Up on the Roof

I was up on the roof of the architecture building earlier this week and it got me thinking about the large number of pictures we’ve seen that were taken by people up on the roof of one campus building or another.

But what you don’t see quite so often is photos of people actually up there on the roof. There are some, though, and they fall into several categories. First–and I can’t recall too many of these–there are people fooling around. I suspect that most people who are up there fooling around don’t want to be seen.


Second, there are people working. I fall into this category, at least most of the time, although I have been known to fool around just a little bit.


Residence Halls(Commons and South) July 1912 Construction

And finally (and most interesting) there are security guys for big events. This image is from Putin’s visit in 2001 :


And this one is from the Economic summit in 1990:


Economic summit roof 049

Bonus: An early arriving reader sends a photo from this glorious morning.


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11 Responses to Up on the Roof

  1. loki_the_bubba says:

    We used to go onto the roof of Lovett College with some regularity. Most would just pop open the locked door and use the stairs. Some fools would just go over the grating and up the outside.

    • arenson9 says:

      Yup. Was disappointed when Lovett added the extra doors on the stairwells w/ card readers. Alums could no longer get to the roof.

  2. Owlcop says:

    I try to avoid using the word “fall” and “roof” in the same sentence.

  3. I shot photos of graduation from the top of Sewell. Those would be in a Campanile sometime from 1977 to 1980. I’d check, but mine are the closed stacks (a box in the garage).

    Nothing was locked, we just went up there.

    One of the other photographers probably took a photo of me from the ground, but I doubt that is in the Campanile.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      I’d love a tour of your garage!

      • A chunk of our garage is headed for the Woodson. My wife is counting the days.

        I have three years of Thresher photos. I do want to scan some of the negatives myself, which is the one of the reasons they are still here.

        Luckily, average California weather is pretty close to archival standards. Most of the proof sheets were stabilization processed, which meant they had residual fixer, a very bad thing. About ten years ago, I ran those through the last half of the traditional photo process: fix, wash, hypo wash (neutralizes residual fixer), and final wash. But now I have a few hundred sets of negatives and a few hundred proof sheets, uncorrelated. I feel like I should match those up before I send them over.

    • Deborah Gronke Bennett BSEE Hanszen 1982 says:

      I have the Campaniles from those years in my living room. You only have to reach around a few spinning wheels to get to them.

  4. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    In your first pic, the man in the black suit resembles “Buster” Keaton.

  5. Erik Asphaug says:

    I used to crawl out of my 4th floor dorm room window out onto the roof of Hanszen. In retrospect this is not recommended!

    • My son did exactly the same thing his freshman year at Willamette University. That was just five years ago. But 3rd floor Matthews is next to a flat roof, which is probably nicer than Hanszen.

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