What is more important for UND's campus for the future - eternal subservience to the laziness of the students, or making the campus both attractive and useful?

I'm lazy, ignore the beauty, I want my parking lot!
I think there could be compromises made in some places
Beauty all the way!  A beautiful place is a happy place!
Your mum.

Author Topic: Poll: Beauty or Convenience?  (Read 2549 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Poll: Beauty or Convenience?
« on: August 23, 2006, 09:19:34 am »
So what do you think?  Should we be tearing buildings down willy-nilly to make more parking for the lazier side of our student body?  You can probably see where I stand on this issue, but I still would like to know, what do they use this building for now?  Is it for student use, or offices, or what?  I'm sure that it could be put to good use, where building another X-million-dollar structure wouldn't be needed.

OUR OPINION : Preserve the beauty of UND's campus

History surrounds visitors to UND, adding a great deal to the university's charm. The campus' very design is an homage to history: Like many American colleges, UND grew up around a quadrangle in a deliberate reference to the campuses of Oxford and Cambridge universities in England.

This design decision "added a thousand years to the history of the university and has pointed every man's imagination to the earliest traditions of learning in the English-speaking race," as former President Woodrow Wilson said of the campus of Princeton University.

UND's campus, in other words, inspires students and faculty by drawing on traditions dating back many hundreds of years. That's why it's worrying to see history seem to be given short shrift in some UND planning decisions, most recently the choice to demolish the Margaret Kelly Cable house at 421 Princeton St.

UND needs the lot for parking purposes, so the house likely will be razed unless a buyer surfaces who'd also be willing to move the structure, Herald staff writer Eba Hamid reported

That matters, because the house was built and lived in by Cable, the former head of the ceramics department who is one of UND's best-known faculty members of all time.

In itself, Cable's ownership might not be enough to warrant saving the home. The structure is in poor shape and boasts only a few artistic touches, such as ceramic pieces around the two fireplaces.

But when this decision is added to a number in recent years, it makes boosters worry that UND planners aren't paying enough attention to the aesthetics of the campus - namely, its history as well as its traditional, "American Collegiate" look and feel.

Start with the development of the Bronson Property near Ralph Engelstad Arena. The housing and shopping being built there add much to the utility of the campus but little to its beauty.

Consider as well the cutting down of a stretch of historic trees on University Avenue to make room for a turn lane onto Columbia Road. The trees arching over most of University Avenue's length date back almost to UND's founding; they were planted when the avenue linked UND with pioneer Grand Forks across a mile-and-a-half of windswept prairie.

And consider the parking ramp taking shape on the same University Avenue- Columbia Road corner, UND's most heavily trafficked intersection. Again, whatever the utility merits of the ramp, will it be a net plus to the campus' aesthetics or a net minus?

There's no panic in this editorial, no call to stop growth and "progress" in their tracks. The UND campus remains a gem and surely is one of the prettiest spots in any city in North Dakota.

There is only a suggestion that UND give beauty, aesthetics and tradition somewhat more weight than they currently enjoy. Is there a university equivalent of downtown Grand Forks' historic preservation committee, for example? If there isn't, there should be. For although such committees give developers another row of "hoops" to jump through, they serve a useful purpose and leave an area better off than it was before.

UND's beautiful campus enhances the university's appeal and deepens alumni loyalty, as would the presence of dozens more endowed chairs. And like those faculty positions, which the administration actively is seeking, the aesthetics on campus is worth high-level attention and the active commitment of resources to boot.
Tom Dennis for the Herald

Offline lynsey

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Re: Poll: Beauty or Convenience?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 03:39:55 pm »
The parking ramp is a good idea, in theory. There are issues with finding parking spots. However, I think the placement was poorly chosen. I think it's going to look really out of place on that corner. Instead, it would be more beneficial if it was placed near the REA, and it wouldn't look so out of place. Parking on campus is especially an issue on game nights. Wouldn't a solution be a parking ramp near the REA?

Offline commando eli

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Re: Poll: Beauty or Convenience?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006, 04:11:53 pm »
I absolutley agree with you!   :thumbsup:
You would be surprised what matt will do for a cookie and a glass of orange juice. -rvb


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