded land on the lower slope of Monte Sol."
This was the campus that greeted the members of the class of 1968 when they first arrived in Santa Fe. As Weigle raised funds to build the new campus, Meem worked with the architecture firm Holien and Buckley on the master plan.
In a piece he wrote for a college promotional brochure, Meem described the Territorial style and why it was right for St. John's. "The buildings of St. John's College in Santa Fe will reflect practically all the historical phases... Their terraced, flat-roofed masses recall their ancient aboriginal American origin; the balconies, portales and patios recall the Spain they came from, and the stuccoed walls with their brick cornices will remind us of our Territorial past."
The campus' design would be "completely contemporary and yet reflecting the rich inheritance of the past," Meem wrote. "Perhaps in a small way, this may be a worthy symbol of the way St. John's College looks at its task in the world."
Many more buildings have been added to the campus since, and more will be added in the next few years: a new residential center and the Dr. Norman and Betty Levan Hall, which will house the Graduate Institute.