Archive for Monday, August 23, 2010

Flagpole atop Fraser Hall damaged in storm; university contemplates next step

The flagpoles on Fraser Hall.

The flagpoles on Fraser Hall.

August 23, 2010, 2:10 p.m. Updated August 24, 2010, 2:46 p.m.


KU flag pole snaps in summer storm

One of the iconic flag poles on top of Fraser Hall snapped during a summer storm Friday. Repairs of the damaged pole, which marks one of the highest points in Lawrence, are being looked into. Enlarge video

One of Kansas University’s most recognizable buildings is missing a little something this week.

A recent summer storm forced KU to take down one of the iconic flagpoles above Fraser Hall after it cracked in the high winds.

The pole closest to Blake Hall was taken down on Friday. Fortunately, it didn’t fall and hit anybody, said Jill Jess, a KU spokeswoman.

Now, KU is going about the business of getting it back up again.

“Of course,” they’ll be replacing it, Jess said. “It’s a campus landmark.”

KU’s Facilities Operations department is contacting a few outside companies to see if the pole, which is over 40 years old, can be repaired. If so, it could be back in two or three days.

If the repairs prove impossible, KU officials will have to decide whether to replace both flagpoles as a set, to ensure they fly at the same height.

As any KU campus ambassador leading a walking tour of prospective students can easily recall, the poles are perched on Lawrence’s highest point, and represent one of the KU campus’ most visible landmarks. The poles usually fly one KU flag and one American flag. With one pole out of commission, the American flag will still be flown, Jess said.

It’s not clear yet how much it would cost to replace the pole or poles.


rumor_man 7 years, 4 months ago

The Oread Inn is to blame. They changed the wind current atop Mt. Oread

DillonBarnes 7 years, 4 months ago

Did anyone else find this story way more dramatic than it needed to be?

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes. "University contemplates next step"? The next step is, put up another flagpole. Big whoop.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 4 months ago two or three days even. They could have just fixed the flag...half the people in this town wouldn't have even noticed, including me!

madcow 7 years, 4 months ago

The wind must have came from Topeka

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

It's either Bush or Obama's fault, I'm just not sure which.

budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

in a list of important "problems" at the ku facility, I would say a missing flag pole has got to be towards the bottom of the list. But then what do I know, it could be that the athletics dept can not operate just having one flag pole. Maybe it is a violation of school mandate to have an odd number of flags flying at one time. Or maybe the top officials are unable to find the offices without seeing both flags. All in all I would say that this will just be another reason to raise tution costs and increase fines for moped parking.

KU_cynic 7 years, 4 months ago

The flagpole snapped off?

What does this mean? Perhaps that a student finally graduated from KU with virginity intact?

jehovah_bob 7 years, 4 months ago

Did anyone check to see if the Jayhawk is still perched in front of Strong Hall?

If it is then the flagpole would only represent the first sober graduate, but I find that highly unlikely.

gphawk89 7 years, 4 months ago

Hope they can fix it. And hope it sounds the same. Strange, but what I remember most about those flagpoles is the sound they'd make on a stormy night when the wind caused the ropes to whip back and forth and constantly bang the clips against the pole. Clink, clink, clink, clink...

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

very perceptive '89! I remember that well.
you could listen and just the sound told you so much about the wind and the weather. it gave that whole area around Fraser and the Library a very live feel.

so, suppose this was the judgment of God?

first, take out Hoch auditorium. now, a little tap on Fraser. what's next?

Steve Bradt 7 years, 4 months ago

The Engineering dept should be able to design them a replacement flag pole that flies at the same height, don't you think.

puddleglum 7 years, 4 months ago

has everyone already forgotten the "steam-whistlegate?"

you know, when the University took down the steam whistle cuz they couldn';t afford to 'fix' it and counted on alumni to donate dollars?

oh yeah, that was a good one.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it didn't break, they stopped using it 'cause it costs something ridiculous each time they blow it. Then alumni donated money to keep it going.

Alfred_W 7 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps a roundabout at the top of the building would slow the winds...

budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

the "correct" way to fix this is to tear the building down and start over. That way we are sure the flags will fly at the same height

Orwell 7 years, 4 months ago

That's not a bad idea. By comparison to Old Fraser – and pretty much in its own right as well – it's the ugliest thing on campus. The exterior looks like it was designed on an Etch-a-Sketch, and the interior looks like a giant shower stall. The two flagpoles serve only to remind old-timers of what we lost when the earlier building was demolished.

nomorebush 7 years, 4 months ago

Replace them with smokestack cellphone towers so they match the oread.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

Maybe they can get some Federal stimulus money to get it fixed!

---trouble is if they did that, they'd have to post a giant version of those lame Obama ARRA signs up there too. that way he coud take credit for it.

the Psych department is in Fraser. what do you suppose is meant by a Fraser Hall with only one flagpole? hmmmmmmmmm?

sometimes a cigar is only a cigar, ... and sometimes not.

blindrabbit 7 years, 4 months ago

budwhysir: Agree; replace with Old Fraser! The old one had way more class!

Pete_Schweti 7 years, 4 months ago

I know! Let's build a mosque in its place! All the cool kids are doing it.

Bill Lee 7 years, 4 months ago

Where did this 50 years crap come from? "New" Frazier opened in the spring of 1967. By my count that's 43 years, not 50.

Bill Lee 7 years, 4 months ago

Fraser, not Frazier. It's early and I'm not completely awake.

wmathews 7 years, 4 months ago

The "50 years crap" is the result of crossed wires between the source and the reporter. Though KU was unable to date the flag poles exactly, they could tell us the poles most likely went up with the new Fraser.

The changes have been made to the story, and you should see them if you refresh your browser.

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

pace 7 years, 4 months ago

Old Fraser was a beautiful building with a terrible foundation on its south side. New Fraser is an ugly building with a good foundation sitting under it. The :contemplates next step is a stupid lead. They should write, Academics run around in circles and study matters before authorizing F and O to put out bids for repair. They should get up there and look at the other pole, Common practice is to tie weights on in case they fall off. Then they won't drift on the way down and be lost for reclamation.

newmedia 7 years, 4 months ago

No big story here. Just replace both flag poles. I'm sure the University wastes more money in a couple of days than the amount it would take to finish this project.

Matt Schwartz 7 years, 4 months ago

replace both so the flags fly at the same height? i thought that the u.s. flag had to be above any flag flown next to it...

thepianoman 7 years, 4 months ago

What the??? LJWORLD...This is a STORY?????? Come on.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

It is a symbol for the need for one half of the lazy, complacent faculty that reside in Fraser to be terminated. Fraser Hall is a place where the faculty in departments there spend 2 hours a day and then go home.

Faculty who do not contribute should be given a chance to get better, and then terminated if they do not. Faculty in the departments in Fraser are some of the worst offenders.

jd 7 years, 4 months ago

Flag Pole Sitta

Fingertips have memories, But can't forget the curves of your body So when I feel a bit naughty I run it up the flagpole and see who salutes (But no one ever does)

thanksforcoming 7 years, 4 months ago

Greensburg built their whole town after a storm. I think KU can handle a flagpole.

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 4 months ago

Under the obamanation stimulus plan this will cots $750,000 and create 150 jobs. Job 1 find old flagpole. Job 2 throw away old flag pole Job 3-150 for a committee to study flag poles and decide what is their purpose (holding flags,) how is the purpose accomplished ( put flag on pole) which flag to put on pole ( here it gets tricky) and when to fly the new flag on the new pole ( 2014 is the earliest.) Job 151-200 cost over runs and general dispepsia have required and additional 50 employees to determine why the job couldn't be done with the planed 150 employees.

budwhysir 7 years, 4 months ago

I say we throw a couple million at research of the problem and see if it will just go away. Lets be real folks, pay someone to put a flag pole on a building? way to easy to be done without debate and political red tape. What color will it be? What material is best? What if the wind changes direction during installation causing a change in the direction of meteor showers or lightning strikes? Lets all take a moment and make sure we are looking at the whole picture and not just the simple fact of a pole on top of a building.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

Fire half of the psychology department and you could pay for many flag poles. The university would be better off in the long run.

Richard Payton 7 years, 4 months ago

My suggestion is to give the broken flag pole away as a charitable contribution may be tax deductable. Offer it the pole dancing class that Miss USA Rima Fakik enrolled in called "Stripper 101".

gundwolf 7 years, 4 months ago

When I worked at Facilities Operations at KU in the 1980s, it was my job to raise the flags in the morning atop Fraser Hall. This article sure brings back memories. I was always disappointed that the other workers didn't fold the flag properly. Some guys would just drape it over the wooden handrails around the platform leading up to the . There were quite a few old flags kept up there, some in poor condition. I sure hope people show better respect these days. I also oversaw Chamney Farm where the studios for stain glass and glass blowing were located.

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