Our Architecture

 Marcel Breuer reviewing the architectural plans for Mary College with the Sisters.

The “Jewel on the Prairie”

The University of Mary is home to original works by Marcel Breuer, one of the most celebrated architects of the 20th century and a student of the Bauhaus movement in Germany.

In the 1950's, when the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation founded their original priory and were planning for the first campus buildings for Mary College, they asked Breuer if he would create the architectural designs. To their delight, he accepted and conceived expansive structures of native prairie stone and exquisite concrete shapes, notable for their interplay of light and shadow.

As our campus has grown and expanded through the years, we have tried to preserve the spirit of Breuer's modernist prairie architecture in new structures. Each year, we receive many groups of visitors from throughout the world, who come to our campus to admire the work which Breuer christened his "jewel on the prairie."

Some other notable works by Marcel Breuer:

  • UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
  • The American Embassy at The Hague in the Netherlands
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City
  • The Central Public Library in Atlanta
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Headquarters in Washington, DC
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Headquarters in Washington, DC
  • The Abbey Church and other notable buildings at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota
  • Saint Francis de Sales Church in Muskegon, Michigan
  • The ski resort town of Flaine, France
  • The Ameritrust Tower skyscraper in Cleveland
  • The Hotel Marcel in New Haven, Connecticut (originally the HQ for Armstrong Rubber)
View of the University of Mary when it was first built.

Campus Walking Tour

View a self-guided walking tour of the University of Mary campus, highlighting Marcel Breuer’s architecture and designs.