According to the following site, the courtyard was designed by Richardson, Severns, Scheeler & Associates, Inc, with “preliminary site sketches” being produced by Ambrose Richardson:http://uihistories.library.illinois.edu/cgi-bin/cview?SITEID=1&ID=262.
Below is an image of the courtyard ca. 1970 (Found in Box 98 in the University of Illinois Archives http://www.library.illinois.edu/archives/archon/?p=digitallibrary/digitalcontent&id=2779
By June 1966, the class planners were deciding what to do with the class fund of $25,000, and the decision was made to dedicate the inner courtyard of the new Undergraduate Library in honor of President Edmund Janes James, who served during their tenure at the University and was instrumental in the development of the University’s library system.
Inscriptions around the Courtyard
In conjunction with University Historian Winton Solberg, they chose the following inscriptions, which adorn the upper perimeter of the courtyard:
“This court is dedicated by the class of 1916 to the memory of Edmund Janes James, president 1904-1920. Let this be a holy place for the human spirit consecrated to the forces which magnify the soul – James. The real object of university education is to furnish preparation for efficient social service- James. Books are alive to the man who knows how to use these sources of inspiration and power- James.”
See more of the history of the inscription via the UGL Question Board Archives
- answered on June 10, 1008. “Who is quoted near the courtyard of the Undergrad Library? http://web.library.illinois.edu/qb/qbfull.asp?qno=8937&num
- answered on May 7/2001 “The words around the Undergraduate Library say “holy”. Is this a reference to the Judah Christian god? What was their intent when they wrote it?” http://web.library.illinois.edu/qb/qbfull.asp?qno=10007&num
The central courtyard of the library is dedicated to Edmund Janes James, and the inscriptions around its top are a gift from the class of 1916. Professor A. Doyle Moore designed the lettering on the perimeter. The class of 1991 also spent $40,000 re-landscaping the courtyard.
Doyle Moore– Designed courtyard inscription and metal block with names of class of 1916
Resting in the north center of the courtyard is a metal block that lists on all sides the names of the members of the class of 1916.
In 1996: A large maple tree was planted, in addition to other landscaping by the class of 1916 for their 50th anniversary.The large evergreen tree which stands in a concrete pot in isolation on the Undergraduate Library Mall was planted in 1996.
1991 courtyard renovation
For more information on the yin-yang pattern see a previous Question board response: http://web.library.illinois.edu/qb/qbfull.asp?qno=10924&num=Question+3+of+3+that+match+search+criteria
Events in the Courtyard
The UGL courtyard has been used for various events. Below are some images of a Dance Troup, Bubble Blowing and some articles:
Dance Troup images 2008
Bubbles in the Courtyard 2010 40th UGL Anniversary Celebration and Bobbi the book blowing bubbles
Removal of Tree in 2015
The large maple tree which stood in a concrete pot in isolation on the Undergraduate Library Mall was planted in 1996 and was removed in May 2015 due to an Emerald Ash Borer. It had just been named “Treebeard” via a student naming competition. It was replaced by an Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry. in 2015.
Class of 1916 Secretary’s Papers, 1965-1966, 1971 [Record series number: 26/40/1916 Box. 1]
The Illio (1916)
The Alumni Record – U of I (1918)
President Edmund J. James. Installation, October 1905. Program and Conference Materials
[Record series number: 2/5/17 Box. 1]
Vertical File: Edmund Janes James