As with six other clubs, Campus Club -
founded in 1900 -
its start in the fertile confines of the "Incubator."
Campus moved into the Incubator shortly after Cannon Club moved out.
Campus only stayed in the Incubator until 1901. In that year, Professor Andrew
Fleming West moved out of his Colonial Revival house
on the southeast corner of Washington Road and Prospect. This clapboard house, built in the 1880s, was designed to resemble the architecture of Colonial New England and featured a one- story entrance portico with Ionic columns, a small pediment with a fanlight, and a widow's walk on the roof.
Campus bought the West House in 1902, and in 1903 renovated and expanded the building to make it more suitable as a club. But Campus soon sought to have a more distinctive, purpose-built clubhouse.
Around 1908, it began casting about for an appropriate design. At first,
Campus seemed to have envisioned a grandiose clubhouse. An artist's rendering of
a magnificent new structure
projected a large brick building in the same Collegiate Gothic style of both Cap & Gown club as well as Campus's neighbors across Washington Road, 1879 Hall (built 1903) and Palmer Physical Laboratory (built 1907). Among the interesting elements in this rendering are the large oriel window in the center of the western wing and a central courtyard around the entrance, a device that would reemerge in the design of Charter.
The estimates for this design must have proved too costly for Campus, and in
1909 the club commissioned Raleigh Gildersleeve, architect of Cap & Gown
and Elm, to provide another design. This time,
Gildersleeve preserved the Collegiate Gothic style and choice of brick but rescaled the building to a more economical size.
Inverting the basic floorplan used in Cap & Gown, Gildersleeve added a
square entrance tower. The gables on the west and north facades
echo the rooflines of 1879 Hall and Palmer Physical Laboratory. In a cost- saving measure, Gildersleeve used the foundations of the West house. Perhaps as a further economy, Gildersleeve did not repeat on Campus the intricate detailing found on the facade of Cap & Gown.
A serious fire occurred in November 1951 gutted the third floor of the club, which housed a dormitory for visitors and the steward's room. During the rebuilding from this disaster, Campus added a single-level, boxy wing to its east end.