Rand Zacharias is co-author of the upcoming "Graceland is closed on Tuesdays," which
features the campus in a major part of the plot. He went to the school for several years and has this to say about the place and preceding pictures.
"The houses were dorms for the students. They were not co-ed dorms. The spanish style
next to the modern male dorm (Grove Terrace, it was called) was a female dorm the next
one up was a male dorm and then another female dorm, but even this changed as time
required. Some of these long buildings were used for married couples in the summer,
"The spinning dove fountain was installed in the mid-80s about the time of Armstrong's
death. The stream that runs down through that section of campus...and the stair and
patio system cost millions and after they were done they realized they had forgotten to
have a lighting system installed. The architect was paid 1.2 million, reportedly, and
he forgot to have a lighting blueprint drawn up.
"The entire campus is a marvel of human passion for excellence. Armstrong was a very
small man...about 5'6" tall...and many theorize that his great ambition for success
drove him to religion, but the resulting pain that he caused in preaching as "God's
Apostle" is a very strange story. A real Citizen Kane. I was very fortunate to look at
the experience as golden, but some of the human drama that occurred here is enough to
make one step back and just enjoy life...let God preach his own gospel. Absolute Power
corrupts absolutely goes the cliche.
"I believe the Tudor-style which you refer to as "gryffindor" is the Mayfair House.
This was a women's dorm, but when the college originally opened in 1947 classes were
taught in this building. I've never been in the Mayfair building as it was very
strictly guarded and males weren't allowed entry but under auspicious or ceremonious
"The "see through" Spanish Mansion that you have a shot of with the pond in the backyard
was also a women's dorm, it is located next to the white Merritt House.
"The awkward brown beehive buildings by the "Bushman" sculpture were classroom
auditoriums with smaller classes taking place upstairs. They were built in the 70s and
were very modern.
"The Auditorium is the real showcase on the campus, but we weren't allowed entry when we
tried touring the campus. The grassy areas that exist now were not there but for the
grassy plain behind the indoor pool. These areas were covered in Diachondra...a fragile
clover type ground covering that required huge amounts of water and tending. The grass
is there now so people can walk on it.
"The Hall of Administration was the beehive three story next to the Solomonic Auditorium
down by the egret fountain, while the Cafeteria was the building paralleling the Hall of
Administration...a very active cafeteria that put out thousands of meals a day. In
January all I saw were files and files with "Archives" written on the sides of the
thousands of stacked boxes in the old cafeteria. This was once the center for student
activity and interaction, as was the track behind it. Dwight Stones use to jump every
week in the 80s because the place was so beautiful...Stones was a high jumper in the
Olympics...if you remember.
"I don't know if you got into the Hall of Administration, but inside are artifacts given
to Armstrong by Queen Sirikit of Thailand, a timepiece from Haile Selassi of Ethiopia,
along with several gifts of inestimable value that Armstrong received during his world
tours to world leaders."
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