Lincoln Campus Center
University News

Tour and Exhibitions Highlight Brutalist Architecture on Campus

A campus walking tour and two exhibitions that highlight the Brutalist architecture on campus are available to the public.

A campus walking tour will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, on campus in conjunction with the Brutalism and the Public University: Past, Present and Future symposium being co-hosted by UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth. The tour will be led by campus planning graduate researchers Lincoln Nemetz Carlson and P. Alexander Stoicheff.

The UMass Amherst campus was established under the Morrill Land Grant in 1863. Today it serves a community of over 36,000 in approximately 13.4 million square feet of buildings. Its most significant enrollment growth occurred after World War II with over 10 million square feet of space built within 20 years, along with a change in scale from rural to a more urban campus consisting of dense neighborhoods and towers based on the 1963 master plan by Hideo Sasaki. Making campus a showcase of Brutalism at its zenith, UMass Amherst commissioned the landmark Fine Arts Center (1974) by Kevin Roche and Lincoln Campus Center by Marcel Breuer (1970) as well other key structures by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Edward Durrell Stone and Hugh Stubbins.

The tour will start at the Fine Arts Center and walk on the campus grounds, viewing Herter Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1968), Whitmore Hall (Campbell & Aldrich, 1967), Southwest Residential Complex (Hugh Stubbins & Assoc., 1965-68), Tobin Hall (Coletti Borthers, 1972), Dubois Library (Edward Durell Stone, 1972), Lincoln Campus Center (Marcel Breuer, 1970) and Lederle Graduate Research Center (Campbell, Aldrich & Nulty, 1971-1973).

The tour is free and open to the public. RSVPs are required and should be made by sending an email to with subject “Walking Tour RSVP.”

Two related exhibitions are also free and open to the public. “Standing in the Silhouette: The Southwest Dormitories at UMass” will be featured through Dec. 8 at the Greenbaum Gallery at Elm House, located at 145 Commonwealth Ave. This student exhibition is also in conjunction with the Brutalism and the Public University symposium. An opening reception will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

The “Brutalism in Color” exhibition will be open Oct. 15-31 in the lobby of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center, located at 151 Presidents Dr. The exhibition will present the Brutalist architecture of UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth in new, colorful ways. It will feature brightly colored photographs and original artwork by Lincoln Nemetz Carlson, archival photos and photography of recent vibrant renovations to Brutalist interiors on both campuses. The exhibition will not only connect Brutalist architecture to its dynamic original context, but also present the architecture in a new light. By emphasizing geometry, sculptural elements and an avant-garde nature of these buildings through color, the exhibition shows off their beauty to both lovers and skeptics of Brutalism alike. The exhibition’s opening is in conjunction with the Brutalism and the Public University symposium.