There’s an app for that: Brown Facades

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You probably didn’t read about this app in the Herald last week, but here is BlogDailyHerald’s official endorsement of Professor Dietrich Neumann’s pet tech project. Way back in the fall in 2011, Neumann taught an undergraduate research seminar in which students collected information about our very own beloved (and in the case of SciLi, tolerated) Brown buildings. The app contains historical and architectural factoids about 131 buildings on campus, and this adorable map that has emoji-like images categorizing said buildings.

It is actually very exciting to be able to answer questions as ubiquitously asked as “Why is the SciLi so ugly?” Apparently, the building was designed in the “Brutalist” architectural style, popular in the 1960s and 70s. It’s just representative of yet another bad trend of decades past, like a picture of your mom and all her friends with ill-suited perms aplenty. Fun fact: the architects actually suggested building the library in pink marble, just so it’d be slightly cuter, but of course the corporation rejected the idea. Bureaucracy!!

Other aha moments:

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Ra Ra Brunonia: Gates

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Who’s down to learn about some gates?! After another brief hiatus, Ra Ra Brunonia is back and better than ever (yes, I have said this before!)! As a member of the Ivy League, Brown is forced to conform to a strict gate policy: in order to proceed onto a grass-covered quadrangle, a student must walk through/beneath a gate. This policy is strictly enforced, as evidenced by this…and this…and this.

Let me just establish this up front: Brown loves gates. We walk through the Van Wickle Gates during our first week on campus, we run through the John Nicholas Brown gate when late to our American Legal and Constitutional History lecture, we even have an eatery explicitly named The Gate. Gates are to Brown as Gail is to the Ratty; you absolutely cannot separate the two.

We begin with the most regal of gates at Brown—The Van Wickle Gates. Located at the top of College Street, the Van Wickle Gate has been a staple of the Brown campus since 1901. Named after Augustus Stout Van Wickle, who was incidentally killed in a skeet shooting accident (Ed.-seriously?), the Van Wickle Gates are only fully opened twice a year: towards campus during Convocation and towards downtown Providence during Commencement. It is traditional that seniors doff their caps as the pass beneath the Van Wickle Gates after graduation. As a side note, Augustus Stout Van Wickle also donated a fence and gate to Princeton University—the man truly loved gates.  Continue Reading