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4.27.2005 

stop #3: saarinen


Ingalls Rink

A Finnish immigrant born to a prominent architect father and a sculptor mother, Eero Saarinen graduated from Yale College with a honors degree in architecture. He attracted national attention when his Gateway Arch design won first place in St. Louis's Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Competition in 1948.

He then established his highly successful architectural firm Eero Saarinen & Associates and received commissions from corporations, government agencies and universities to design noteworthy buildings such as the TWA Terminal in New York's Kennedy International Airport.

In 1956, A. Whitney Griswold, president of the University at the time, invited Saarinen back to Yale to design several new buildings on campus. A patron of modern architecture and an aficionado of Saarinen's work, Griswold charged Saarinen with building the campus ice rink to be used primarily by the Yale hockey team.

As letters show, Griswold confidently guided Saarinen's plans past logistical and financial obstacles as well as fierce alumni opposition that argued the eccentric contours of the building would clash with the Gothic and colonial styles of the rest of the campus.

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