Baughman Center

Last updated
Baughman Center
Baughman Meditation Center
The pavilion on Lake Alice.
Baughman Center
General information
Location982 Museum Road

PO Box 112548 Gainesville, FL

Owner University of Florida
Technical details
Floor area2,482 SF
Design and construction
ArchitectJohn Zona
Main contractorAD Morgan

The Baughman Center consists of two buildings located along Lake Alice on the University of Florida campus. The main building is a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) nondenominational chapel or pavilion, while the other one is an 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) administrative building. The chapel has seating for 96 people and is used for silent meditation, private contemplation, weddings, funerals and memorial services as well as a venue for small musical or performing arts events. [1] The center, named after Dr. George F. Baughman and his wife, Hazel Baughman, the benefactors of the project and is considered an oasis of calm and beauty on the bustling campus. [2] On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects's Florida Chapter ranked the Baughman Center third on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places. [3]



The Baughman Center was the brainchild of Dr. Baughman, a university alumnus, who was the first president of New College of Florida [4] He was inspired by the picture of a building he found in a National Geographic magazine — perhaps the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California (1951) designed by Lloyd Wright, or possibly one of the northwest Arkansas chapels designed by E. Fay Jones (Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, 1980, or the Mildred Borum Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, 1987). The Baughmans donated $1 million towards the project and after five years of planning, construction started. The building was completed in 2000. [2] George Baughman died on December 24, 2004, and his memorial service was held in the center on December 30. [5]


The exterior walls of the pavilion are covered in windows and made of natural Florida cypress stained to resemble the surroundings plant life. The cypress is grooved vertically to give the appearance of individual tree trunks. The sloping roof of the pavilion is composed of tongue-and-groove yellow pine and copper to mimic the look of medieval cathedrals. The front door is made of maple with inlaid Gothic patterns in cherry and an ornamental architrave of crenelated mahogany. The floor is made of three shades of travertine marble arranged in a geometric pattern based on the building’s structure. The pavilion is oriented so that the dominant axis coincides with sunrise and sunset at the summer solstice, following the principle of "Orient"-ation or East-facing that is common in major religious buildings throughout the Western world. [1]

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  1. 1 2 University of Florida Performing Arts – Baughman Center
  2. 1 2 "A Unique University - Baughman Center". Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  3. Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places
  4. The New York Times > Obituaries > George F. Baughman, 89, First President of New College of Florida, Is Dead
  5. New College Archived 2007-08-14 at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 29°38′31″N82°21′49″W / 29.642078°N 82.363636°W / 29.642078; -82.363636