A. D. White called the view from campus "unrivaled this side of Naples." The university's first president favored Gothic architecture and local bluestone construction and abhorred red brick, views he expressed regularly in letters to the trustees and at campus planning meetings.
White's visions of a beautiful university were honed during his first year at a college whose architecture he called "sordid," and later at Yale, where he urged classmates to "adorn and beautify the place." As a University of Michigan professor in the late 1850s, he planted elms and evergreens with the help of his students and was appointed superintendent of grounds.
The Victorian beauty of the A. D. White Reading Room in Uris Library would probably have satisfied his exacting standards.