Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tulane University at New Orleans

Across the street from the beautiful and venerable Loyola Univerisity New Orleans, is the beautiful and venerable Tulane University, founded 1834.

Tulane is one of the elite research universities in
the United States. The Tulane Cancer Center and the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy are only two examples. Aging studies is another.

There are lots of interesting things on the walls of both universities. I'm not sure what they all are.


  1. It may not be quite the same problem in your country but in ours may universities are in cities where space is at a premium. It becomes very difficult to continue to be both beautiful and provide good research facilities. If you preserve the beautiful old buildings, you have to build new elsewhere. Buying up properties surrounding the university has become the norm for many, and tends to stir up divisions between town and gown.

  2. You have highlighted one of the things I've noticed and regretted in universities, the mixing of older and gorgeous architecture with newer (and frequently hideous) architecture.

  3. Is the street between them a tu-lane highway?

  4. Isn't it strange to have two universities facing each other across the street?
    Why not amalgamate and become one establishment, and do away with all the duplicated costs?

    Yes, I know why. Because each university is itself a microcosm, a small nation, or a city-state, in which people jostle for power, recognition and wealth.
    I'll also hazard a guess that students and faculty of these two institutions each speak scathingly of the other, and exist in a state of symbolic mutual belligerence.
    It's mediaeval.

  5. In Britain, we had a multi-tiered education system, where there were Universities, and Polytechnic Colleges.
    Polys, as they were called, tended to concentrate on vocational courses, applied skills, and had a less rigorous requirement for entry, Their courses resulted in Diplomas. Universities were more elitist and had a higher bar for entry, their courses resulted in degrees, and they concentrated on "pure" as opposed to "applied" subjects
    Example... A Polytechnic might run a course in metal-founding... Whereas the University taught Metallurgy.
    No real university would consider running a course in "media studies" or "aromatherapy", whereas a Poly would.

    About twenty years ago, a change came, and Polytechnics were allowed to apply to become registered as universities, and award degrees. This required major revisions and vast costs. Their Admin people, for instance, all required new offices and bigger cars. The logos and letterheads needed to be redesigned... Lecturers might claim the sobriquet "professor".
    And we ended up with, for instance, in my town.. Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University.
    They sit cheek by jowl, and compete.
    In general, in all places where this has occurred, the older university is the more highly regarded, I have no idea of their real comparative merits.

  6. @A. - Most of our older universities were constructed at a time when land was more plentiful and they started the original campus with much land, and generally on what was then the edge of town. Then, like yours, the towns grew larger and larger, surrounding the Universities and making them end up being "downtown". Universities usually invest in land though, and once their original land began to be overbuilt, they simply began building on sub-campuses. For example, the sports complex is often (not always of course) located on sometimes distant pieces of land, and similarly their research hospitals and so forth. With their alumni support and endowments, many universities don't really have money problems when it comes to land acquisition and building. But the exact same is true in the UK, of course. As for existing landowners complaining, the are easily bought off or simply quashed (since any university worth its salt will stock its board of regents heavily with Governors and congressmen.)

  7. @Stephanie B, No university thinks their new buildings are hideous. They are simply liberal institutions who want to encourage free thinking architects. They think they are hip and with it, not hideous. :)

    I think they are often hideous.

    Of course it would be rather difficult to build new additions that match since all the stone tradesmen have died. Perhaps we could import some from China. :)

    Or, better yet, raze all those old buildings and replace them with total hideousness. :)

  8. @Soubriquet - 2-lane only on the one side. If you think it is strange to have universities facing each other, you should see some of the ones with their backs to each other. I think New Orleans probably just zones that area for universities. :) U-2. :)

    You wax dream-like: who would attend a university named Loyolane? Or TuOla? You're mad. Universities were not put on earth to be efficient, only to name libraries after big doners.

    It used to be the same in our institutions of higher learning: the professions were separated from the trade schools. But now they all just try to teach our high school graduates to read.

    It's not like any of them are going to get a job anyway, right?

  9. I live in a suburb of Buffalo and we have some great architecture in the area however, new construction isn't usually worth discussing...

    Dorothy from grammology

  10. I'm afraid I'm still bitter about my own alma mater, the University of Oklahoma (don't laugh - ranked fifth in the nation for Engineering Physics, my degree). OU had some gorgeous old architecture. Unfortunately, many of the most beautiful buildings (the library, the music building) were in terrible repair inside. The Physics building (beautiful but in good repair) and a few others were still gorgeous and in decent repair inside.

    The library, which was truly beautiful, had a gorgeous long hall for reading and lovely old windows, including some beautiful windows. Except for the hall, however, all the rest of the old library had the floors cut in halves (or in quarters) to make stacks, cramped and lifeless with the windows blacked out on the inside.

    Next to this beautiful and venerable building, they constructed a hideous monstrosity, the "new" library.


  11. Hello dorothy. I don't really know what they can do when they need additional space. But the clash of architectural designs is really sad sometimes. Thank you for stopping by.

    @Stephanie B - I would never laugh or disparage OU. But I would point it out as an example (among hundreds) of a school that spends more money on athletics than scholastics. I know, that's not a big surprise.



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