The Curious Case of Our Campus’s Beauty

Kevin Smith, Opinion Editor

New architecture without 90 degree angles, atriums connecting class halls, old buildings under renovations, trees on the quad transforming into their fall form and some massive construction project on something at all times. If you ask the student body for their opinion on the aesthetic appeal of Case Western Reserve University’s campus, you will not get a unified response.

Several magazines haven’t liked what they’ve seen. Complex magazine listed us as one of the ugliest college campuses in the country, at no. 32. “Although renowned for its prestigious engineering and science programs, Case Western doesn’t quite offer the whole package,” Complex wrote. “It was also named one of Princeton Review’s ‘Least Beautiful Campuses,’ following in the trend of technology-centric schools being built in a sterile, Brutalist style. There’s little flavor beyond the cold brick here.”

Ouch. Are we ugly?

Well, yes and no. But mostly no.

The parts of our campus that are considered “ugly” are ones that we celebrate as students. They become part of our subculture here on campus. The “Ugly Statue” is a prime example of CWRU students taking something that outsiders will ridicule, but then turning it into something positive for the community.

CWRU’s campus cannot be described in a single word. There is too much here for that. Are there parts of campus that could be improved to ease the eyes? Of course. I have been around University Circle my whole life and construction is something that has been going on for as long as I can remember, but this is the case all around Cleveland. Without it, something is missing.

With Cleveland Museum of Art, Wade Oval and Wade Lagoon combined with a blend of modern and old architecture styles, I would find it hard to declare this campus one of the ugliest in America.

We do, however, gladly accept the compliments of our science and engineering programs. We’re also looking for recognition in our humanities and social sciences.

KJ is a third year student who wants to make a difference in the city of Cleveland.