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Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute construction photographs

Identifier: PC-003

Scope and Contents

The 151 photographs in this collection form a coherent group in that they document the design, groundbreaking ceremonies and clearing of land for the North Dartmouth campus, as well as document the construction of Group I, the Arts and Humanities Building. Early photos include meetings at the Capri Hotel. Of particular note in this group are those that include images of preliminary architectural drawings which may now be lost. The bulk of the collection documents Group I construction. There is a small group of photographs of the completed building from various angles, as well as details of construction materials (the famous textured poured concrete, one of Rudolph’s design signatures). For more on the overall design of the campus and published photographs of Group I, see “Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute: Architecture that gives a campus the unity of a single building,” Architectural Record, October, 1966. There is additional information on the construction of the campus in the records of Buildings and Grounds (B9), the Building Committee, the Trustees records (URC 3), the news clippings collection (URC 18) and the Architectural Plans (URC12). There are additional blueprints filed with the Massachusetts State Archives. Yearbooks contain many photographs of the new campus and construction (1965-69, 1976, 1980-81). The 1967 Scrimshaw (yearbook) was dedicated to Paul Rudolph. The collection is organized into 3 series – the “design phase,” Series I; “groundbreaking ceremonies,” Series II; the “land clearing and construction phase,” Series III.


  • 1963 - 1966

Biographical / Historical

In 1964 the Bradford Durfee College of Technology and the New Bedford Institute of Technology, two state colleges with their roots in the local textile industry, merged to form Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (SMTI). It was clear that neither the downtown New Bedford nor the downtown Fall River campuses of the predecessor schools would be suitable for expansion, therefore the trustees looked to build a modern campus in a strategic location between the 2 southeastern Massachusetts cites. At their request, in 1960 the Massachusetts General Court appropriated $1.5 million to be used for the acquisition of a campus site and development of the initial architectural plans. Yale School of Architecture Dean and practicing architect Paul Rudolph was hired to draw up plans for a complete campus. In 1963, the General Court appropriated $6 million to begin construction. New SMTI president Joseph Leo Driscoll, the combined Board of Trustees, and faculty of both predecessor schools met at the school’s temporary offices at the Capri Motel on Route 6 in North Dartmouth to review plans and meet with architects and designers.

On June 14, 1964, ground was broken. In attendance at the ceremonies were SMTI President Driscoll, Governor Peabody, Board of Trustees President Joseph Souza, and Massachusetts State Senator Mary Fonseca, a long time advocate of a merged school. The power plant was the first building on campus to be constructed. Construction of Group I, which is the only major building on campus that was both designed by and built under the guidance of Paul Rudolph (he is credited with the overall campus design, and later buildings follow his design principles) commenced soon after. Group I was dedicated on June 5, 1966.


1 Linear Feet (151 photographs in 2 black photo boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Buildings and Grounds Department at an unknown date.

PC 3, Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute construction photographs
Judy Farrar, with assistance from Pat Sikora
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA