In keeping with the traditions of great American and European universities, Marist’s gates are an important part of campus and an iconic symbol of the institution. Celebrating the history of the College and the surrounding Hudson River Valley, these three distinctive gates provide entrance to the western half of the Marist campus from Route 9. During colonial times, Route 9 was known as the Albany Post Road and later the King’s Road; it ran north from New York City to Albany and remains a well-traveled thoroughfare today.
The College’s campus gates were designed by Kevin M. Smith, a partner in the world-renowned firm of Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA). The gates’ design and materials – grey stone, red brick, and limestone – reflect Marist’s unique architectural palette, which is derived from the Greystone, Kieran Gate House, and St. Peter’s buildings. These 150-year-old structures are original to the Bech estate on which Marist is built, and they serve as architectural inspiration for more modern campus buildings. Together, Marist’s gates establish a presence for the College along Route 9 and help define the campus’s evolving architectural language.
Smith and the RAMSA team coined a specific term to describe the architectural style they designed for Marist: “Hudson Valley Modern Gothic,” which pays homage to the region’s tradition of picturesque architecture, beginning in the 19th century, when the Hudson River developed into “America’s Rhine.” The idea of castle-like buildings seen from the river against the area’s stunning topography relates to the similar aesthetic underpinnings of the Hudson River School in painting, which was active during the same period. Hudson Valley Modern Gothic represents a cleaner look for the architecture, mostly without pitched roofs, that looks to the future while acknowledging the region’s history, and particularly the architecture of Greystone, with its rubble stone walls trimmed in red brick. This feature is common in parts of Europe, especially in eastern France and parts of Germany.