The Hateful Eight: Etcheverry Hall
Welcome back to Hate Week! This is turning more into a metaphorical week than an actual calendar one, but the hate is still going strong. Today let’s focus on a more tangible target of wrath, a building which epitomizes the worst in all of us and brings it out one uphill step at a time. That’s right, it’s Etcheverry Hall.
Etch is undeniably one of the most ugly buildings on campus, with an outer sheen that’s the color of the baby of a half-Black guy and a mixed Indian-American / American-Indian girl. The bricks have the radiance of a molehill that’s been dragged up a mountain to be compacted into rectangles in the midst of a blizzard, while the balcony beams resemble wood that a beaver’s eaten and then passed out concurrently with a kidney stone. With such a disgusting exterior, you may be fooled into thinking that its true beauty lies on the inside. But alas, even two steps in, you’d be disappointed at seeing the terrible layout with a single long hall with uninspiring chalkboard-laden classrooms inside (seriously, there’s no excuse for the world to not be using whiteboards at this point) that must have been designed by a piss-drunk architect. Speaking of pissing, you’d be hard pressed to find the guys’ bathroom, because it’s a full minute’s walk away from the girls’ which is right next to the entrance. And while the notion of being outdated, badly tanned, and without direction may speak to you on a personal level, the true tragedy is that like you, this building could have been so much more.
True story: when Etch was nothing but a demolition man’s wet dream, the original design was for a building that was much nicer – that is, one that wasn’t apparently the brother of Scott Walker. Upon taking the plan to the regents for approval, they thought it looked a bit too good, and were worried that the public would view it as a lavish and unnecessary expense. So they fired the guy for doing too well (that part actually isn’t true, but hey, it’s what I would have done if I were unreasonable and short-sighted) and commissioned the limp dick of a monument we see today.
Collectively, it’s so bad, that it’s been relegated to a spot off-campus, right across the street from campus’ north border. Its role as the nuclear engineering building, coupled with the fact that it’s one of the furthest buildings from my apartment at a 12.43 minute distance, really makes it tempting to drive to class sometimes. The only shred of credibility it once had was when it housed a nuclear reactor – which was of course decommissioned in the ‘80s, only to leave a void of poor cell reception and a bunch of smaller, less cool projects in its wake.
Here’s to secretly hoping that it’s structurally unsound enough to be torn down soon. Or that it’s not all that resistant to spray paint.