Oberlin's Campus


Oberlin has a quirky architectural history; virtually all of the original buildings that housed the college were razed in the late nineteenth century at the behest of Charles Martin Hall, who wanted Oberlin to have a large town square for gatherings and enjoying nature. Hall paid for many of the replacement buildings, and the campus grew around Tappan Square - instead of on top of it. This complete overhaul of Oberlin's campus has given it a more modern look - the old combined with the new - and most buildings look quite different from one another. For more information on Oberlin's architecture over the last 175 years, please explore the website of Geoffrey Blodgett, emeritus history professor and Oberlin architecture expert.

The modern campus covers about eight square blocks, and you can easily walk from the Science Center (the northernmost academic building) to the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies (the southernmost academic building) in 10 minutes - five if you're from New York City. (Housing is a little more spread out, and it might take twenty minutes to walk from the Union Street houses to Old Barrows.) Oberlin's campus is designed with plenty of open lawns to encourage students to relax and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

The newest building project on campus is the Phyllis Litoff Building for Jazz, Music Theory and Music History, a cutting-edge addition to the southeast side of the Conservatory. The building, expected to open in fall 2009, will include a state-of-the-art recording studio and the largest privately held jazz recording collection in the United States. In addition to its function for the Conservatory, the Litoff Building embodies Oberlin's commitment to sustainability; it will be the first music facility in the world to attain a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Blog Entries Related To This Topic:

The Arb, In 360°!

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Jules Makes a Documentary in Oberlin and Becomes Ken Burns

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Photo Essay : Summertime

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A Little Oberlin, A Lot Of Virtual Reality -- Tappan Square

posted by Andres Cuervo '17 | Using interactive virtual reality to show you around Tappan!

I Contracted a Fever During All Roads: A Thrilling Account Based on True Events

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posted by Celina Kobetitsch '19 | A post with lots of pictures of all the many places I enjoy spending my time in Oberlin.

Parents Weekend 2015: A Brief Oberlin Tour

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Mudd Library, the First Brutalist Building I've Ever Loved

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GUEST POST: Amanda's Getaway Spots

posted by Tanya Aydelott, Admissions | Looking for a quiet place to hang out? Amanda's got you covered.

Oberlin's Top-10 Dream Destinations!

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | For prospective students who will be cruisin' through Oberlin in the coming months.

A Color-Coded Guide to Life

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The Case for Co-Ops: And Other First-Year Lessons

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Ghostberlin 2

posted by Peter D'Auria '14 | Points if you can identify a. ghosts and b. all the locations on campus.

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posted by Peter D'Auria '14 | Halloween has passed, yes, but ghosts never go out of season.

Lake Oberlin, and Other Places One Should Discover

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A Few Things I've Learned

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Around and About: Beacon Arbor

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On New-ness and Leaves

posted by Andrea Allen '17 | It's so easy to fix up a little routine and then stick to it, and so easy to forget that there's always so much more to explore.

Honest Recollections

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | An account of my involvement in, as well as my thoughts on, the current student activism taking place at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Spring? What is that?

posted by Paris Achenbach '13 | Including photos of snow and studious students, but alas, no spring.

Moving Forward : On Identity, Privilege and Constructive Dialogue

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In Solidarity (a musical perspective)

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Fall in[to] My Blog!

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Orienteering: A Guide to Your Oberlin Arrival

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Winter Wrap-Up

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | The time has come to welcome Spring! Oberlin's recent good weather has made the campus even more beautiful than usual. Green is on my mind in another way, too, as my ecopsychology research intersects with Ecolympics, Oberlin's resource-use reduction competition.

Abbie in Oberlin

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | My friend Abbie + Oberlin + gorgeous weather = an amazing time

Oberlin Behind the Scenes

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | There's more to see than the architectural facades viewbooks usually show you, and I think that these back angles are, if not as aesthetically pleasing, more visually interesting than the fronts.

