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Hating the Ohio Union

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Hating the Ohio Union

This topic contains 150 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  John McCollum 3 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 151 total)
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  • #80925

    John McCollum
    Participant

    Given the hoopla surrounding today’s grand opening of The Ohio State University’s new student union, one might be tempted to believe that the occasion is one for celebration. It’s not.

    The construction of the Ohio Union represents a missed opportunity of gargantuan proportions for the university and for the city as a whole.

    It’s not just that the building is bad (it is). It’s just that this building could have been so much more. The Ohio State University is the nation’s largest institution of higher learning. It is also Columbus, Ohio’s most valuable civic asset. The site of the Ohio Union was one of the only remaining pieces of High Street canvas upon which we could have painted something important, something magnificent.

    And we’ve failed. Magnificently.

    My objections to the new building are not rooted in nostalgia for the old one. Hardly. The previous Ohio Union was a dog. Even the well-lit areas somehow felt dark and musty by the time I entered Ohio State in 1990. The old union had to go.

    When I heard of the plan to replace the union, I was elated. Finally, Ohio State could build something of a stature and significance appropriate for one of the nation’s leading universities. Instead, we got a torpid behemoth that looks like the headquarters of an insurance company sprawling lazily beside an outerbelt offramp.

    Imagine the impact of a student union that captured the rippling energy and soaring imagination of a vibrant, modern university – something that made a statement other than “I was designed by bureaucrats and ‘student input committees.’”

    Imagine something like http://bit.ly/tcKBT or http://bit.ly/dp9DYF or http://bit.ly/aqP0mj or this http://bit.ly/d3Vs89 or even this http://bit.ly/ctVxby.

    Let’s do something daring. Something controversial! Something iconic.

    But please, oh please, let’s not make an uninspired and uninspiring turd like http://giveto.osu.edu/images/183/story.jpg.

    Oh. Wait. That’s what we got.

    And we’re stuck with it for, what? Seventy years?

    This is the last thing Columbus – a town with a history of tearing down and leaving fallow extraordinary architectural sites – needs.

    Dr. Gee, you’re dead to me.

    #357339

    LBOWACC
    Member

    You posted a bunch of pictures of museums and athletic facilities. Post a picture of a student union, you like better? If you are into athletic facilities what about osu’s?

    Really your bitching makes no sense. I think you are bitching to bitch.

    #357340

    John McCollum
    Participant

    I posted iconic campus architecture. I LOVE the architecture of the RPAC building. And the Knowlton and the Wex.

    If we’d come up with something as interesting as the building you showed (which I linked to, by the way) I’d have been ecstatic.

    #357341

    DCist
    Member

    I disagree about the sentiment, but I do agree with the overall distaste of the Union. I am a current (about to be alumni) student of OSU and I find it quite distasteful that OSU keeps putting up these buildings and raising FEES while claiming that they are not raising tuition. OSU is one of the most expensive public colleges of its level and the fees are astronomical. Now they want to raise tuition and fees 6.5% to pay for all this construction? I would be OK with that if the streets didnt still flood at the mere threat of rain…

    #357342

    LBOWACC
    Member

    YOU LOVE, are the key words. I love them too, but I really don’t know about having the Union be an ultra modern building. The building is conservative as is osu. It is a perfect fit for the school.

    #357343

    John McCollum
    Participant

    I have no opinions on the funding model. But if the building had to be rebuilt, why did it have to be so unbelievably boring?

    #357344

    LBOWACC
    Member

    I do not believe OSU is that expensive of a university. I graduated with 17k in debt, while my brother graduated with the same degree f rom another university with 80k in debt, and a job that paid 20k a year less.

    #357345

    John McCollum
    Participant

    LBOWACC, Okay. So let’s not do something modern. I don’t care if it’s neo-Classical. But do it right.

    But what we built was standard, run-of-the-mill corporate HQ crap.

    Go big or go home, I say.

    #357346
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    More photos here:

    The New Ohio Union Opens on March 29th

    I’m not a student, so I won’t really be spending anytime there, but it does look an awful lot like it belongs in the Arena District.

    #357347

    Wickham
    Member

    I am a student and on campus today I saw the protesters against the union with signs that read “We demand a better design”. I understand if you have distaste for it but I just had to shake my head and laugh. I really don’t see the benefit of protesting the design of a building at its grand opening??? Shouldn’t those voices have been spoken during the designing process and not after its completion??? Maybe I have things backwards here but that’s my two cents.

    #357348

    LBOWACC
    Member

    Walker wrote >>
    More photos here:
    http://www.columbusunderground.com/the-new-ohio-union-opens-on-march-29th
    I’m not a student, so I won’t really be spending anytime there, but it does look an awful lot like it belongs in the Arena District.

    Then I guess the fisher college of business should be too along with the math building,and the physics building.

    #357349

    Wickham
    Member

    LBOWACC wrote >>

    Walker wrote >>
    More photos here:
    http://www.columbusunderground.com/the-new-ohio-union-opens-on-march-29th
    I’m not a student, so I won’t really be spending anytime there, but it does look an awful lot like it belongs in the Arena District.

    Then I guess the fisher college of business should be too along with the math building,and the physics building.

    I agree with that and think it has similarities to the Arena District but also fits in with OSU buildings. After all, OSU buildings don’t have any set particular design as they are all different. Except the whole Fisher complex of course.

    #357350

    John McCollum
    Participant

    Wickham, of course they can’t change it now. So I’m not protesting or demanding any changes. I’m just expressing my opinion that the building sucks.

    #357351

    Wickham
    Member

    John McCollum wrote >>
    Wickham, of course they can’t change it now. So I’m not protesting or demanding any changes. I’m just expressing my opinion that the building sucks.

    Well I have to ask then if you know if they did allow any input from the student body during the design phase? There did seem to be quite a few of you out there so I was wondering if any of you were able to speak up before hand and if you guys were just ignored?

    #357352

    I agree that the external design is uninspired.

    The interior–which may be irrelevant to the original poster’s disappointment–is impressive.

    But this building fits in well with the other bizarre piece of architecture on OSU’s High Street corridor: Moritz College of Law.

    That said, this by no means is indicative of a failure of leadership by Dr. Gee. Indeed, the design and planning began in 2002, and was approved by the Board in 2004, 3 years before Gee had returned to campus as its president.

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