Happy 2012! 2011 flew by as did break and things at the college are going strong. We just completed our first week back to classes, clubs, and work here in the purple bubble. While break was pretty snowless, it’s beginning to look like winter! We had our first snowfall- a whole two or so inches but it’s a start!
The first weekend back on campus had a special treat. The Gold Keys on campus got a tour of Cowles Hall! It seems like it has been under construction for a while so it was neat to get an update on how things are going. On all of the tours that are given, we walk (backwards of course) past the purple scaffolding and talk about the history of the college. It was so weird to be on the other side of the fence and walk of the stairs of the entrance.
Our tour began on the first floor where there were some offices and two parlors with fireplaces, which is where Admissions used to be. There are some seminar rooms as well and bathrooms to match the purple and gold extravaganza ones in Meier Hall. In the middle of the first floor is the home of Remembrance Hall in honor of our first president, Augustus Cowles. There will be a statue to honor him that will be 9 feet tall and has the perfect home in the octagon. Next up was the Chapel and it is beautiful! All of the wood work, stained class, and details are spectacular. The first wedding is even on the books for this summer. For weddings and other events, there is a kitchen and a bridal dressing room. Down on the lower level is the home of the Cowles Bin, the hang out spot to many alumni. It will be neat to be there when it’s finished!
One of the most amazing parts of the tour was seeing a lot of the original brickwork still there. It’s nice that the construction workers and architects could preserve so much of Elmira’s honored history while still keeping the building safe and structurally sound, with purple steel beams of course. We hiked all over the building and even ventured up to the highest point in Elmira, the belvedere on Cowles, which is 85 feet above ground. That octagon has been there for what seems like forever. It was crazy to be inside of it! A while back the college community gathered and signed the last two beams to complete the belvedere. Well I can assure you that they made it there safely and the signatures can be seen. Here are some pictures of the construction!