The ethos of the Culver Academies was augmented with the dedication of the Huffington Library on October 1, 1993. Physically, the building provides a southern terminus to the academic quadrangle while affording library patrons a scholarly atmosphere and idyllic view of Lake Maxinkuckee. It houses a collection of approximately 55,000 volumes and, with it, the latest in information technology that continues to grow, meeting the needs of students and faculty well into the next century.
The 47,000-square-foot, three-story library is named in honor of its principal donor, Roy M. and Phyllis Huffington of Houston, Texas. Their son, Michael Huffington, is a 1965 CMA graduate. Their daughter, Terry Huffington Dittman, is a 1971 Summer School graduate.
Architecture and Builder Information
The Huffington Library is a meld of traditional architecture and contemporary technology. The limestone and brick exterior and slate roof are harmonious with the existing Flemish-Gothic architecture of the campus. Gracing the library's east and west wings are twenty-four four-foot-square carved limestone entablatures depicting the evolution of human consciousness.
Spurred by Michael Huffington's involvement with the New York Episcopal Diocese, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and his interest in one of its enterprises--the Stoneworks and Stoneyard Institute--the evolution of human consciousness is depicted on twenty-four carved limestone tablets surrounding the second-floor windows.
The Stoneworks and Stoneyard Institute was founded to train a new generation in the ancient craft of stone carving, an art form that had been lost in America. Master craftsmen from England were brought to the United States to teach young people. Their first students were drawn from the neighborhood ghettos and barrios of New York City, and, eventually, from throughout the world.
The four-by-four foot panels were planned and designed by Master Cathedral Carver Simon Verity, in consultation with the Reverend James P. Morton, Dean of the Cathedral, William Thompson, a philosopher and cultural historian, and Michael Huffington.
Stonecutters and carvers from the United States, Haiti, Russia, Mexico, China, Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, England, and the Dominican Republic selected from among the various designs and, under the watchful eye of Simon Verity, chiseled the story of humanity into the blank tablets. The diversity of people involved, says Verity, was without precedent and gave the project a richness and universality of human experience.