The slow death of Eshleman Hall

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After months of sitting and gathering mounds of dust that would make your dryer lint look like a mere speck, the emptied hull formerly known as Eshleman Hall is now ready to be brought down to the ground.

Upon returning for the spring semester in the waning days of January, students — likely irritated at the sight — beheld the gigantic blocked-off section that spanned the lower edge of campus. The building, vacant for a matter of months, was preparing for its own destruction — one that would give rise to a greater entity. Being dangerously inclined to damage and potential collapse by earthquakes in an earthquake-prone state like California was reason enough to clear the entire seven-story behemoth, taking the other facilities in Lower Sproul along with it. Many had looks of fear upon encountering the empty student store, and even more suffered from tired legs as they had to circumvent the forbidden sidewalks and walkways. Naturally, they’ll be glad to know that the rebuilding effort is finally under way … and is projected to be finished within the small time-frame of approximately two and a half years.

Though the buildup to the building’s descent to a pile of rubble has been exceedingly slow and faulty in visual progress, it has been chronicled rather well, as you can see on the plaza’s official website. The entire process is condensed into a mere 48 seconds: a time-lapse video during which you’ll likely doze off. There’s also a webcam view that gives you a good seat to see the action — or lack thereof. If you happen to be interested in the goings-on of the building in any of the last five months, you can navigate a calendar to see how astonishingly similar the building looks to its present form. Alternatively, you can count the number of days it rained on campus or try to see if you can spot a friend on his stroll through Lower Sproul.

A better option is to let your eyes feast upon the slideshow playing at the top of the page, which has futuristic-looking drawings of the facility. Though we won’t have the satisfying boom of explosions that would expedite the project and make it livelier, we can all look forward to reconcentrating all the scattered offices and facilities into the main hub of campus and gazing onto the cool new colors or technology. It’s a tough thought that most of us will have to do it as alumni.

Image source: Alan Cordova under Creative Commons

Contact Uday Mehta at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @mehtakid.

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