The Buzz at The Bizz


The iconic south entrance to the Bizzell Memorial Library.

Ethan Barton

OU’s own Bizzell Memorial Library has been named one of “The 18 Most Dazzling University Libraries in the World” by The Bizz appeared next to University libraries around the world from New York to Oxford to Paris.

So what is it about this library located in the middle of America at a state college that earned it the first spot on this list? “The unique Cherokee Gothic architecture of the building” answered Architectural Digest’s director of public relations Erin Kaplan.

Erected in 1929 and designed by the Oklahoma architectural firm Layton Hicks & Forsyth under the University’s 5th president William Bennett Bizzell, the Bizzell Memorial Library is designed in a collegiate gothic style popular among many American institutions of learning in the late 19th and early 20th century.

What separates OU’s library from the rest is that term, “Cherokee Gothic,” uttered by one of the most famous architects in America at the time Frank Lloyd Wright while on a campus tour. That term is distinct to the architecture of OU and while some say Wright coined the term in a negative sense, the university has embraced the vernacular and modeled other buildings and additions to the library in the Cherokee Gothic style.