When I arrived on campus, my intent was to take some pictures of the pink tulip trees. I had noticed they were only beginning to bloom, the previous day, but didn’t have my camera with me. But with the sun shining, the temperature almost reaching 70 degrees, and not a cloud to mar the blue sky, I couldn’t walk away quite yet.
Instead, I began to wander, with no real purpose in mind. Vaguely, I had thought that I would see some other flowers blooming, but there really weren’t any. I had just recently done my “building fascination” posts, so I had covered a lot of the buildings nearby. So, I just wandered and took pictures as the fancy struck me.
I went up to Tillman Hall, and walked on past the Military Heritage Plaza, walking downhill towards Mell Hall, wondering if I would find anything interesting. You never know there could have been some more statues hiding here and there. Instead, I took some pictures of the trees, but when I realized how many pictures of trees that I took that day, I saved those for another post. Remember, tree pictures are tricky (they are to me, at least), and they never seem to look, in the photo, like they do in real life. I’ve got to play around with a few of those pictures, before I put them on here.
Turning back uphill, I found myself staring at Tillman Hall again, and stopped to take photos of different aspects of the building. Where are the photos? I know, you’re going to love me (or maybe hate me) for this, but I’m preparing another “building fascination” post, and it isn’t ready yet. There are some questions I still need answered about the history of Tillman. Ditto for Sirrine Hall, which I eventually reached, in my wanderings. But in the case of Sirrine, I think I need more photos. I’m not a fan of some of the ones I took.
My meanderings did bring me back to Hardin Hall, from a different angle, and reminded me again of how much I like that building. It’s very beautiful. Further down the street, I took a picture of Olin Hall, the Ceramic and Materials Engineering building. It’s also my dad’s old building. I took this picture more from the feeling that I should than from any interesting architecture catching my eye. Every time I see it, I wonder what the picture over the door is, and then forget to ask my dad. And I find the design of the building to be somewhat dull, especially with Hardin and Riggs on either side of it.
Then, while trying to identify the front door picture, looking around online, I found an older photo of Olin. A black and white picture that was taken back in the 1950’s… and it’s a very striking building in that photo. Why? It had finally hit me that you can’t tell if Olin Hall is interesting or not, because it’s surrounded by shrubs, ivy, and hedges. Basically, it looks completely overgrown, like your yard when it needs mowing. Olin needs to be “mown” of all its greenery, so people can remember that it’s supposed to be a nice building, underneath.
Way down the hill, I stopped by Lee and Lowry Hall, curious whether I could find that amazing design to the building that puts it in the Historic Registry of Buildings (or whatever it’s called). I managed to find the courtyard containing the bust of Harlan McClure, but I was still unimpressed by the buildings surrounding me. Maybe someone who understands architecture needs to explain it to me, or maybe the greenery in the courtyard was blocking my view.
On my way back up the hill, I stopped to stare at Riggs Hall again. It struck me that it’s a lot bigger than you think, though not as big as Sirrine, and like Sirrine, it’s “U” shaped, with a courtyard. But the courtyard in the middle of Riggs is the home to a small parking lot, which isn’t really meant to give aesthetic appeal.
The side of the building on Fernow Street caught my eye, though, because it seemed that the two entryways were supposed to mirror each other… but if you look above them, you’ll see one has a fancy arched window, and the other doesn’t. Was there a reason for that? It looks unbalanced or something. I think most people don’t notice, even if they’re looking, because the wheelchair ramp outside makes the doorways look like they aren’t even (optical illusion). But that ramp wouldn’t have been there originally, so why have mirror image doors, but not windows? And what are those funky brick panels that look like something else was there originally?
Back on the other side of Riggs, some of the gorgeous brick is covered up by the more modern stairs/fire escape. I’m assuming it was built to bring the place up to code… or maybe they used to have a rickety stairway there that needed replacing, anyway. Couldn’t they have at least matched the brick colors?
[Update: Certain smart alecks have informed me that it isn’t either stairs or a fire escape, but an elevator. I would know this, how? And it still would have been put in to bring the building up to code. I was trying to suggest by mention of a fire escape that it could have been a fire escape, way back in the day, and eventually turned into stairs. I would have assumed that if there’s an elevator in there, there would be stairs also. But since I’m going by observation, and anything I can find out on the internet, I didn’t know. So there!]
When I was getting close to Sikes Hall again, I stopped to take a photo up the stairs towards the Thomas Green Clemson statue. I really like how the brick seems to form steps, as well as the actual stair case, and of course, you can line them up on one side, for the photo, but not the other.
Right before I got back into my car, I took another look at Long Hall, which (I think) is where I once took a Biology Lab, back during my one semester at Clemson. But I was paying more attention to the design on the outside that makes it look like the building has Grecian columns, but doesn’t. It’s almost like they built the brick building, and then painted columns onto the outside. An interesting design, I’ll have to take a closer look, someday.
You’ll have to forgive me for the ins and outs of this post. I came home and couldn’t figure out where to start and how to continue, once I had started. All my photos would not fit into one post. I didn’t think a short snatch could do justice to either Tillman or Sirrine, where I took quite a few photos. Eventually, my tree pictures began to stack up, and I thought I would exclude them as well, but they were part of this wandering session, so I had to at least mention them.
Over the next few days, I will be hop-skipping around, catching up on several drafts I’ve written, as well as touching on my trip to Charleston, last week. Bear with me, I’ll get to them all, eventually.