Douglass Hall Update #7.10

7/10/1998

...and we have yet another update! Ick! Now I've sent 3 in one week.

If you want to see back issues, navigate to (gee, what browser do I use...) http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Campus/9499/ and go look them up. They're somewhat crudely formatted as I had to throw all this together in a big hurry.

Now, onto the update:

The entrance to the Valparaiso parking lot has been completely demolished. Do NOT use that entryway or you'll find yourself bouncing up and down--the asphalt is 3" higher than the gravel, and I've seen many a car bounce off of that. Use the secret shrubbery-hidden entrance at the other end if you want to save your suspension. Or, just don't park there...use the Curtis parking lot or park on the street or something.

They're putting a water pipe through the middle of campus. That will hopefully be over in a few days.

Since 7.08 came out a few days ago, some of you have asked about the stuff I found in The Hall. The closet I stumbled upon is called The Vault (for lack of better name, I assume) and, according to the guys managing the site, the school doesn't particularly care about the fate of the stuff in there. So, now I'm asking you, how many are interested in preserving some of the artifacts in there --a black and white animated film clip, a box full of (most likely) silent movies, an old (1940's?) mimeograph machine, a stack of books written about Menlo itself, various corrected exams from the 1950's (hey, they taught Trig as a separate course!), old blue books (amazing how the design hasn't changed one bit in 45 years...) and much more stuff.

I'll try to get some of the stuff out of The Hall before they decide to go housecleaning. Perhaps we could exhibit some of these artifacts in the Library? The guys in the construction trailer have saved some pieces of concrete that they knocked off the servant's quarters as well as some fancy lamp sconces.

If I do manage to get the stuff out of the Hall, I'll report back where you can find the stuff, in case you're interested. They can't guarantee any of that stuff won't get dumped if it stays in the Hall. Curiously, all the administrators are gone.

I'm working on a big article about Douglass for the September Memo. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might get more info on the building and Menlo's past? I might be able to show some never-before-seen photos...although I have to be done by August 7th.

I'll try to figure out the history of Menlo buildings. Menlo Hall was built in 1961-2. Flo Mo in the 60's, Brawner in 1971. The science buildings were built after 1954. Patterson was built a looong looong time ago, before 1954. Douglass was built in 1913.

They've also started to wash the backside of the building--the ugly black pollution stains are finally going away!

The house in Valparaiso Park...does that still exist?

Now, for some Q&A: (from greg burns)

Q. Is the dumb-waiter still there, I hope?

A. Only an elevator. Anything in the servant's quarters is long gone.

Q. How many rooms have gilded ceilings?

A. All of the ones inside the mansion. I think there are 15 of such rooms.

Q. Think you could "discover" a jail cell or something that would be good grounds for ghost stories? It would fit perfectly with my plan.

A. Only a vault. The one in which I found the aforementioned goodies.

Q. How much of the building is being left original?

A. The white/gray/black concrete part.

Q. What's the status on the ball room?

A. That's to become an activity lounge of sorts. Probably a ballroom. Colb's office (the old wood-paneled library) opens onto this room

Q. Any huge fireplaces suitable for Yule logs?

A. There are many huge fireplaces throughout the building. I don't know about Yule logs.

Q. You said something about a Wednesday. Is the hall open on Wednesdays, or what? When can I see it?

A. No. The building is strictly off limits to unauthorized personnel, meaning everybody who hasn't signed the forms and wears a hard hat.

Q. Is the bowling alley still there?

A. Nope. Neither is the football team's locker room, which also used to be in the basement.

Q. How about the bomb shelter?

A. Unless there is a trapdoor someplace, there is no bomb shelter that I know of. The building sits flat on the ground--a mound of dirt hid the basement level from view (except at the north side with the chimneys)

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