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Thread: great campus places?

  1. #1
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    great campus places?

    I'm doing some research at work on successful campus places--public or semi-public places that accommodate a variety of activities and involvements. I would really appreciate hearing your nominations.

    Thanks!
    Raj.

  2. #2
         
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    Well number one since you're from Chicago I would look at the Midway Plassaince, U of Chicago, as a remnant of the 1892 Worlds Fair, it's still an active place for Soccer, Hockey, and just generally hanging out.

    Now to sort of toot my own horn, The University of Saint John's, Collegeville, MN is a small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere that still has managed to draw a consistant;y growing population over the last 150 years, even being an all male school. Set on 3000 some odd acres of forest, the campus includes 7 lakes and miles and miles of trails which it integrates perfectly to the man made structures and lawns. The school has 4 focal points amazingly that are seperate but do not diminish any of the others even in a small school. The Abby Church (arch. Macel Breur) is the religious Focal Point, Outside the Quad is a diffinitive academic area where you are most likely to see students studying on even mild days, because it is also framed out by two other major academic buildings on campus. Outside Sexton Commons (which includes a restaurant) is a fountain surrounded by a large paved courtyard which is a social gathering and meeting area, near the bus stop, you can find people sitting out there YEAR ROUND (minnesotans are crazy). Finnally the athletic focalpoint of students is the large lawn affectionatly named The Tundra where you can find frizbee, baseball, LaCrosse, football, a giant natural slip-n-slide during big rains and during the first Snow, a giant snowball fight between Sophmores and First Years that litterally lasts for hours.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Memorial Union Terrace at University of Wisconsin in Madison. Also, Library Mall and Bascom Hill there.

    I seem to remember the University of Washington in Seattle having some big public spaces.... can't remember the names though. Same with Princeton.

    I live in Boston and I can't say any of the universities here have big, mixed use spaces. Harvard doesn't like people walking on the grass in the Yard. MIT has some nice grassy spaces, but most of their campus is ugly.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist
    I live in Boston and I can't say any of the universities here have big, mixed use spaces. Harvard doesn't like people walking on the grass in the Yard. MIT has some nice grassy spaces, but most of their campus is ugly.
    What about BU and Northeastern? I think these campuses are pretty urban in character with a mix of public and institutional space. The green line would be a central feature of both campuses. Also, Harvard's campus kind of extends into Harvard Square. But I agree that MIT's campus is ugly.

  5. #5
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    The Quad at Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Here is a great Campus, that is not a college campus:

    Campus Martius.

    http://www.campusmartiuspark.org/
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
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    thanks, all. please keep 'em coming--i'll be working on this for a while. and the stuff at u-wisconsin madison has some great pictures on flickr, if you're interested.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'll second the UW-Madison. One of the greatest is The Lawn on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. It was designed by one of the foremost American architects, Thomas Jefferson.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    At Northern Illinois University...
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Commons...site of many events, bashes, and protests. As a focal gathering point named after a great civil rights leader, it is also a symbol of freedom. Centrally located in the campus between the Student Center, Library, Academic Buildings, parking areas, and the original residence halls. It is a large, circular-shaped, brick-paved plaza at the intersection of many sidewalks that come together at this point symetrically. Thousands of students pass through each day. There is a slightly-raised landscaped berm along sections of the perimiter.

    The common area between Stevenson and Grant towers...intricately designed concrete and brick walkways with grassy areas in between. There are also circular-shaped brick pavilions at several of the major sidewalk intersections. Site of the giant Move-In Day bash and other festivities, adjacent to several popular recreational areas, and near an open park and lagoon. Unites the residence halls and west campus and makes an enjoyable walk for traveling between them.

    The East Lagoon and Kishwaukee River...a very scenic lake and small stream which provide the east side of campus with lots of wildlife especially geese and ducks. There is also a significant amount of trees and other plantlife. Provides a peaceful place to study, reflect, or get romantic. It provides a beautiful transition between the oldest and most treasured academic buildings of campus and the residential neighborhood to the east.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  10. #10
         
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    I'll also have to say the lakeside of Stella Marris Dela Strada (I think thats it, it's def Stella Marris something) Chapel at Loyola University is amazing. It's an outdoor space completely open on one side that still manages the focal point echo, it's not the most public of places but still pretty amazing

  11. #11
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley.

    http://www.berkeley.edu/webcams/sproul.html
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Second that... and MIT

    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    I would agree that this is one of the best.

    I also like MIT a lot, partially because of its industrial grit. Not polished, but lots of activity and people.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I love the pedestrian mall area, intermingled with the U of Iowa campus. There are lots of stores selling everything from clothes to books to kites to soaps, movie rentals and the required head shop, restaurants, nightclubs, offices, mixed use buildings with storefronts below and apartments above, the city's library, movie theater (Rocky Horror every Halloween w/ complimentary props), big playground, lots of benches and a fountain, etc. And most class buildings are all right there.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I'll second the UW-Madison. One of the greatest is The Lawn on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. It was designed by one of the foremost American architects, Thomas Jefferson.

    I'd definitely agree with the university of virginia... its a truly beautiful campus.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    The Boston College dustbowl is pretty good, too.
    http://at.bc.edu/webcams/dustbowl/

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup....

