Why OU is one of the prettiest campuses in the US

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 February 2019

Welcome back everyone, I hope your semester or quarter is going well so far and that you enjoy our posts on the ambassador blog. Get ready for a virtual tour through the most beautiful campus of the United States of America. You will see that there is a connection between most of the buildings and roads by the famous red brick culture. Throughout this tour, you will also understand why I believe a lot of the American culture more than the Dutch comes down to networking.

Halls
Firstly, I would like to talk about different academic buildings on campus. On West Green, the part where I lived for my freshman and sophomore year, we have a couple of halls but mainly dormitories. The bigger halls are called Stocker Center (engineering), the Academic and Research Center (engineering and health sciences), and Irvine Hall (health sciences).

As shown below, the most remarkable thing about the buildings is the similarity with the European architecture such as classicism. For example, most halls have Doric columns at the entrance or a tympanon on top—the triangular shape of a temple.

Ohio University

Ohio University

Irvine Hall (top) and Stocker Center (bottom)

Another interesting building is by no doubt Baker Center, shown on the picture below and situated at the border of West Green and College Green.

Ohio University

This building contains a lot of offices plus a theater, dining court, restaurant and coffee shop. The most remarkable about this building is the foundation and structure, since it is built along a steep hill! The picture shows the top of Baker Center, 5 floors above the base of the hill.

Furthermore, almost all academic halls have a concrete or steel structure from the inside and a brick wall from the outside. Some of them might be based on masonry bricks only, like the Dutch “schijvenbouw” (= disc construction / traditional unreinforced masonry design), since the university was founded in 1804. This makes it the oldest university in the state of Ohio.

College Green, our next stop, is the oldest part of the campus with the historical gateway shown below.
Ohio University
This gateway is located at the edge of the campus which continues in Court Street, a shopping and bar. At the beginning, Court Street made me think of those typical streets shown in Western cowboy movies, haha. Probably because of some of the facades and green parking meters.

Our tour will continue to South Green and East Green where you will mainly find on-campus housing and dining halls. Notice the arty details here and there:

Ohio University

Ohio University

Dormitories
Secondly, most residential buildings are constructed with timber structures on the inside (HSB in Dutch). The floor plan of my dorm was designed in a way that two rooms are separated by a massive, load-bearing wall on one side and closets and drawers on the other side. This latter wall does not have any acoustic value, so when the air conditioning is switched off, you hear every single word of what your neighbors say, haha.

Luckily, air-conditioning is turned on 24/7 since it gets hot and humid during summer, but also during winter when they switch on the heaters. On the picture below you can see West Green with the typical crossed paths in the center and my old dorm on the left. Notice that you can also see the previously described Stocker Center and Irvine Hall in the background.

Ohio University

Dining Halls
Finally, we will end the virtual tour with the dining halls. Two of them, Nelson Hall and Shively, are located on South Green, but the most delicious dining hall is definitely Boyd Hall on West Green.

Ohio University

These dining halls serve different kinds of food every single day which usually repeats every other week. Most dining halls also have a market, coffee shop, or smoothie bar to get your meal of the day bought by meals on the so called “swipes” or Bobcat ID. By the way, the Bobcat is the mascot of our school.

Most students either have a flex-14 or traditional-20 meal plan. The number stands for the meals per week and flex means that you can use your fourteen meals whenever you want (breakfast, lunch, dinner). The maximum meals a week is twenty because the dining hall does not serve breakfast on Sundays.

Hope you liked our tour and we hope to see you soon at our beautiful campus!

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