Creativity and craftsmanship are the overarching themes presented in the newly renovated first floor of the Jessie Ball duPont library. University administrators spared no expense on its design, calling upon Michael Lutzwhizowski to act as head designer. Lutzwhizowski is noted as the original architect of the New York LaGuardia airport, and likenesses between the new renovation and the world famous airport are ubiquitous.
One may note the new ‘low maintenance’ carpet that has been installed throughout the space, identical to that found in LaGuardia’s Delta C terminal. Similarly, the furniture hales from the same company that furnished this internationally renowned terminal. When sitting on the new ergonomic “round sofa” or the spaceship-like “swivel chair,” one will experience tranquility once found only in a loud and overcrowded terminal while waiting on an overbooked Southwest Airline flight. Other considerations examined by Lutzwhizowski include an apparent lack of easily reached power outlets, which is a design staple of modern civil architecture.
Students seem to share the administration’s enthusiasm about the project. Bruce ‘Buckeye’ Jones (C ’18) explained, “I really appreciate the privacy ‘pods’ that have been built into the corners of the main floor. It is nice to be able to get away from my suite and roommate and know I have a safe place to get some isolation. If I feel the need to ‘choke the bishop’, I am happy to know I will not be bothered.” Jones failed to clarify what ‘choking the bishop’ meant, but it is assumed that it is a millennial euphemism for prayer in solitude and silence.
Another student, Megan “Trixy” Greenbaum (C’20), said, “I appreciate the particularly tall computer desks, and it makes it a whole lot easier to study when you are sitting on a four-foot-tall bar-stool.” She elaborated, “I don’t think it’s inconvenient to have to get out of your chair whenever you mistakenly drop your pencil or phone on the floor or need to get something out of your backpack.”
Some critics have called the renovation “lackluster and uninspired,” but from this journalist’s point of view I couldn’t imagine where such a claim could find grounding. To the administration and Vice-Chancellor, I say “good job.”