Founded in 1861, Vassar College is located on a 1,000-acre landscaped campus, 70 miles north of New York City in the scenic Hudson River Valley. Like many college campuses that have evolved over decades, Vassar has numerous buildings of various architectural styles. A few buildings were constructed with A/C, others have had A/C equipment added, and some have never been air conditioned. Most of the A/C equipment added over the years consists of modest packaged cooling systems or window units, located for ease of installation rather than appearance. This decentralized equipment placed a significant maintenance burden on the campus buildings and grounds staff, and it incurred greater electrical operating cost as compared to a larger state-of-the-art central system. Perhaps most significant for the stately and tree-lined Vassar campus was the existing equipment's adverse effect on campus aesthetics, both visual and aural.