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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Autumn on Campus

There is something so - just - well - collegiate - about October to me. I don't really know why, but I always get the bug to go walk around campus around this time of year. Considering I like near one certain large university and none of you live near me, I am taking you all on a little photo-journey around Purdue University.

First, a little history... In 1869 Purdue University opened as the first land-grant university in Indiana under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was made possible, in large part, thanks to John Purdue who donated $150,000 and a portion of land for the campus. Land-grant universities were founded with the intention of teaching agriculture and mechanic arts. Even today, Purdue is known nation-wide for the agriculture and engineering programs as well as its colleges of management, technology, and computer science. Some of Purdue's most famous graduates come from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Purdue was the first university in the country to open it's own airport and has produced over 20 astronauts - including the first and last man to walk on the moon.

(Click any picture to enlarge)

This is the Memorial Mall on State St. John Purdue is laid to rest on Memorial Mall per his finals request. Memorial Mall is part of the original campus that included only 3 buildings, 6 instructors, and 39 students.

This is the John Purdue Memorial Fountain located next to his grave on Memoral Mall. In the background you can see University Hall. It is an original building and is over 135 years old.

In this picture of the north side of campus you can see the Engineering Mall. Engineering is one of Purdue's strongest programs and its Schools of Nuclear and Industrial Engineering have been named in the top 5 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

This is one of Purdue's most recognizable landmarks, the Engineering Mall Water Sculpture. It is made entirely of cast concrete and the four sides swoop upwards towards the center where a column of water shoots nearly 30 feet into the air. On the left (in the background) you can see the Bell Tower.

Here is another view of the Bell Tower. It was built and dedicated in 1995. In 1894, Purdue dedicated Heavilon Hall with a belltower. Unfortunately, 4 days after the building was dedicated, it was engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. The University President promised that day that the building would go up again..."One brick higher." A new building (9 bricks higher) was built and dedicated the next year, 1895, with the same name, but did not utilize the bells from the original clock tower. They remained in storage until the new Bell Tower was built 100 years later.

This picture shows Academy Park which is located between the Purdue Memorial Union and Heavilon Hall (seen on the right). It is a circular 'ampitheater-style' classroom park. Its acoustics are engineered so that an instructor may stand in the middle of the paved circle and speak in a normal tone of voice and be heard by everyone seated on the surrounding raised lawns.

This is Founders' Park. It was originally located where the Engineering Mall exists now and was rebuilt on the liberal arts campus several years ago. In the background of the photo is Beering Hall, formerly the Liberal Arts and Education Building. The round room on the upper right of the building is a conference room that commands stellar views of campus, the river valley, and the city of Lafayette.

Located just to the north of Beering Hall, this was originally the Memorial Gymnasium, but now houses the Computer Science college. There are 17 steps (some inside the doors) in memoriam of the 17 Purdue students, players, and fans that died in a train crash while travelling to Indianapolis in 1903 for a football game against Indiana University.

This is Hovde Hall, one of the main administrative buildings on campus. It is located near the Engineering Mall and is connected by a skywalk to the Elliott Hall of Music.

These are The Muses as depicted on the north wall of Elliott Hall of Music. There is some local lore than in John Purdue's plan for the college, it was forbidden that Purdue ever have a college of music or a music hall. Purdue still has no formal music school, but it does now have a Hall of Music. Hey, it's not a music hall, lol.

I will leave you with 2 shots that I love most on campus. Here you can see the Water Sculpture at night. It is lit by each of 4 'arms' reaching in each direction. Back in the olden days, when I was at Purdue, on hot summer days you would see groups of students doing 'fountain runs' through the middle column of water. Unfortunately, the stream of water is nearly 30 feet high and very forceful. So forceful, in fact, that several people have been injured and the base of the fountain is now surrounded with a polished metal sleeve about 8' tall. In the background you can again see the Bell Tower lit at night.

Another great shot is this one from the Material Science and Electrical Engineering Building. This window faces the Engineering Mall and is perfectly aligned with the Water Sculpture and Hovde Hall. Hey, Purdue's campus is nothing if not engineered. ;)

You might notice a few things about Purdue's campus. First of all...we do love our 'malls'. Unlike most suburban colleges that have a lot of "natural" nature, Purdue has very manicured and designed spaces that highlight key points of campus. Each area of campus has it's own mall or park and they all have a special look and feel to them. (There are several I have not included here.)

You might also notice the plethora of red brick on the buildings. There are several legends that prescribe certain reasons for this...none of which seem to be true. What is true, though, is that every permanent building on campus is nearly entirely clad in red brick. (There are two exceptions to this in the School of Management...The Krannert Building and Rawls Hall are clad in Indiana limestone, but do include red bricks in their foundations.)

All of the places I have shown you are in this main part of campus pictured above. North of this is the athletic campus with Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey Arena. To the south is the Agriculture, Foods, and Veterinary Campus. West of the pictured area is mostly residence halls and fraternity/sorority houses. There is so much about Purdue to share...far too much for one blog post. If anyone's ever visiting the area, let me know...I make a great tour guide. :)


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