IU


10
Nov 17

The beautiful trouble of autumn, Part VI

Two weeks ago I wrote:

It seems like that time of year where you try to catalog the changing of the leaves, because they’re pretty, but because you want them to stay.

So that’s what I’ve been doing around here these last few days, soaking up the season while it lasts.

Because it is just gorgeous right now:

And here’s another view of Jordan River, or Spanker’s Branch, looking west:

Winter, as they say, is coming. And it will last far too long, but there are a few beautiful weeks of autumn that … don’t actually make up for it, but it is a decent enough apology in advance.


9
Nov 17

The beautiful trouble of autumn, Part V

Two weeks ago I wrote:

It seems like that time of year where you try to catalog the changing of the leaves, because they’re pretty, but because you want them to stay.

So we’re filling the week here with autumn, and some of the pretty scenes on the IU campus. This is around the Mighty Jordan River, in Dunn Meadow.

It’s a creek:

Below the topsoil is limestone, non-draining, flood-prone limestone. When it sprinkles hard, the levels rise. When it rains, water is coming over the banks.That’s when it is mighty. On calmer days, it reminds one of its original name: Spanker’s Branch.


8
Nov 17

The beautiful trouble of autumn, Part IV

Two weeks ago I wrote:

It seems like that time of year where you try to catalog the changing of the leaves, because they’re pretty, but because you want them to stay.

So I’m doing that this week, which feels like the peak of the leaf turn. Here are two more examples from campus.

This is the newly renamed Francis Morgan Swain Student Building:

Before women could vote, Francis Morgan Swain was making waves on the IU campus. She lobbied the university for a space meant for female students. She was in school here for two years, from 1889 to 1891. During that time she raised $6,500 from alumni and members of the community — that’s about $200,000 today. Her husband, Joseph, a math professor, was the ninth president of the university. They stayed on to lead the university for nine years. She came back in 1904 for the groundbreaking, laid a cornerstone and she was here again when the building was formally opened in 1906. In September of last year the university rededicated the building in her honor.

And this is the side of our building, Franklin Hall, the brand new 110-year-old, $26 million dollar renovation, featuring all the bells and whistles journalism and broadcast and video game majors and comm scholars could ask for.

My office is somewhere behind that tree.


7
Nov 17

The beautiful trouble of autumn, Part III

About two weeks ago I wrote:

It seems like that time of year where you try to catalog the changing of the leaves, because they’re pretty, but because you want them to stay.

Well, this is most definitely that week. So let’s do that this week, let’s document autumn. These are all on campus, in the Dunn’s Woods, which was a 20-acre tract of land the university purchased in 1883 from Moses Fell Dunn, a local lawyer and landowner:

As the university shifted from its seminary roots to a liberal arts college, it was important to keep the original atmosphere. So campus officials were intent on keeping much of the woods. They used the phrase “preserving the sylvan nature” a lot in their campus plans. Because of that, a walk on campus shows a great abundance of native flora.

That was a good choice.


6
Nov 17

The beautiful trouble of autumn, Part II

About two weeks ago I wrote:

It seems like that time of year where you try to catalog the changing of the leaves, because they’re pretty, but because you want them to stay.

Well, this is most definitely that week. So let’s do that this week, let’s document autumn. These are all on campus, and in the Old Crescent:

Franklin Hall, where I work:

The Rose Well House:

Used to be the big thing, you’d take your date to the Well House and get a kiss at midnight. The fronts and ornamental stone fixtures from the Old College Building were built into this structure in 1907 and 1908. It’s named after Theodore F. Rose, class of 1875, who chaired the project and paid for it in honor of his graduating class. He was a lawyer, but made his money in natural gas, after which he became one of those people who sits on the board of this and is the president of that, including the university’s board of trustees, over which he presided. He died in 1919, while working toward the university’s centennial. I’ve been reading about him in an alumni magazine of that year, an almost-100-year-old magazine. We’re going to celebrate the bicentennial soon, and I have the good fortune to work with some of the people in that office in a very small way. From the other side of the Well House:

In the background, you can see Maxwell Hall, which is an administration building.

The Richardsonian Romanesque-style building was built in 1890 and later named after Dr. David Maxwell, who is considered the father of the university. He was a physician and a lawmaker, and another president of the university board. We’re surrounded by history in the Old Crescent. And beautiful trees, too.