Here, Old Main reflects the peaceful, fun loving atmosphere of U of A. People are sitting on the benches, relaxing, hidden away to read their books or sleep, others are walking through the fresh green grass, and some are casually riding along side it. The picture seems almost too perfect with the luscious colors of nature and the happy faces of the people, but for them Old Main is a place of simplicity and peacefulness. Old Main is a space of social gathering; mothers stole their children the grass, men play Frisbee, students sit on the bench near the waterfall. This picture illustrates Old Main as the center of campus. The angle is coming from the street, which leads to the entrance. It’s the fist thing that visitors see upon entering U of A; it’s the first thing one sees everyday because it’s the drop off point for all of the shuttles. For most it is the source of direction, the way they find other buildings on campus by associating it with Old Main; the source of direction. Old Main demonstrates and promotes one of the many societal gatherings on the campus of the University of Arizona, however Old Main is unique in that it’s not always a space of peace.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
At first glance, one might assume that Old Main is a space of coziness, relaxation and peacefulness, due to its older Victorian style house with a rap around porch, the benches and fresh air. Its actually inviting, however, this welcoming picture is perceived differently from those that know the haunted tails of Old Main. One of the reasons why Old Main is considered haunted is because the first building was burned down in a fire and it is marked by death. During the reconstruction of Old Main a man was found dead. This man was in charge of the rebuilding of Old Main, but his body was found on the second floor, he had been murdered and his killer was never found. This tragic story emphasizes the disturbances of Old Main. This reflects the transition of Old Main from a space of education to a space of fear. U of A plays off this new outlook of dread to establish its authority; they use the stigma to promote discipline. For instance, students that are caught in possession of alcohol, they attend Old Main for the consequences. These individuals now associate Old Main with negative attributes and the spookiness of the building accentuates these feelings even more. However, for those students that have not been to Old Main for lack of obedience find that it’s a peaceful place.
This photograph was taken at night; the dark image portrays the creepy essence of Old Main and how it promotes discipline. During the night, Old Main takes the form of a haunted house with the dark trees, murky shadows, creaky wooden floors and loneliness. The majority of people do not know this side of Old Main but those that have been in trouble or know the haunted rumors, view Old Main as a space of fear and emptiness. The omniscient atmosphere creates a space of authority and obedience. At night, Old Main purposefully portrays negative affects and consequences of disobedience in college, in order to invoke fear into past and future offenders to stop the defiance. This image contradicts what Old Main was meant to stand for in 1891; it was intended to promote an area for education and social networking, however today that is not the case. Old Main is now a space of negativity and emptiness with ghostly history.
In 1891, Old main opened its doors and was the first building to house classes for the University of Arizona. There were about 32 students that day and Old Main contained everything for them: classes, rooms for students and staff. It was the heart of the school and that stays true today. Geographically, Old Main is at the center of the campus. On the map of U of A, it illustrates how the college expanded and branched out from Old Main. Today, Old Main is smaller in size because it was rebuilt due to a fire, and its purpose is to house the Dean of Students. Old main looks like a peaceful place with vibrant green grass, crimson brick walls, wide open porches, and surrounded by massive trees. It’s a casual place by day, but at night, old main embodies the atmosphere of a haunted house. However, few notice the spookiness of Old Main because most people relax at Old Main during the day and at night they disregard that the building even exists and if they happen to notice it they walk a little faster. Interpretations of Old Main depend upon the time of day one visits and the individual’s reason for the visit. Old Main is either a place that signifies one of U of A’s relaxation areas or a place that reflects the dreadfulness of U of A.