Essential Architecture- New England

Knights of Columbus Building


Roche & Dinkeloo


New Haven, CT


1965-69 (S:1967)




Brick clad steel frame


Office Building
  a: general view, photo, M. Brack. and lower view, photo 1971, J. Nicholais (Drexel U.).
  c: exterior detail, photo 1971, J. Nicholais (Drexel U.).
Located in New Haven, Connecticut. Finished in 1969, this reinforced concrete building is the second tallest building in the city's skyline. It was built next to the New Haven Coliseum, which the lead architect who was from the nearby Town of Hamden also designed.

Official Name: Knights Of Columbus Tower

Architect: Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates

Height: 321 ft (98 m)

Number of Floors: 23

Cross-Streets: Columbus Plaza, which is at the intersection of Church and George Streets in Downtown New Haven.


In spite of its dominance of the skyline, this skyscraper is relatively small, only 23 stories. Four massive corner piers form the corners and the floors, supported by steel beams, span the distance between the cylinders. A dark burned brickn was used for the facing.

"The four corner cylinders of this office fortress are brick-concrete pipes; the ceiling joists are brown, weatherproof steel. The elevators operate within a central core, while escape stairs and sanitary facilities are housed inside the pipes. The Coliseum with its ice hockey stadium and multi-purpose hall occupies the neighbouring site beside the city expressway. A car-park for 2400 vehicles was created inside the huge, four-storey roof section and accessed via two spiral ramps."
—Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century. p300.

"A 23-story office building primarily faced with glass shaded by massive overhangs of weathering steel, it has at its four corners tile-sheathed, circular concrete columns that contain lavatories and fire stairs and, in conjunction with the building's elevator core, support its structural girders. Steel overhangs are omitted from its more gently handled bottom three stories."
—from Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. p109.

"The form of the 23-story tower building is derived in part from the construction method in which continuously poured concrete shafts were first erected full height. Primary steel spanning members were then placed in pockets in the corner pockets in the corner towers and secondary members were laid on these and attached into the elevator core."
—from Yukio Futagawa, ed. Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo, and Associates, 1962-1975. p96.

Society of Architectural Historians

Special thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians
for some of the images on this page (copyright SAH).