Sunday, September 20, 2009

My campus -- SUNY at Albany

The 40-year-old campus in Albany is not your stereotypical US college campus. No ivy-covered walls and picturesque statues here. Edward Durrell Stone designed a modernistic college for then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller that is remarkably similar to designs he did for the US embassy in India and the Pakistani nuclear power institute. The Mogul style arches and multiple domes led to rumors that he'd actually used a design intended for an Arizona desert. Hailed as an architectural wonder, Stone's campus was not universally admired either back in the 1960s when it was new or now. His long walkways turn into wind tunnels during Albany's long, cold winters and Stone didn't really like cars messing up his design, so parking is too far away and inadequate in the mind of many faculty and students. Then there is the whole issue of an architectural wonder being maintained by a state government perpetually short of funds. Sticking doors, leaks and crumbling concrete keep maintenance crews constantly busy. Still, it's home.

1 comment:

steverino said...

Thanks for dispelling that Arizona rumor about SUNY Albany. I've lived here for 14 years, and the campus and the ESP both have the effect of minimizing people. It's home, as you point out, even if my afternoon commute involves an approach to the ESP that invokes Luke flying toward the Death Star.

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