Maitland Robinson Library, Downing College, Cambridge University

Quinlan Terry

The first buildings at Downing College were erected in 1807-1812 according to the designs of William Wilkins (1775-1839) who was inspired by the buildings he had seen in Greece. Quinlan Terry's building, a Greek Revival monument, continues in that tradition. The library was named after J.W.C. Maitland Robinson, a Downing graduate, whose gift enabled the construction of a purpose-built library for the first time in Downing's history. It is located just beyond the main entrance to Downing College--a site that was somewhat controversial.

Distant view

This two-story square block has on its south front a Greek Doric portico modelled on the Portico of Augustus in Athens while the octagonal lantern on the pyramidal roof is intended to recall the Athenian Tower of the Winds.
Views of the front

The staircase

The staircase is situated in the center of the building in a two-story octagonal hall under the lantern. The interior is elegant Georgian in style.

See also Terry's Howard Building at Downing College.

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© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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