Thanks to Michael Brown, professor of anthropology and co-chair of the Stetson/Sawyer Project building committee, I was able recently to tag along on a tour of the soon-to-open North and South Academic Buildings, and I found them breathtaking, both in contrast to the old warren of faculty offices in Stetson and in forecast of what the architects — Bohlin Cywinski Jackson — will do in the New Sawyer Library. As soon as the finishing touches are complete and faculty starts to move in before the start of the school year, I will go back with a camera and post an illustrated report here.
Meanwhile, the Library Shelving Facility is filling up off Route 7 North, with all the Library collections formerly shelved in the old Stetson stacks, as well as the collections of the College Archives and Chapin Library. In September the Archives and Chapin will re-open in a limited capacity in temporary quarters in the old Southworth School, for the duration of construction of the new library, planned for 2011 opening.
I am currently engaged with research and interviews on the building of the old Sawyer Library, and hope to compose an entertaining and informative history in the next fortnight. Now that I am incorporating first person testimony, I will want to run my copy past a number of those involved before posting here, so there may be a delay. Earlier this week I had a most enjoyable conversation with President Emeritus John Chandler, whose appointment was announced simultaneously with the publication of plans for the new library in 1973, so he was well-positioned to offer a unique perspective on the controversy over the building. I have also been in touch with one of the leaders of a student movement against those plans, whose well-reasoned objections were the focus of campus debate throughout the spring of 1973, some of which seem prophetic now that the building is to be demolished.
In the meantime, I have been groping toward a better integration of text and pictures on this website. I suspect that few readers were following the graphic links, so from now on I will incorporate thumbnails within the text itself, which can be clicked to see photographs at full size. Retroactively, I am in the process of changing the look of prior posts and pages. I welcome feedback and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.