Note Girard’s hallmark mural of 36 symbols illustrating the liberal arts at the heart of the St. John’s College curriculum. A printed key to the symbols in this mural is available in the wall slot just ahead to the left, past the stairway and across from the Bookstore entrance.
Student Center Renovation
The Pritzker Student Center of St. John’s College is open to the public seven days a week. Please feel free to wander the halls of the Student Center, visit the campus Coffee Shop and Bookstore, and see Alexander Girard’s legacy at St. John’s College firsthand. Visitor parking is available free of charge in the first lot to the left as you enter the campus off Camino de Cruz Blanca (a three-minute drive or one bus stop away from Museum Hill). A one-minute walk from the visitor parking lot will bring you to the campus’s central Placita. As you ascend the steps to the Placita and the Fish Pond, Pritzker Student Center will be the large building with three sets of doors on your right. Among the items to look for as you tour the building:
Near the mailboxes, note the low Girard-designed benches which you will find in numerous other locations throughout the building.
Note the Girard-designed telephone pole painted above the aluminum doors of the pay phones. The Greek translates as “Telephone.”
Just past the Campus Bookstore, you will pass the entrance to the Campus Coffee Shop. Inside the Coffee Shop, note the Girard-designed tables and also Girard’s distinctive brick tilework, variations of which appear in other Girard-designed interiors, such as The Compound, a Santa Fe restaurant, and the Unitarian Church in Albuquerque.
Note the blank rectangular spaces continuing down the hallway. Originally, these spaces were slated to be filled with more symbolic renderings of the various elements and texts of the St. John’s academic program. While the College archives retains a list of the symbols Girard had proposed for the rest of these empty spaces, this continuation of the mural was never completed.
Note the brightly-colored Girard-designed doors, variations of which appear throughout both floors of the building.
At the far end of the hallway is the entrance to the Campus Dining Hall. If these doors are open, note more Girard-designed tables and Girard’s distinctive tubular chandelier design.
At either end of the first floor of Pritzker Student Center are stairways leading to the second floor. Feel free to wander through the upstairs hallways and any open rooms to find more Girard benches and painted doors.