I was badly stumped by a photo for the better part of this afternoon. I came across it in a folder labeled “General Campus Scenes,” a not particularly helpful designation. All the other pictures in the file were instantly recognizable but very bland images of Lovett Hall, the main quad, and so forth, some with students, some without. They can legitimately be called “general campus scenes.” This one, though, I’d be willing to bet wound up in this folder not because it’s “general” but because no one could figure out what it was.
Of course, the first thing you notice is the snow. That’s why someone was wandering around taking pictures like this in the first place. But otherwise, this is a strange view. You can see three buildings through the gate and the trees, two relatively modern looking and one obviously quite old. Looking at it, I had the sensation that something was badly out of kilter. After staring at it for a while and enjoying a couple of consultations with campus experts, I think I get it now. What got me squared away was the gate itself. I knew I’d seen that particular ironwork somewhere before:
That’s the original terrace railing, now inside the Main Dining room of Cohen House. So this must be inside the walled garden, looking out across what’s a parking lot today. The buildings visible along the side are the back of Allen Center and the old part of Baker. The one directly across the trees is the 1955 wing of Baker. Right?
I’m still a bit uneasy about this because I don’t quite understand the sequence of events at Cohen House that led to the creation of that view. The garden was originally enclosed by a hedge. Here it is in a side view from probably sometime in the 1940s:
The wall was added in 1960, after the 1959 Lloyd and Morgan addition enclosed the old terrace. This gate must have been put in then. I’ll see if I can figure this out tomorrow. Also, I didn’t have time to go look but I don’t think it’s there anymore. If not, then when did it disappear? Hmmmm.