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Ryan Bremer

The Art Building is So Weird: Looking at Bucknell's Evolving Footprint

Ryan Bremer ’22

Faculty Mentor(s):
Claire Campbell, History
Funding Source:
The Katherine Mabis McKenna Environmental Internship Program

This research projects uses landmark flood events—1936, 1946, 1972—as guides to track the evolution of Bucknell’s campus footprint. Over this span, there has been a noticeable shift away from the Susquehanna River and towards Route 15 as the orienteer of campus. There is practicality to this shift, of course, as a majority (if not all) of Bucknell visitors arrive from the highway; however, symbolically, it shows the desire for more land and expanse. In the literature and sources leading up to the university’s 1946 centennial, there was a palpable sense of expanding outwards, and a desire to see how far the campus could evolve. As the bicentennial approaches within the next few decades, a similar prudently bold strategy seems to be emerging. The construction of Holmes Hall has made the Art Building obsolete, but also recently-constructed Academic East and Academic West have shown the direction in which the university’s orientation is trending. This physical restructuring demonstrates newer ideological ambitions of the University.

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