Sounding Off: North Campus Architecture



The construction of the NCAs and the new Health Center on campus marks a new period in Kenyon’s architectural history. Moving away from the gothic style that marks much of south campus, the new construction on north campus is characterized by a uniformity that verges on the cookie-cutter style of suburbia. Is the college losing its character, or is this change for the better? Tell us how you feel in the comments!

Claire: So I kind of like the new, suburban-style housing on North campus. It’s kind of like when you move from South to North, you’re moving in time from Kenyon’s beginning up to the 21st century.

Annaliese: It makes me feel like oatmeal. A lot like oatmeal.

Claire: I’m not entirely sure what you’re going with there Annaliese, but I can assure you that I like the idea of eating some delicious and warm oatmeal while in my sunny NCA kitchen.

Annaliese: But it’s like the kind that lacks brown sugar. And who wants to eat that? Let alone live in that?

Claire: Thankfully, then, the NCAs are not actually made of oatmeal. They’re probably much more weather-resistant.

Annaliese: True. But the NCAs and the new health center are all too reminiscent of my suburban childhood. Which was not fun.

Claire: Then it’s probably good that they’re moving the Health Center to a more central location. You can work out your anti-suburban feelings there.

Annaliese: But what if I have suburba-phobia? Then I’ll never make it to the Health Center.

Claire: Firstly, the Peer Counselor phone/house is always an option. Secondly, I think we’ve gotten a bit off-topic.

Annaliese: Yes, good call. What we do need to discuss is Graham Gund’s mission to take over the world. Err, the Hill.

Claire: I think I’m okay with it but I’m not sure I’m okay with his dislike of clocks.

Annaliese: What do you suggest?

Claire: If you don’t like suburbs, and I like clocks, we could knock down the entire North Campus and replace it with clock towers that we can all live in.

Annaliese: But could they be built in a timely fashion?

Claire: I think we need to end here.

15 responses

  1. I’m a fan of Graham Gund in theory and aesthetics but I AM NOT a fan of the fact that he hates clocks, he hates windows that open. So he builds buildings. with windows. that don’t. open. That’s just a fire hazard, among many other things (i.e. stupid).

  2. Well, that was dumb.
    But, in all seriousness, this could have been a really constructive and interesting article about a real issue on this campus, but unfortunately it was made into a farce instead.

  3. McBride, Mather, Caples and Gund Commons remind me of Soviet era housing projects- the grey concrete and imposing grotesqueness stands in stark contrast to the beautiful Gothic Revival architecture of South Campus.

    • Clearly you need to become more familiar with Soviet-era housing projects. In my mind at least, they’re not similar at all. I mean sure, they’re all kinda depressing, but that doesn’t automatically make them alike. Caples is the closest I think, I could see that comparison.

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  5. They should have built a North Campus quad in a similar model as South campus, with Bexley serving as the Old Kenyon of the North. With two dorms flanking either side, middle path would be buzzing in its entirety — i.e, past the mcrbride –> frosh quad crossing point —
    creating a more complete campus, one that is capped on either end by a large student dormitory.

    Requiring no additionally tree-planting or path-creating, this would have created the so-desperately-strived-for sense of community with much greater ease than the oddly-dispensed, strangely imposing , and altogether uniform NCAs have.

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