Milton T. Pflueger, College of the Holy Names architect

New College of the Holy Names Campus Photo 1

You might not recognize the name, but if you live in the Bay Area, you are likely familiar with the work of College of the Holy Names architect Milton T. Pflueger.

Younger brother of colorful architect Timothy Pflueger, Milton Pflueger’s contribution to the cityscape of prominent Bay Area public buildings includes the cross-shaped, fourteen-story Joseph M. Long-Moffitt Hospital at UCSF, the University of San Francisco Library, campus buildings at University of San Francisco and City College of San Francisco, city buildings such as Old City Hall in Modesto, and Cowell Hall at the California Academy of Sciences.

Pflueger collaborated with Theodore Bernardi in designing downtown Oakland’s Paramount Theatre facade and other details (Timothy Pflueger had designed the building itself).

Milton T. Pflueger, A.I.A., Timothy Pflueger’s brother, worked with Theodore Bernardi in designing work, including human and animal figures for the facade mosaic, and interior details. He also assisted Bernardi in directing the work of other artists. He joined Miller and Pflueger in 1929 and upon his brother’s death in 1946 became head of the firm, then Timothy L. Pflueger and Associates. Milton Pflueger continues to head the firm, now Milton T. Pflueger and Associates, and was a consultant to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill during the restoration of the theatre in 1973. [The Paramount Theatre]

In the mid-fifties, Milton T. Pflueger and Associates was hired by the College of the Holy Names to design the new campus on Mountain Boulevard. Pflueger wrote fondly about the College of the Holy Names project in his book, Time and Tim Remembered (Pflueger Architects, June 1986, ISBN-10: 0961413301), noting his interaction with the sisters and the unique design challenge of envisioning an entire hillside campus, rather than the more common job of designing a singular building to fit into an existing campus.

San Francisco Bay Area architect Milton T. Pflueger, younger brother of the renowned architect Timothy L. Pflueger, designed the mid-century modern campus buildings, which were constructed from 1955-1958, and dedicated in 1957. Milton Pflueger designed many campus buildings at Cal Berkeley [sic.] and Stanford University, but Holy Names is the only complete campus he designed. The first buildings constructed included the Academic facilities, the Student Center, housing, Gymnasium and pool, and McLean Chapel. The hillside location inspired a linear plan, with low-roofed buildings nestled along the slope. The site features panoramic views across the San Francisco Bay from San Jose on the San Francisco Peninsula to Mount Tamalpais on the Marin Peninsula. [source: Wikipedia]

Mr. Pflueger left the University a wonderful album of his own 8×10 photos of the newly constructed campus, that we’ll post here as we scan them. We’ll leave you with one more for now, a view of campus taken around 1957.

New College of the Holy Names Campus Photo 2

Update, February 13: This article has been updated to reflect comments by John Pflueger, architect and Pflueger’s son. He notes:

wonderful article. couple of comments. We did not do any campus buildings at UC Berkely but did all buildings until 1990 at both the University of San Francisco and City College of SanFrancisco. I joined my father in 1963, the firm became Pflueger Architects in 1976, a partnership of my father and myself, and became John Pflueger Architect in 1990 I participated as project architect on additions to your campus and completed several builldings at Stanford as well as the Clark library at San Jose State University.
Thank you. Please feel free to contact me for more information.
John Pflueger Architect

About Deirdre Spencer

Deirdre Spencer, a graphic designer, is the Web Manager for Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. With substantial freelance and agency experience designing print and web marketing collateral, she has worked with a wide range of clients, including visual effects companies, museums and other non-profit organizations, Bay Area cities and schools, best-selling authors, and Silicon Valley start-ups.
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