The Union College campus occupies 130 acres in downtown Schenectady, N.Y., a city of 60,000 founded by the Dutch in 1661. French architect and landscape planner Joseph Ramée developed the Union College campus plan in 1813, making it the first unified campus plan in America. He designed a great central court flanked on three sides by buildings and open to the west, with a round pantheon as the focus. At the center of the grounds, on the spot originally designated by Ramée for his pantheon, now stands Union's most unusual building, the distinctive Nott Memorial. Begun in the 1850s and completed in 1875, the Nott is a beloved symbol of the College as well as a National Historic Landmark.
Facing the Nott Memorial is Memorial Chapel, built in 1925 as a monument to the Union College graduates who lost their lives in World War I. Also near the center of campus is Schaffer Library, which houses more than 600,000 volumes and 1,600 current periodical subscriptions. North of the central campus lie the eight acres of formal gardens and woodland known as Jackson's Garden.
An important new addition to the campus was undertaken in 2008: the Peter Irving Wold Center. The center houses state-of-the art teaching and research space where students and faculty can collaborate and pursue the integration of science and engineering with the social sciences and humanities.