133. Monkey Gargoyle


This monkey gargoyle guards the southwestern corner of the 1879 Hall Arch, surreptitiously taking snapshots of all those who pass beneath him.  A guide to the campus gargoyles suggests that the sculpture is symbolic of the academic endeavor: “He’s playing with technology beyond his understanding; perhaps one day he’ll discover how to use it.”  Moreover, “if one assumes that mankind evolved from apes then it would be logical to assume that professors can evolve from irreverent students.  Monkeys may symbolize that lower life form from which alumni arise!”  Sculptor Gutzon Borglum, better known as the creator of Mount Rushmore, produced this and the other humorous gargoyles on 1879 Hall and elsewhere on the campus.  The building was designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris and given by members of its namesake class at their twenty-fifth reunion.  It originally served as a dormitory, but was converted into academic and administrative offices in 1964.