I read through classmate Karen C’s blog.

I first wanted to answer her question, “Have you been to Rogers Park?” I would answer, “I haven’t” and the entry would be done. I didn’t know where to go with that. I’ve heard many things about the place, and that it’s right next to Andersonville, one of the city’s major gay ‘hoods. I think there’re some great bakeries up there, and there’s a Metra stop. It’s going on my never ending list of places to visit – it even has the benefit of being extremely easy to get to. My bike job will probably take me there soon.

Now I will be responding to her post, “UIC development. Blog 27.”

She included a picture taken from the second level of the Student Center East looking west onto the lecture center and I guess what you would call our “university quad.” To digress briefly: does every university have a quad or is that some movie gimmick featured at Ivy League schools?

Her point is that UIC’s buildings are nothing to look at or pay attention to, and in fact make you want to turn away. The lecture centers have a neutrally-appealing design – they aren’t horrible, but they still aren’t inviting. Prominent in the photo’s background is the UIC Daley Library. It’s one of the larger buildings that shares the Sovietesque, monolithic design seen everywhere on campus (University Hall and Science and Engineering Labs being the other two).

The lecture centers could be improved by removing every other column and hanging ivy or some greenery from the roofs. The library is a different story. It also suffers from an outdated and non-functional lobby design as well as an entrance plaza. The plaza should be removed and made smaller. More trees and planters should be added to divert our eyes away from the building. The lobby should be redesigned to better funnel people where they need to go. Putting aside the exterior design, the internal spaces of the library are very confusing and do not lead people to their destination. Most things students need in this library are not on the first floor and there is one tinny escalator whisking people up and dropping them into the middle of a study and research area. Elevators are out of the way and finding bathrooms might take a few mistakes to find the right one.

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