Carl George lecture: "The Symbolism of the Nott Memorial"

Carl George
November 4, 2019 12:50 PM–1:50 PM

Carl George, professor of biology emeritus and a scholar of the Nott Memorial, will give a talk on the symbolism of Union’s centerpiece building on Monday, Nov. 4, at 12:50 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.

The talk is free and open to the public.

The Nott, the 16-sided icon of the Union campus is one of the nation’s most dramatic examples of High Victorian architecture. Begun in 1858 based on designs by Edward Tuckerman Potter, and completed in 1903, the Nott was fully restored for Union’s bicentennial in 1995.

George, who has studied Potter’s designs, will explore the symbolism of the Nott including the stonework, roof and floor tiles, window arches and the 709 color glass illuminators that sparkle in the domed ceiling.

George had a fascination with domed buildings long before he arrived at Union in 1967. His previous teaching post at American University in Beirut had given him access to some of the most famous buildings in the ancient world. Once at Union, he became fascinated with the symbolism in Potter’s design of the Nott, which draws on the Divided Line as described in Plato’s Republic, the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio.


Nott Memorial