Master Plan of Historic Campus by James Gamble Rogers and Olmsted Brothers

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to Restore Both Buildings and Campus Landscape


Michael Winstanley Architects & Planners (MWAP) is pleased to announce the completion of the master plan for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, Kentucky.  The final master plan outlines a plan to reconstitute an historic core on the 90-year-old campus focusing on the restoration of the Mullins Hall Complex, the Centennial Library, and a new entrance and quadrangle to the west.

The 73-acre campus is historically significant by its origin as one of the earliest campus plans by James Gamble Rogers and the Olmsted Brothers in the early 1920s.  James Gamble Rogers was the architect of numerous important buildings including the main campus at Yale University and other university structures at Columbia University and Northwestern University.  At SBTS his work includes Norton Hall and Mullins Hall Complex, both collegiate colonial styled buildings that set the direction in American academic planning for the next century and heavily influenced his work at Yale University.

The master plan envisions a reconstituted campus circled by a new campus loop road.  Boyce College, a small college nested in the Seminary, will be relocated into the historic Mullins Hall Complex and create a new living and learning environment reminiscent of the system of residential colleges at prestigious academic institutions.  The Seminary hopes to double the size of the College in the next ten years and will provide additional residence halls for undergraduates in the new western quadrangle.

Additional plans call for the renovation of Centennial Library built in 1959.  The 100,000 square foot facility will shed its collections to remote storage facilities and convert the structure to a new Learning Center that will house student and faculty support space and integrate new technologies with pedagogical approaches and social media communication.  The master plan also included recommendations to restore the Olmsted Brother’s landscape work and implement a tree replacement program to assure the campus historical landscape continuity.

“Our whole approach to this project was to first protect and restore the historic fabric and site and then show the Seminary a path to modernize the campus” says Michael Winstanley AIA AICP, Design Principal for the assignment.  “The Seminary has been a terrific client in recognizing the historic importance of the Rogers and Olmstead plan and the importance of stewardship of this important cultural resource.  We were honored to be a part of the restoration and modernization.”

MWAP was assisted during the master plan process by The Education Alliance of Natick, MA.  The Education Alliance provided strategic academic consulting to the Seminary as part of the master plan development.