Earlier this week, the College of Wooster hosted Lawrence Biemiller, a senior writer with the Chronicle of Higher Education. Lawrence had just embarked on a November tour of college campuses (you can follow his whole tour here), and one of his first stops was in Wooster. I have been following Lawrence Biemiller’s blog, “Buildings & Grounds,” on the Chronicle’s website for several weeks now to keep up with national trends in campus planning and architecture as I create my senior independent study. When I heard of Lawrence’s trip, I immediately invited him to Wooster to talk campus architecture and to find out what makes Wooster, Wooster.
Lawrence accepted my invitation and we meet this past Monday afternoon (November 1st) on the steps of Severance Gymnasium, now Ebert Art Center, to begin our tour. We toured Severance Gymnasium with its running track and Senior I.S. art studios, then we headed over to Kauke Hall, and the campus mall. From there we toured McGaw, Morgan, Severance Chemistry, Frick Hall (now know as Timken Science Library) and Andrews and Gault libraries. After showing him the Lowry pit and grabbing a quick cup of coffee, we finished the tour by looking at the new Scot Center, Gault Manor, and Bornhuetter Hall. We talked extensively about the Old Main Fire (which features prominently in my I.S.) and how that has more than anything else, shaped the campus of the College. Lawrence remarked that this was a first for him, as he has in thirty years of doing this, never had an architectural tour of a college campus with a (former) football player. To see Lawrence’s write up of the tour, click here.
Overall, it was a great experience to talk to a professional who has been studying campus architecture and campus planning on a national level for many years. It has helped me with my project just to walk and talk about the campus and discuss what I have been studying for the past several months. Speaking with Lawrence, an outsider, who hasn’t been involved in my project at all, but still has an obvious interest and education in the subject helped me work through some troubles I have been having with my project. His suggestions, offers of help, and questioning as we strolled around campus helped me make some new connections that, before, I had not considered. I really enjoyed the tour, and it seemed liked he did as well.
To read of Lawrence’s other activities while in Wooster, click here.