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January 15, 1958 - Image 19

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Wednesday, January 15, 1958


Poge Nineteen

Wednesdayl January 15,r _.1958. THE..MICH...AN DAILY1.MAGAGZINE 1 neGN L te!n

It survived lean budgets for almost eighty years,
But will succumb to Progress next month

(Continued from Page 7) miliar gray dress was painted on Blending drearily with the leaf-
the outside of the buitl'ing.
Other donations to the museum Nheostid pof th r who avesso trees of winter, dark green
hai to be declined because of the Nostalgic professors who have moss now colors the north side of
watched the time-scarred edifice ,
fear of fire and the uselessness of age cite its advantageous position the imposing tower. It seems as if
storing them. The Regents then on campus as a reason to retain nature is making a last claim on
decided to build the -present Mu- the building for classrooms or a its 78-year-old friend.
seums Building, which was even- study hall. But the sum needed to The Romance Languages Build-
tually completed in 1928, restore the weary structure would ing was not always looked upon
Before the present Romance far exceed the original constric- as an anachronism. At its com-
Languages departments crowded tion cost. pletion in 1880, the bi-weekly
in, the building underwent major campus newspaper, The Chronicle,
surgery, as the large display rooms T RHE GREATEST fear the build- described it this way: "When you
were converted into classrooms. aug poses to University officials go up to the second floor . . . you
The price of extensive alterations is its hazard as a firetrap. Admin- will say just as all who-have seen
n 1928 amounted to half the cost istrators still remember the devas- the rooms do say . .. our museum
of the building, $20,000. It Was tating fire that destrgyed old Ha- will be a pride to the University
t"'n that the now flaking and fa- ven Hall in 1950. and to the state."

However, as a sign of the times,
another writer in the same issue
of the paper predicted that the
newly-installed system of co-edu-
cation would not survive at the
University because grueling col-
lege work was too much of a tax
on the health of wopen.-,
At that early date students felt
that "you cannot build a sixty
thousand dollar building for forty
thousand dollars." The effects of
the shortage have remained ever
since. The abandoned elevator
shaft serves as storage space and
the tower stands divorced of its
7fHE GENERAL plan of the an-
tiquated building, for each
story except the attic, comprises
a central corridor and wings.
Since there has always been lack
of adequate space, the main door
of the structure was sealed to
provide additional office room.
With the gray paint gradually
giving way to the original red
brick, the Romance Language
Building has the distinction of
being the third oldest structure
on campus and the foremost ha.
ven for pigeons. Only the Presi-
dent's house, the Observatory and
the Economics Building are older.
On a gusty day the wind plays
eerie tunes in the now-empty cor-
ridors and rooms. This is perhaps
why one French instructor com-
mented, "I love the building, but

I don't like the cold drafts that hit
you when you change from class
to class."
Although some students and
professors may retain fond mem-
ories of the gracious stairways,
austere windows, and rows of hard
benches, the landscape will not.
When the Romance Languages
Building has passed on, and the
pigeons are forced to find other
eaves under which to roost, only a
plot of grass will cover the ground'
where the revered old structure
served the University for more
than three-quarters of a century.
Make reservations for
or College Week
in Bermuda
April 5-13 by Air
all inclusive $287.00
Reservations available
67 days 114 on ship)
$1295 Mantreal - Montreal
For Folders and ReservationS
12-14 Nickels Arcade
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Phone: NO 3-8597



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