Rooms with a View -- to Studying

This fall students came back to find two new 24-hour study centers at the core of campus.

One is the renovated Rosengarten Study Center in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (below, right), which had its ceremonial opening last Thursday. The other--already in use around-the-clock, too--is the Silfen Student Study Center of Perelman Quad. Its ribbon will be cut Tuesday, September 21, at 2 p.m.

Named for its donors--Trustee David Silfen and his wife, Lyn--the $2 million Silfen Center is a glass-walled, light-filled space on the north side of Williams Hall,where it acts as a beacon at night. Designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, it has a wired study lounge (left) that seats 50; a café (above) open weekdays 7:30 a.m. to midnight; a meeting room; and a lobby (right) connecting it to Williams. On a lower level are the PSA offices and retail store; two meeting rooms; and two activities suites serving 14 student groups.-- M.F.M.  



'We Lost': A Tale of Two Sculptures

The curiously-named sculpture wheeled away from Locust Walk this summer bore with it a Penn "urban legend" of sorts. Unveiled in 1966 at an ICA-Wadsworth Athenaeum show in Hartford, the giant open cube had already been given the name We Lost by its creator, in oblique homage to a piece that he and his fabricator had abandoned when they couldn't solve a design problem. But, by the time Penn bought and installed the Tony Smith sculpture in 1975, a lot had happened to bring war to the forefront of Penn minds. One campus protest ended with the agreement to put a peace symbol on College Green. And the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam. By the end of the 'seventies these stories had become woven together so that newcomers were routinely told that We Lost was a memorial to the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, erected by alumni of the protest era. But the protestors' memorial, installed after the 1970 Moratorium, is not the sculpture that moved away this summer. It is David Linquist's Peace Symbol, the bas relief outside Van Pelt/Dietrich that serves as a backdrop for speeches still.--K.C.G.

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 3, September 14, 1999