Breaking Ground

Reception: - to

Campus design, like urban design, treats the entirety as a whole comprising discrete elements. At RIT, our buildings, infrastructure, campus loop, paths, ponds, and pavilions contribute to the campus genius loci or the spirit of place. Long known as Brick City, our campus reflects a sustained preoccupation with brick construction with interludes of newer architecture featuring glass, steel, and stone. Breaking Ground examines recent construction at RIT with a display of materials from the RIT Archives, including a series of drawings done onsite by artist Bob Conge depicting tilled earth, tractors, and the-yet-unrealized vision of the Henrietta campus. These are paired with artifacts related to the construction or renovation of key buildings, including NTID; Wallace Library, and the Schmitt Interfaith Center and objects related to newer construction of the SHED, Magic Spell Studios, Saunders College of Business expansion, and the Cybersecurity Institute. The sills and sidewalks; paths and parking; trees and terrazzo; quads and corridors; and more than 15 million bricks reflect individual design choices that ultimately remind us of how each groundbreaking for a new structure to support teaching, research, and scholarship, as well as creativity, design, and play, positions the university to break ground through contributions to the world around us.


The exhibit has been co-curated by students in RIT’s undergraduate Museum Studies Program. Particular thanks are due to: project leads Riley Mason and Christis Shepard, Carolyn Lee, Bella Paniccia, Sam Paniccia, and Drake Saysomvang. As always, our exhibits are made possible with the support and guidance of Wendy Marks and Shane Durgee. Access to research collections and acquisition of materials for the exhibits are courtesy of: RIT Archives, with special thanks to University Archivist, Liz Call; Jim Yarrington; David Long and Jennifer Hinton, MAGIC Spells Studio; Dean Jacquie Mozrall, Eric Kooman, Bethanie Dell, and the entire Saunders College of Business team; Tiff Brodner and Mike Buffalin of the SHED and Mike Prattico of MRB Group; and Laura DiPonzio Heise and Marnie Soom of RIT Press. Particular thanks to RIT alum Peter A. Blacksberg. For more information on the program or this exhibit, please contact Dr. Juilee Decker,

a panoramic color photograph of a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of a soaring glass and steel building.
a black and white photograph of two men in suits and ties looking over a large scale model of a college campus.

a black and white photograph of a group of three people standing in front of a large scale wall mural having a conversation.

a black and white photograph of a woman in a professional work suit seated at an office desk in the midst of a full building construction site.

a black and white aerial photograph with a view on building rooftops and a large cloud of people gathered for an event.

a black and white aerial photograph with a view of an entire college campus under construction.

a black and white aerial photograph with a view of a steel structure of a college building and walkway under construction.

a faded color photograph of a man in a suit standing in front of a brick facade building with signage 'Wallace Center'.

a color aerial photograph of a full landscape of a complete college campus with buildings, tree scapes and parking lots.

a blank white space

a blank white space