Gateway Column

University of Southern California. Dedicated on commencement day, 1932, this is a gateway column marking the north (34th Street) entrance to the campus. The column is a gift from the classes of 1931 and 1932, and from the General Alumni Association. Designed by the USC School of Architecture, it cost $6000. According to the Dean of Architecture at that time, Arthur C. Weatherhead, great European cities had important monuments on their squares, but this was not practice in American cities. "The Trojan column is decidedly a modern creation...It is heavy and strong to harmonize with our Romanesque forms on the campus," he wrote. The octagonal shaft, 58' in height and 5' in diameter at the base, is of light buff limestone to harmonize with the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library. It supports a pedestal upon which is carried a form symbolic of the torch of learning; below the torch on 4 sides are carved books. The capital of the pillar is distinguished by a carved reproduction of the seal of USC on all sides, with the corners taking the form of acanthus leaves. At the base of the column are carved the following words: Fidelity; Courage; Devotion; Service. The column's visual scheme is one of weighty significance; its lines, pointing upward, characterize the lofty ideals of USC. The book forms, the university seals, and the torch of learning symbolize scholarship.


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