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MICA Enhances Student Experience With Founders Green Residential Complex

In addition to the new hall, significant changes will be made to enhance the current buildings

Posted 11.02.12 by MICA Communications

November 3 holds special significance for MICA. On that date in 1825, Baltimore lawyer and painter John Hazelhurst Boneval Latrobe organized the first meeting of a group of influential Baltimore citizens to plan the formation of what would become the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, the school that would eventually become MICA. The founders' goal was for the institution to lead the way in promoting American innovation so that the relatively new nation could compete in the world.

When completed in fall 2013, our new residential complex will be named the Founders Green Residential Complex in their honor. It is fitting that the designation comes as we prepare to celebrate tomorrow's anniversary of the first meeting of MICA's founders. The complex will include the buildings that now make up The Commons at 130 McMechen Street and the new residence hall to its north. In addition to the new hall, significant changes will be made to enhance the current buildings. The complex will boast a new entrance, living space for upperclassmen as well as freshmen, a grill-style dining facility, expanded laundry facilities, single and double-room apartments, lecture and studio spaces, and a new black box theater. It will also contain an enhanced student life center and two new living/learning communities focused on Performing Arts and Health & Wellness.

The complex buildings will be named to recognize the contributions of Latrobe and the other founders, as well as other pivotal figures in MICA's history:

John H.B. Latrobe House (now known as The Gatehouse)
Twenty-two-year-old John Latrobe was a painter, inventor, author, and lawyer who wrote the charter for the school that would eventually become MICA. The Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts was created when the charter was approved by the State of Maryland on January 20, 1826, and eventually became the school we know today. From the beginning, the charter called for the school to be a place of invention. The building currently known as The Commons' "Gatehouse" will be renovated to become more amenable to socializing and receiving guests and will be designated "Latrobe House" in his honor. It will also be the new home of the Office of Residence Life.

Eugene W. "Bud" Leake Hall (in construction along North Avenue)
In 1963, Maryland Institute selected Yale-trained painter Captain Eugene W. "Bud" Leake to be president. Especially notable in MICA's history, Leake added the Mt. Royal Station building to MICA's campus, established the Hoffberger School of Painting, Mt. Royal School of Painting, and two flagship MFA programs, recruited eventual Hoffberger School of Painting Director Grace Hartigan onto the faculty, hired the first full-time liberal arts faculty, tripled enrollment, and presided over the official transition from an institute to a fully accredited college.

The new residence hall being constructed along North Avenue will be named in his honor. Leake Hall will provide 240 beds for foundation and sophomore students as well as juniors and seniors. It will also serve as home to two new living/learning communities focused on Performing Arts and Health & Wellness and feature a new black box performance space, lecture hall, and expanded studio facilities.

Margaret F.S. Glace Hall (now known as Building 1)
Margaret Glace became the first woman dean at an art school when named MICA's academic dean in 1948. As dean and acting director, she was instrumental in the Institute's evolution into an accredited, degree-granting institution and also served as a director of the new National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The foundation program was also created under her tenure. The newly renovated Glace Hall will include new student life space, a grill-style dining facility, and expanded laundry facilities.

John M. Carter Hall "Carter Hall" (now known as Building 2)
After Maryland Institute's original location in downtown Baltimore was destroyed in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, Board President John M. Carter secured funding from Andrew Carnegie and the State of Maryland to build the Main Building on Mt. Royal Avenue. Signaling a new era for the school, the Main Building was to serve as home for most classes for years and made possible the continued expansion of the school's educational programs. Carter's portrait now hangs in the Main Building's boardroom.

Julia A. Spear Hall (now known as Building 3)
Julia Spear introduced programming for women at the school, ensuring that they could receive a Maryland Institute education just like men. Beyond pioneering education for women, Spear revolutionized MICA's curriculum, introducing many of the first significant fine arts classes and an arts education curriculum.

Founders Green
The landscaped green space around which the complex sits is named Founders Green to celebrate the legacy of the original officers and creators of MICA's charter and other leaders in our history who originated unique elements of the College's programming, culture, and influence on art and design education.