    First some bad campus action:
    I'm sure these are great schools, but...
    Brown University- Even complete nerds need someplace nice to study, but this ain't the place...at least not 15 years ago......
    Ohio State University- BIG BIG BIG....just plain too big....
    University of the District of Columbia- Does this place still exist???
    Boston College- Just seems kinda not that nice.....
    University of Texas at El Paso- Gotta love that view
    Georgia State University- Walked it 10 years ago and was....not so excited....
    Florida Atlantic University- Young and the campus was rushed....
    U. of Wyoming & Colorado State- Kinda like millitary bases
    Air Force Academy- A millitary base

    The Good Campus Action:
    1. College of William and Mary....sweet town and historic vibe....
    2. College of the Atlantic- Cool little place
    3. Northern Arizona University- Great Location Mostly...remember, we're not talking about buildings here....are we.....?

    I did like Logan Utah a bunch, but it wasn't any better than my old stomping grounds of U. of Northern Colorado (Zman?)

    University of Colorado Boulder is ok, if they can ever complete the ROAD Construction......JEESH!!! I now think this campus is a little cramped

    Colorado School of Mines has a very nice small campus....
    Stanford University was very nice.....
    Georgetown University was nice, great dorms!!
    Skilled Adoxographer

  17. #17
         
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    speaking of Military Bases I'm going to throw in US Naval Academy at Annapolis. McDounough Hall, the largest dorm in the world has some great courtyards, and the town itself is amazing

  18. #18
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    The University of Utah has a great campus. For a commuter school, it does have some decent impromptu gathering places. The areas around the main library become outdoor study halls in good weather, the campus becomes a winter playground when it snows, and there are always students and festivals on the grounds outside the student union building. Plus the views from the campus are incredible. The U has done a decent job of incorporating the outdoors area into the function of a building over the last decade.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Brown University- Even complete nerds need someplace nice to study, but this ain't the place...at least not 15 years ago....
    You're outta your mind:

    http://www.brown.edu/web/ken/photos/campus-scenes/

    Looked the same 15 years ago. Also, you have downtown Providence and College Hill five minutes away (walking).

    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Boston College- Just seems kinda not that nice...
    Again:

    http://bc.edu/about/tour/

  20. #20
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Snicker......

    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    You're outta your mind:

    http://www.brown.edu/web/ken/photos/campus-scenes/

    Looked the same 15 years ago. Also, you have downtown Providence and College Hill five minutes away (walking).



    Again:

    http://bc.edu/about/tour/
    He he he....I stand by my statements Great Great Schools though.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  21. #21
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    Yale has a big space called Cross Campus in front of the main library and one of the big classroom buildings, plus it's adjacent to the Law School and several of the residential colleges. Aside from being a place of constant sports-playing (soccer and frisbee) and lounging on nice days, people also use it for activism. For example, a rape-prevention group I was in used the space around Maya Lin's Women's Table sculpture to host Take Back the Night, and the sidewalks are always chalked with messages about upcoming events or issues. Hope you get to check it out! It's a beautiful place.

  22. #22
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    U of T front campus

    The front campus in front of University College at U of Toronto is one of my favourite places in the city. Stand there and spin in 360 degrees and you can see neogothic, neoclassical, a titch of the neoclassical Ontario legislature (known affectionately as Queen's Park or The Pink Palace), greenspace, a great urban design road (King's College Rd), modernist, and above all else the two focal points of King's College Rd are University College and the bloody CN Tower.

    A spectacular spot where in my 4 years at U of T I saw COUNTLESS buses full of Japanese tourists.

    Does anyone have pics to prove it?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    I'll also agree with the comments about UW-Madison.

    The University of Minesota has a very used (occasionally over-used) space in Northrop Mall. Concerts on the patio in front of the auditorium, frisbee, mall preachers, panhandlers (apparently asking college kids for money is paradoxically lucrative), a grill stand, and jugglers are not uncommon during the warmer months.

    Of course it's a barren wasteland for the other half of the year.

    There's also the 'Campus Knoll' aka the lawn bounded by Peik Hall, Pillsbury Dr, Pleasant St., and University Ave. Much lower use, and a bit less structured than Northrop.

    Finally, the least used of them all: The Mall on St. Paul campus. Significantly larger, it offers a large bit of green space in the midst of a campus filled with buildings mostly constructed since the 60's (with the exception of a couple of the halls bordering The Mall.)

    Also, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has a nice location (half of campus is on a sweeping bend in the Chippewa River, the other half is 50 feet up on a bluff overlooking the lower campus), though most of the buildings are not too sexy.

    CSU-Chico is pretty drab for the potential it has. The location, the climate, the creek running through campus... it could be so much more.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    First some bad campus action:
    I'm sure these are great schools, but...

    Georgia State University- Walked it 10 years ago and was....not so excited....
    What - The Beautiful Concrete Campus™ of GSU didn't do it for you? Georgia State has actually spent a lot of money over the last few years on the campus environment, so the core of the University has improved from "totally sucks" to "sucks". The school's move into some of the buildings in the Farlie-Poplar Historic District has been nice, though, and it's helped revitalize that part of downtown Atlanta.

  25. #25

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    UW-Madison does have a great campus.

    I have to defend my alma mater the U of Wyoming. The old campus is symmetrical, but it is hardly miltary. I think the old campus has the "gravity" that an educational institution should have. CSU in Fort Collins seems pretty chaotic, or maybe random is a better word, to me. I think a lot of universities have grown in a somewhat unplanned fashion: Montana State is similarly random. The U of Montana has some good views from campus. One of the most interesting small campsuses is the Montana School of Mines in Butte.

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