No. 21--Don Love Memorial Library
The beautiful new library, now North Thirteenth's visual shortstop, will make 1871-1942 students brothers to the pioneer who slept, ate, cooked, played and quarreled in one room. The new edifice has a student lounge, auditorium, social studies reading room, general and humanities reading room and browsing room. Those who did their lounging, their browsing, their studying of the humanities and their date making all in one big room under an uncompromising row of green shaded lights will feel outmoded indeed.
But casting envy aside, this generous gift, one of several from the late Don Love, is a welcome addition to the campus and the city. True, it turns its back on the city as it communes perpetually with its sisters of The Quadrangle--Teachers' college, social sciences and Andrews hall--but it is a slender ribbed, sightly and aristocratic back. Earlier buildings were sardine-packed on a small campus. Later edifices, given space on the avenue, took on social graces. To the north of the quadrangle, Memorial mall forms the center of another group of aristocrats-- Morrill hall, Bessey hall, Memorial stadium and the Coliseum.
The new library is not yet completed. We had wondered if, when the day of occupancy came, the former library would go the way of the old cannon which once stood guard beside it. This cannon, brought to the campus from the fortress of Havana at the end if the Spanish-American war, was dedicated with ceremony as a memorial to Nebraska students who had fought for Cuban freedom. The cannon had stood in Seville in the time of Charles III of Spain.
A few weeks ago the cannon was ignominiously trucked off for scrap, without ceremony or apology. But the library is to remain and will now home the university's extension department.
No. 22--Grant Memorial Hall
That rugged old warrior, Grant Memorial Hall (campus, 12th and S) now resounds to commands no more stirring than a set-up singsong to which coeds stretch muscles and limber joints in accordance with university physical education requirements. It was built, however, for sterner purposes. Once the shuffle and click of guns could be heard within its soldierly exterior as Lt. John Pershing sang out brisk orders to his cadets. The hall was erected in honor of Nebraska's Civil war veterans in 1887, when those veterans were comparatively young men. Pershing was commandant from 1891 to 1895. The military department is now housed in Nebraska hall, a block to the north.
During the university's middle years convocations were held in Grant Memorial. The pipe organ in the west half of the second story came from the Mississippi exposition held in Omaha in 1898. It was a gift from alumni who purchased it for $2,500. For years Carrie Belle Raymond, for whom one of the girls' residence halls is named, played the organ for convocation, Thousands of graduates recall her always smiling face as she sat high above them, fingers hovering over the organ keys.
In Grant Memorial also are housed the U. of N. radio studio and the department of architecture.
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller