Letters to the Editor

Vanished place

December 28, 2010

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To the editor:

The Oread neighborhood was once defined by homes bordering the campus and a few small neighborhood sandwich or pizza shops with a scattering of student beer joints between Oread Avenue and down the hill toward downtown.

One year ago, the new Oread Hotel displaced a small cluster of wood frame buildings and a historic home on Indiana. Ten years ago, a tug of war began as the university expanded with donor-funded scholarship halls into the neighborhood, leveling historic homes on Ohio. Between 20 and 30 years ago, many large homes were razed along Louisiana and near the top of the hill.

College towns often have residential districts which wrap around the campus and traditionally include small commercial properties which provide for small business and may form an area or small community where kindred spirits communicate in a network of social activities.

In our case the interaction of a few small businesses, the ECM building and student housing in nearby homes and apartments had over decades formed a small group of similar buildings making a place, now replaced.

The new hotel appeared like a giant sand castle. Who could not forget the urge to build so permanently of stone; now we have a giant cell tower signal fortress visually in contradiction to the nature of hospitality and hoteliery.

The complaint widely heard is that the hotel’s “auto-court” main entrance has caused the former sidewalk gathering place that facilitated student interaction at that intersection to vanish.

Comments

BigPrune 4 years, 8 months ago

I heard that place gots a big hole dug in the bottom of it, kind of like an earthen berm house but much bigger because they kept going up! I heard it even 5 star energy rated for them folk who like 5 stars. I just ain't sure if it gots a cement pond or if I could stay there with my critters, but that big hole down low - they call it a cave. Enough of hearing about it, we need to go visit. Jethro says, "Hey."

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I've seen more picturesque factories built in the 1800's than the prison like citadel at 12th & Oread. Expect Dracula to fly out Halloween night.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 8 months ago

I was thinking one of those bleak, maybe Dickensian sort of factories with lots of child labor making, oh I don't know, soap and lampshades.

Irenaku 4 years, 8 months ago

Agreed. When it first went up, someone mentioned to me that they it looked like a giant Facilities & Operations building. UGLY.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

From 15th and Haskell it looks like a soviet apartment building.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

I was wondering when another cool front would blow through. Shout Drainage!

KU_Dude 4 years, 8 months ago

I have to agree with Sven on one thing though...The cell towers have got to go.

Hudson Luce 4 years, 8 months ago

It is pretty ugly, kind of like the Sprint workhouse compound south of I-435 in Kansas City. The cell towers just need a paint job - the upper half of three of the towers needs to be painted sky blue, and the lower halves beige, with the remaining tower all in beige... figure it out. And it's not the tower on the end which needs to be all beige.

beaujackson 4 years, 8 months ago

The stonemasons smiled all the way to the bank.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, so now the Masons are involved. Figures, world domination and all that.

Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 8 months ago

Building with stone is called masonry...get a clue you yokels.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 8 months ago

Relax and have a popsicle, swan. It's a cool and fruity treat on a winter day.

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