Trading Places

Southwestern often calls on selectively its past to authorize its present and future. Many things here become naturalized as if they have always been that way. and always will be that way. That logic plays out in all sorts of normative cultural dynamics on campus, but is most tangibly sensed in the way the main campus buildings look and feel, where even new buildings are made to echo earlier buildings and built of materials like limestone that not only are solid, but communicate solidity. That is a common feature of commemorative landscapes--that they feel fixed and inevitable--but it is also the dominant conception of how place works, where a place is experienced as a scene for action instead of the result of ongoing action to make it into and maintain it and contest it as a place.

One way to critically engage this phenomenon is to study the history of the way buildings come and go , especially the way buildings have moved around on campus and taken on different purposes over time. Sometimes, even buildings made of stone move around.

The Korouva Milk Bar was an exclusively student-run café and organization that opened in 1994 and closed its doors in 2020 as part of the initial COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. As of this writing, in May 2023, it has not re-opened, though plans are in motion to resurrect it in a different location on the east side of campus in the near future.
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In May, 2023, when the Placing Memory project began, Korouva Milk Bar was located in the Field House on the western edge of campus in a state of limbo, a relic from a lost time. Korouva was an exclusively student-run café and organization that opened in 1994 and closed its doors in March 2020 as part of the initial COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and had sat there frozen in time ever since.
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This building located at 1005 Maple Street on the west side of the Southwestern University campus is officially known as the “Old Field House.'' It is an unassuming and plain-looking building that many students pass by every day. Students may not know that the structure is one of the oldest on campus with many different stories contained within its walls.
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Griffith House (also referred to as ‘the White House’) was the first president’s home on campus. The building was bought by Southwestern after the Ladies Annex fire in 1925. At the time, President Barcus and Mrs. Barcus were living on the first floor of Snyder Hall, an on-campus house serving as a…
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