The Amherst History Society cooperated with Jones Library and the UMass Public History Department to present a series of lectures on brutalist architecture on the UMass campus.
“Brut” Bites: Lunchtime talks on UMass Amherst’s modernist architecture
April 12: UMass Campus Then and Now
Speakers: Ron Michaud and Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
Description: The UMass campus has always been a place of dynamic change. By pairing archival photographs with contemporary images, retired faculty member Ron Michaud and Senior Campus Planner Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham will invite participants to reflect on how the campus has changed over time. What has been lost? What has been gained?
April 19: The History and Cultures of the Southwest Residential Complex
Speaker: Timothy M. Rohan
Description: Completed in 1968, the towers of the Southwest Residential Complex have made a big impact on our local landscape. What is the history of this large complex, which can house up to 5500 students? What does it tell us about modern architecture, the campus, the community, and the region in the 1960s and after? How did its diverse communities create their own unique cultures within this “big city”-like environment?
April 26: Unbuilt UMass: A History of Campus Master Plans
Speaker: Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
Description: The UMass campus is familiar to many, but was it always going to look the way it does today? How has the campus been envisioned over time? What forces and priorities shaped the plans that we recognize today, and what other plans were never realized? Peek inside the history of campus master plans with Senior Campus Planner Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham to explore the evolving vision for the UMass Amherst campus, from its beginning to the present.
May 3: The History of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center
Speakers: L. Carl Fiocchi and Margaret Vickery
Description: Since its construction in 1975, The Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts (formerly Fine Arts Center) has been a central force in the cultural, social and academic life of the Town of Amherst, the University, the Five College campuses, and the Pioneer Valley. This uncompromisingly modern concrete building consists of several distinctly different units which are combined to form a powerful architectural sculpture.
The mission of the Amherst Historical Society is to connect people
to the town of Amherst, its history, and its culture.
The Society was founded in 1899 by Mabel Loomis Todd, and in 1916 it moved into the historic Simeon Strong house. Over the years, the Society has collected a wide variety of resources for learning about the town of Amherst. We have artifacts dating back to the earliest days of the town, and papers and photographs from more recent years. On our website you may find links to walking tours of Amherst, a list of books about Amherst, and even a collection of historic postcards.
We host a biweekly lecture series, ‘History Bites,’ as well as evening performances and historic tours. Our eighteenth-century garden is maintained by the Garden Club of Amherst, and last year we hosted a Thursday evening farmers’ and artisans’ market on our front lawn.