Building, Sweet Ad Building
more things change, the more they stay the same. On the Ides of
March the University of Chicago Magazine moved its offices
for the third time since 1980. After 16 years in the Robie House
garage and five years across the Midway in the Merriam Center-sharing
space with the Alumni Association, Chapin Hall, and the Center
for School Improvement-we're back to the place from which we first
moved: the building that, until recently, everyone would have
agreed was the ugliest on campus.
would be the Administration Building, opened in 1948 and designed
by the Chicago firm of Holabird, Root and Burgee in "functionalist"
style. The style, explains A Walking Guide to the Campus,
published during the University's centennial in 1991, was a function
of the fact that "Gothic had fallen from architectural favor,
and the University felt a need to economize wherever possible."
Indeed, the nicest thing the guide finds to say about our new
home is actually not about the building itself but about its colleagues:
"If anything demonstrates the essential integrity of the
original Gothic buildings, it must be their ability to accept
this 'functionalist' neighbor without losing the cohesive visual
and spatial character that gave the original campus plan its acknowledged
years ago it was rumored that a faculty committee, charged with
looking outside the box on ways to renovate the campus, suggested
that the Ad Building get a trompe l'oeil veneer of gothic-gables,
gargoyles, arches, and more, all applied in shades of gray paint.
Nothing came of the idea-in fact, it may have been an elaborate
April Fool's hoax-but imagining buttresses and bas-reliefs, tracery
and turrets, overlaid on the cold clean lines of the Ad icebox
is a pleasant form of architectural daydreaming.
I digress. On the Ides of March the Magazine staff moved
into the icebox, specifically into several work spaces on the
northwest end of the fourth floor, real estate occupied by the
University of Chicago Press until its own move south of the Midway
and Flourish," February/01). We're happy with
the amenities of our new space, delighted to be on the quads,
and, as you'd expect from tenants in the Ad Building, we love
the gothic views.
players in the February/02 issue need to be properly recognized.
In an effort to make our "How many Chicago students does
it take to change a lightbulb?" contest as unbiased as possible,
we separated entries from entrants' names. In one case, we separated
too well, and Ben Ostrov, AM'77, PhD'87, went without credit for
his punch line accounting: "Ten-one to change the bulb and
nine to consider the economic feasibility of this mode of illumination."
Meanwhile, when "Chicagophile" visited the Maroon
at deadline, it incorrectly identified second-year Jennifer Bussell;
Jennifer is the student paper's news editor.
notes about this issue: David Forbes's "Life as a Mind"
(page 26) begins with a reference to David Wexler, AB'67, PhD'71.
Since the essay's writing, Wexler has died (see "Deaths"),
and Forbes remembers him this way: "As the big brother I
never had, David Wexler was compassionate, funny, and insightful
and at summer camp he patiently helped me improve my chops on
electric guitar (he excelled at both rock and acoustic). His doctoral
research-that imaginative and cognitively stimulating empathic
responses could contribute to client self-development-modeled
a way that said you could put feelings and smarts together, just
issue also marks Chris Smith's last appearance on our masthead
as associate editor. Chris, whose "News
You Can Abuse" (October/01) was a provocative
look at the U.S. News & World Report rankings, has
earned his A.M. and is off to start a doctoral program in anthropology
this fall. Until then he'll be hopping trains, playing guitar,
and honing his freelance skills.