Turris Churchillii delenda est
"Churchill Tower must be destroyed!"
The Renaissance facade of Old Main sends a message
Decorative details taken from Greece and Rome represent the Renaissance roots of the Society of Jesus and of our educational system. The building itself declares that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and the Lord of the whole of the cosmos. Jesuits affirm all that is good in the humanism of the Renaissance and in the Greco-Roman civilization of the classical era. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Phil 4:8).
Churchill Tower sends a message
The unadorned, utilitarian walkway driven into the Greco-Roman temple in the facade of Old Main says something.
If I understand it correctly, the designers of the Tower were saying, "_______ this _______."
As I was taking these pictures, a faculty member said to me, "It looks like something out of the Jetsons cartoons."
Bagen Hall sends a message
The Administration built itself a two-story shoebox, just big enough for the President, Vice-Presidents, and Deans. It occupies prime real estate, and was not designed to be the foundation for an academic tower that might have been built in a neo-classical style as a complement to Old Main. "First things first: take care of the administrators. We'll worry about faculty and students later."
Wehle Hall sends a message
Wehle Hall was built by the parish as a grammar school.
It is graceless and unloved and unlovable.
"Put me out of my misery. I'm done with it. Let another take my place."
St. Vincent's Church sends a message
The little basilica has been de-consecrated--"desecrated"--inside, but the exterior is still alive with the meaning its designers intended. At each of four corners, an angel lifts up the name of Jesus for all to see.
Crying for a vision
- - The best scenario would be to tear down Churchill, Bagen, and Wehle, then construct an academic tower where it belongs, off to the side of Old Main.
- - Lamentably, Churchill is the only circular tower in the city and one of the few in the nation. It will almost certainly be defended by architectural antiquarians whose love of beauty is somewhat demented. Where were they when the tower was proposed? Why did they not rise up to defend Old Main? For the love of a 1960s oddity, they will refuse to side with the restoration of Old Main. If so, then the solution is to tear down Bagen and Wehle and haul Churchill off to the side, freeing the front of Old Main from this dreadful intruder.
I estimate that the project will require $180 million. $80 million will take care of the necessary construction work. It will cost $100 million to bribe the administration to beautify the campus.