I write to celebrate the life and scholarship
of Geoffrey Blodgett. It was my good fortune to take his Social
History of American Architecture in the spring of 2000 before
he retired. Like my classmates, I went to each session rapt with
anticipation, and his teaching never failed to exceed my expectations.
Mr. Blodgett was the most eloquent lecturer I've ever heard. He
honed his lectures to perfection over the years and tirelessly kept
them updated. His perceptiveness and narrative ability were priceless,
and I still find myself quoting him, both in academic settings and
in conversation with friends. He illustrated points with unforgettable
imagery, often delivering it subtly, jingling his keys in his pocket.
I especially liked the way he described the attempts of hotel chains
to use architecture to transplant a sense of place and make you
feel like "you've been there before, somewhere else."
When I was a freshman, before I ever took a class with him, he took
the time to lend his expertise to a research paper I was writing
about the history of Stevenson Hall. Later, he got me passionately
interested in a topic I had previously found painfully boring--the
Gilded Age. I saw him a few weeks before he died, and the simple
"thank you" I said felt rather insufficient to express
my gratitude for the friendship and patient interest he extended
both to me as a wide-eyed sophomore and to the rest of his 40 years'
worth of students.
Hans Petersen '02
It was with profound sadness that I read about the death of Geoffrey
Blodgett. Mr. Blodgett was a tremendous, inspirational teacher.
I will never forget his classes in American intellectual history
and his passion for architectural history. In class he had total
mastery of the subject and conveyed his knowledge with great insight,
style, and fervor. Outside class he was a wonderful, understanding
advisor to me. I am very grateful to Mr. Blodgett for his luminous
example of what a college professor should be.
Mike Kearns '73