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Charles Zeller Klauder (February 9, 1872 – October 30, 1938) was an American architect best known for his work on university buildings and campus designs, especially his Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, the first educational skyscraper.

Charles Klauder
Charles Zeller Klauder

February 9, 1872
DiedOctober 30, 1938(1938-10-30) (aged 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materSchool of Industrial Art (Philadelphia)
BuildingsSee below
ProjectsAcademic buildings


The Cathedral of Learning's Commons Room at the University of Pittsburgh was considered by Klauder to be his greatest achievement

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Klauder was the son of Louis and Anna Koehler Klauder, who had immigrated to Philadelphia from Germany. He studied architecture at the School of Industrial Art at the Pennsylvania Museum. At age 15, he entered the office of Theophilus Parsons Chandler, Jr. Beginning in 1893 he worked for prominent Philadelphia architectural firms, including Wilson Brothers & Company, Cope & Stewardson, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1900, Klauder became chief draughtsman at Day & Brother, which led to the 1911 partnership with Frank Miles Day, and the firm's renaming as Day & Klauder. Klauder continued the firm after Day's 1918 death, but did not rename it until 1927.

Klauder's commissions include extensive work on the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Cornell University. At Penn he designed the third Franklin Field, Hutchinson Gymnasium, the Coxe and Sharpe Wings of the University Museum, alterations to Weightman Hall and the Palestra. Several of his landmark Neo-Gothic buildings at Pitt are the Cathedral of Learning, Heinz Memorial Chapel and the Stephen Foster Memorial. The Cathedral of Learning, upon its completion, was the tallest educational building in the world, and today it ranks behind only a tower at Moscow University. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Marks Scout Resource Center at 22nd and Winter Streets in Philadelphia was built in 1929. Klauder designed the building in the Beaux Arts style.[1]

Klauder considered his greatest achievement to be the Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. The Commons Room is a fifteenth-century English perpendicular Gothic-style hall that covers half an acre (2,000 m2) and extends upwards four stories, reaching 52 feet (16 m) tall.[2]

For his lifelong architectural work, Klauder has received the Gold Medal, Architectural League, N.Y. 1921; Grand Prix Pan American Congress of Architects, 1927; Architectural Medal, Olympic Games, 1928. Klauder was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In 1938 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

Klauder died aged 66 on October 30, 1938.

Architectural Work (Partial listing)Edit

University of Colorado BoulderEdit

  • Campus master plan, University of Colorado, 1918. 15 buildings of the University of Colorado Boulder in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style, characterized by rough, textured sandstone walls with sloping, multi-leveled red-tiled roofs and Indiana limestone trim, were designed by Klauder between 1921 and 1939. The oldest buildings of the CU-Boulder campus, such as Old Main (1876) and Macky Auditorium (1923), are in the Collegiate Gothic style of many East Coast schools.
  • Norlin Library, final building designed by Klauder on the CU Boulder campus, 1939

Concordia Seminary, Clayton, MissouriEdit

14 buildings including:

Cornell UniversityEdit

Baker Tower at Cornell University
  • Baker Hall and Baker Tower, 1913[3]
  • Founders Hall
  • Lyon Hall, 1928
  • McFaddin Hall, 1928
  • War Memorial, 1928
  • Mennen Hall, 1931

Franklin and Marshall CollegeEdit

  • Dietz-Santee Dormitory
  • Franklin-Meyran Dormitory
  • Biesecker Gymnasium
  • Hensel Auditorium
  • Fackenthal Laboratories, now the Harris Center for Business, Government, and Public Policy
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Fackenthal Pool
  • Franklin and Marshall College Master Plan

University of PennsylvaniaEdit

University of PittsburghEdit

Princeton UniversityEdit

15 buildings including:

  • Walker Hall, 1930
  • Holder Hall, 1909, Day & Brother.
  • University Dining Halls, 1916, Day & Klauber.
  • Joline Hall, 1939

St. Paul's SchoolEdit

  • Central Heating Plant
  • Quadrangle Dorms

Pennsylvania State UniversityEdit

  • College Master Plan
  • Sackett Building
  • Buckhout and Borland Labs
  • Steidle Building
  • The Nittany Lion Inn
  • Additions to Pond Lab and Sparks Building
  • The Power Plant
  • Henderson Building
  • (New) Old Main
  • Rec Hall
  • Pattee Library
  • Burrowes Building
  • Electrical Engineering West
  • Osmond and Frear Labs
  • Ag Engineering
  • Ferguson Building
  • The Poultry Plant
  • Additions to Steidle and Sparks

University of ChicagoEdit

  • Eckhart Hall

Other academic buildingsEdit

Non-academic buildingsEdit



  • Klauder, Charles Z.; Wise, Herbert C. (1929). College Architecture in America. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. ASIN B002R1JZJ2.


  1. ^ "Boy Scouts of America Building". Philadelphia Architects and Buildings. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  2. ^ Toker, Franklin (2009). Pittsburgh: A New Portrait. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 327. ISBN 978-0-8229-4371-6.
  3. ^ "3004T-Baker Tower Facility Information". Cornell University Facilities. Retrieved 26 August 2018.


External linksEdit