School - Stockton College Academic Buildings (A-N Wings), Pomona

Geddes Brecher Qualls & Cunningham

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is a small liberal arts college located on 1,600 acres of pineland in Pomona, New Jersey. The original college buildings (known as “A” through “N” wings) were constructed in sections from December 1970 to February 1976. The original academic buildings were listed as one of New Jersey’s top ten “architectural treasures” by New Jersey Monthly in April 1999.(1)

The founding of the college was initiated in late 1968 with the proposal of a $202.5 million construction bill by the New Jersey legislature for a Southern New Jersey college. Debates about the school’s location and its name delayed the bill, which did not pass until the following year. The College Trustees eventually agreed that the location would be in Galloway Township, Atlantic County, and that the institution’s name would be Stockton State College.(2) This was later changed to The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Stockton was named for New Jersey’s signer of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton (1730-1781). Richard Stockton was born in New Jersey and attended Princeton, which at that time was known as the College of New Jersey. He afterwards earned his law degree under the honorable David Ogden of Newark. Stockton would later become the President of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), a leader in the Revolutionary War, and a delegate to the general congress, who fought for the Declaration of Independence.

(Alison Murphy)

Stockton College was designed by the architectural firm of Geddes Brecher Qualls and Cunningham; construction began on December 9, 1970. The firm designed the school in the International Modern Style, the American version of the German Bauhaus style. International Modern Style became very popular in post-war America and was used for many office buildings, hospitals, and elite homes. The style typically includes flat roofs, cubic patterns, open interiors, and unadorned, smooth facades. Great emphasis is placed on long walls of glass and steel; the colors are usually white, gray, black, and beige.

Stockton College, the work of Robert Geddes and Warren Cunningham, demonstrates a flawless design typical of this architectural style. All of Stockton’s original buildings (A through N wings) are connected to one main corridor which acts as a “spine” or “main street,” with classrooms and office hallways branching off each side.(3) The spine as well as the original wings are two floors in height with numerous windows, whose large overhangs give a united, unblemished appearance to the exterior. In between the wings are geometrically shaped courtyards combining concrete seating areas and landscaped plant life. The college design is considered a sympathetic complement to the surrounding pinelands.

Since the completion of the original academic buildings in 1976, many additions have been made to support the college’s growing needs. These include the Arts and Sciences Building (designed by Michael Graves), the Health Sciences Building (“West Quad”), and a field house (“Big Blue”). In 2004 the college developed a blueprint referred to as the Facilities Master Plan to manage college growth while meeting environmental, academic, and student needs for years to come.

(Alison Murphy)

(1-2) “About the College,” (accessed April 23, 2005).

(3) G.E. Kidder Smith, The Architecture of the United States, vol. I, New England and the Mid-Atlantic States (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1981), pp.10-11.

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