RIP CSU University Center

Submitted by Susan Miller on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 20:40.

destruction of Hisaka's CSU University Center

Improvising Schema got photos of the destruction of a modern landmark this morning. I commented there, so if this "not identifiable" blogger posts the comment, you will be able to see my response.

Whatever!!!! Don Hisaka is a distinguished architect and the CSU University Center was a beautiful and serviceable building. Waste not, want not CSU.

Here's what the students will buy in exchange...

Gwathmey's sofa for CSU

Did the CSU students want this or need this? I doubt it. I taught there for 16 years and during that time I had a host of hardworking students (many working their way through college) who wanted good curriculum, good faculty and above all, an affordable education.

Dontcha love it when the renderings place these spaceships in some unknown territory? Seriously, I was at that intersection yesterday and it looks nothing like this. This (above) is a stranger in a strange land. Rugare comments here in a bygone Angle article from 2007.

Pshaw! This Gwathmey is a confused and expensive solution to a problem already solved long ago for a fortresslike urban university. Overhead walkways remain. Opening up by tearing down... I don't think so.

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CAD monkey garbage

  Does anyone actually draw any more?  I am very sad for Don Hisaka.  Cleveland has again shown itself to be a very parochial town.

Poor social consciousness, poor stewardship, poor design

What a disaster. So taxpayers and poor students are funding the demolition of a landmark building and waste of 100,000s of barrels of embedded oil equivalent energy to build a poorly designed building by a NYNY firm. What is most disturbing, as Susan points out, is that the design is not conscious of the street-level environment. Any smart planner would recommend something very different - but there are no smart planners at work here.

So who is at fault for this disaster?

Disrupt IT

When my aunt went to CSU in 1970...

When my aunt went to CSU, Rhodes tower and what would become 'concrete u' was being developed. The state plowed over an entire neighborhood for progress. They saw the campus as sprawling over the innerbelt like Boston's big dig.

When my siblings and cousins went to CSU, the now being knocked down UC-Cage and the science and law buildings were being built. Governor Rhodes was gone, the money was gone and Cleveland was a defaulted fiscal mess.

When I went to CSU the Music/Comm was being built and what now is known as Wolstein Center was being built. Longtime Dean Walter Waetjen, there since '64 I think, split as soon as the city found out it only held 13,000. The Cavs couldn't play in it. CSU basketball went to hell when Kevin Mackey got collared in a crack house.

If I have to go through CSU, its seems to a foreign Visa haven. Tons of foriegn born students, who could give a crap if they learned Biology in a tent, attending 'ol CSU to avoid going back. Just like my aunt and uncles hauling out of Eastern Europe did after WWII . I remember going to Continuing Ed and noticing that a leased out building next to it was a law firm specializing in immigration visas.

Sure all of this "growth" was worth it. Half the lawyers who pass the bar in this state attended John Marshall. Engineers get a gig at some Ohio company if they don't pack-n-run to the sunbelt. A weird bragging point I recall was that most of the accountants who went through CSUs doors have addresses in California.

The purpose of CSU isn't to be a college town like BGSU/Kent or some established or alumni driven university like OSU. I'm sure when the NIU shooting took place earlier this year, some current and former CSU grads chuckled when some network news tools described the incident bound to happen because "the atmosphere there is always cold, drab and dreary".

It's a place to get your diploma because you're screwed. You flunked out at Toledo,  you ran out of money going to OU. You can't go to any other place. If you were a teacher there, you never got that  english professor spot at Michigan State (when I went there, it seemed like all newbie profs took it out on you).  It was the price you paid for putting up with blood-sucking administrators hell bent on spending every shekel the State or Federal government give them, just to keep it comming.

for your amusement

Dweller your description of CSU makes it sound like purgatory, which, in a way, it was for me, too.  Can you find the most miserable face in this crowd?

the little one in the front

the little one in the front row w/pony tails? She doesn't look happy at all.  BTW is that tall Coach Ron Schwartz at the very top? His nuts bulge right through his shorts LOL.

now, now

I, too, left CSU because I had had it. But for me it was not because it was drab and dreary, but because the administration like you said dweller was thick-headed.


When they built the Music and Communications building, the debut event of the Music Department was an opera. Whoops! There are no lighting positions in Waetjen Auditorium and not nearly enough electricity near the stage to produce an opera. The show went on, but with a master electrician on hand every time they switched on anything other than the walk light (that lonely bulb that illumines the stage when the theater is dark).


But I built some great programs there and we outdid ourselves if you figured out what sort of bleeding edge stuff was going on in the basement of the PE building called dance concerts. When Dennis Barrie got locked up for showing the works of Robert Mapplethorpe and the CSU People's Arts Show had the controversial flag on the floor of the entry - we had naked people performing in the basement of the PE building. I told my department Chair just so he wouldn't be blind sided. He just asked me to set a side a pair of tickets for him and his wife. No biggie.


We danced in the fountain in front of Mather Mansion - a piece by a NY choreographer specially made for the fountain. One summer we were having class in the Ballroom there (as we always did) and there was a board of regent meeting going on just below us. The Director of Conference Services came rushing into the room and said to the teacher, "this has to stop right now!" "This is a class", she replied. We agreed to move more quietly, but we did tell the Board of Regents that it is inappropriate to attempt to disrupt matriculation - that is what it's about, right... There is only one ballroom on the campus after all and there are numerous places for them to sit and talk. Those were the days.

Laura - I began teaching at CSU in 1980 - worked there in 1979, too. We surely passed in the hallways breathing in the smell of sweat and chlorine...


Little, but mean

Yes, Coach Schwartz--I am the gloomy one in the upper right-hand corner.  It was my first exposure to real cut-throat sports.  That little one with the pig-tails was mean (and a good player).  Urban bootcamp for a suburban sissy.  My dad's idea.  I survived.  But, humiliation is a good thing.