Then & Now

The Main Quadrangle

Stanford University Archives
Ca. 1903-1906
Olga Malinowska

The 17-acre Main Quadrangle is the oldest part of campus and the hallmark of Stanford University. Renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed this architecturally innovative set of connected buildings.

The cornerstone of the Quad was laid on May 14, 1887, which would have marked Leland Stanford Jr.’s 19th birthday. Completed in 1905, the Quad sustained heavy damage in the Memorial Arch and the Memorial Church steeple.

Since its inception, the Quad has housed teaching, research and administration spaces. The linked malls of the Main Quad emphasize the tradition of interdisciplinary endeavors at Stanford.