On an Empty Oberlin and NaNoWriMo

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Early to Root

posted by EJ Dickson '11 | Or, Why I Am Not Like Matthew McConaughey.

The AJLC: Lean, Green, Educatin' Machine

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | Although I have written before about my favorite places on campus, I left out one very important building.

On the size of the campus

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Photos from the Kohl Building

posted by Will Mason '10 | We had about two hours to get a sneak peak of the building today, and I was absolutely blown away. Many photos inside.

Top Five Reasons Why Helena Hates Spring

posted by Helena Thompson '11.5 | Title's pretty self-explanatory.


posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | I've transitioned very quickly from seeing suffering and resilience to silliness and pleasure, and it's been difficult to rationalize and connect these two parts of my life.

A Post about Posters

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | I will try and contain my excitement within the post, but I need to note that haven't really stopped grinning for the last few weeks, and I'm just smiling at my computer while I write this. Because Oberlin makes me happy. And so does this poster.

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posted by John West '10 | In this post: on-campus fall breaks, laziness, pan-seared steak recipes, Spike Jonze v. Spike Lee, Oberlin Levittown, a shameless plug for the Wilder Voice website, cornfields, yes, that's right, more on cornfields.

A Stroll Through Oberlin History

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Today marked a very exciting day for this class, since we were going on a walking tour through Oberlin's past. (Epic post plus so many photos!)

How a California girl survives winter

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | I'm always the first on campus to bust out my winter coat, scarf, boots, and hat. Am I ashamed? Not in the least.


posted by Joe Dawson '12 | Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Oh, hello there. I was just thinking about some of my favorite things here at Oberlin. Oh, I delight in hairless monkeys, Cathy comics, putting rubbing alcohol in my eyes, and above all, some great places to hang out in Oberlin.

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posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Way to rain on my Labor Day parade, Ohio. Even after four years, I still don't understand your weather patterns.


posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | A few changes around campus since my freshman year, for better and for worse.

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posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Some advice for freshmen, their parents, and current students about orientation... pack your bags and tissues; it'll be a wild ride!

Aries versus Bicycle

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | Nearly everyone at Oberlin can ride a bike. And for the first time in my life, I want to be like everyone else. How hard can biking be?

Good places to work

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | A run-down of my favorite study spots around Oberlin.

Yay sun! (and bikes, history, and tree climbers)

posted by Yitka Winn '09 | I'm not even a huge history buff, but there's something stirring to the soul about stumbling across an old, crumbling stone and barely being able to make out the engraved letters: Born a slave, died free.

An Expo-tition

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | "Ha! Zeez are not musician's 'ands! Zees are scientist 'ands, for working in ze laboratory! Out! Out!"

Flying and fooding

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | Once we landed at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport, I woke up and raced for the bus stop. After waiting outside for 10 minutes, I huddled indoors and discovered I had missed the last bus by 15 minutes. Gahhh.

Winter in Oberlin

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | That said, it's cold as crap here right now.

My version of getting high

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | I took a few shots of the bells, of campus, of the students headed down the ladder. A different perspective. I live for this.

A Walk in the Woods

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | One of the best things about pleasant weather in Oberlin is that, due to its non-existence for the majority of months while we're on campus, students and teachers alike take full advantage of warm, sunny days.

I love Halloween.

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | I went as Bettie Page, which is hard to do.... in public. For the sake of Oberlin College, I won't do too much description. Suffice to say, I looked classy.

Fall Break in Oberlin

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | When it's so quiet, I enjoy my hard-won free time. I take up my whims.

The Weather in Oberlin: A Mainer's Perspective

posted by Will Mason '10 | As someone who knows what it's like to trudge through a protracted winter, let me assure you that Oberlin's climate is a piece of cake.

Welcome to My Oberlin!

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | A bit about how I ever left L.A. sunshine for Ohio and why I'm so glad I did.

Oberlin College & Conservatory | Oberlin, Ohio 44074 | 440-775-8121 | College Admissions | Conservatory Admissions