Cass Gilbert Society


University of Texas at Austin Education Building (Sutton Hall), Austin, TX

University of Texas Education Building (Sutton Hall). Austin, TX

Image ©2007 Jim Steinhart, all rights reserved

University of Texas at Austin Education Building (Sutton Hall)

Other Names:
Sutton Hall
22nd St W, Austin, Texas
Design & Construction:
1915-1918[1915-1918 Irish-1999; Christen-2001]
Cass Gilbert 

From 1910 to 1922, Cass Gilbert served as the campus architect for the University of Texas. Gilbert's lasting accomplishments were the selection of the materials for the campus buildings, the general stylistic vocabulary, especially the Spanish Renaissance, for its principal campus buildings, the layout of the south mall with its arrangement of axes and quadrangles “that determined the shape of the distinguished campus that would eventually evolve,” and the acclaimed designs of the original University Library (1910-1911, now Battle Hall) and Education Building (1915-1918, now Sutton Hall). [Christen-2001 p192]

The design of the Education Building (later named Sutton Hall after William Seneca Sutton, the first dean of the School of Education) came after Gilbert's success with the library. Sutton was designed in the Spanish Renaissance style, with brick and limestone facades and a shallow pitched hip roof, clad with clay tile. Gilbert's selection of materials was based both on practical and poetic concerns. Limestone, brick, and terra cotta are well-suited to the Texas climate, while the style paid homage to the history of Texas as a Spanish colony and part of Mexican territory. Gilbert's attention to detail is evident in the design. The soffits are detailed with wood carvings; custom-designed iron lanterns grace the main entry. Stone bas relief and terra cotta decorations enliven the orderly facade. The most striking feature of Sutton Hall is the double vaulted arcade with its colorful ceiling mosaics.

Currently both Battle Hall and Sutton Hall are part of the School of Architecture complex.

See Also

  • Amy Crossette. "Genius Loci: The Special Magic Achieved When the Natural, the Constructed and the Interaction Between the Two, Work In Harmony." (online article. University of Texas, Austin). Scroll down to find the article about the School of Architecture and its buildings.

  • Irish-1999 pp. 103-106