1917-1924 1925-1930 1931-1932 1933-1939 1940-1957 1973-1998


November-December, Frederic Morgan and Maybeck tour the eastern United States for a month investigating architectural planning of college and university campuses.


December, Maybeck submits his first unit plan to the Board of trustees which they accept.


February 4, Board of Trustees commissions Maybeck to prepare finished plans for the Chapel.


January, February, and April, Frederic Morgan is again in San Francisco conferring with Maybeck on final plans for the first unit. Maybeck will modify totally the first unit plans.

April 30, Board of Trustees approves the revised plan and authorizes construction to begin.

June 10, Maybeck arrives in St. Louis for a three-week visit. He brings several versions of the Chapel design.

October, Frederic Morgan, who has been in San Francisco finalizing plans with Maybeck’s office, receives a telegram from St. Louis that the campus site is now in question because a major highway may bisect the Loch Lin property. Maybeck is delighted with the prospect of finding a new site and suggests the bluff area which he has seen from the train when approaching St. Louis.

Frederic Morgan returns to St. Louis and with Thomas Blackwell, Principia’s business manager, begins the search for a new site. The two investigate the Village of Elsah, forty miles north of St. Louis on the east side of the Mississippi, where, as students twenty years earlier, they had visited the summer home of Frederick Oakes Sylvester, Principia’s first art director. They discover a number of Elsah properties for sale.

November 26, Principia purchases 2000 acres above Elsah with four miles of bluff land overlooking the Mississippi River.

December 10, Maybeck visits Elsah and finds the site unrivaled. He remarks, “Only West Point along the Hudson palisades and the University of Heidelberg on the cliffs of the Neckar in Germany can be compared to it.”

1917-1924 1925-1930 1931-1932 1933-1939 1940-1957 1973-1998