Campus Projects That Never Came to Be

 

What if Clemson’s campus had a section of restored colonial buildings and farms? How different would campus be with a Center for Visual Arts, connected by a pedestrian bridge to the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts? What happened to plans for a campus parking deck?

Answers to these questions and more can be found in Unbuilt Clemson, a new book by Dennis Taylor, librarian emeritus who spent 32 years working in special collections and archives. Published by Clemson University Press, Unbuilt Clemson looks at projects throughout the University’s history that were never realized. Taylor spent years researching Clemson’s archives and visiting architecture firms from Williamsburg, Va., to Boston, Mass., that had worked on plans for the University, digging into proposed projects that, for one reason or another, were never built.

 

One issue that alumni might not be surprised to read about, Taylor said, is parking. The book details two proposed parking decks from 1992 and 2002 that were never built due to cost.

 

Some projects eventually took form on campus in other ways, such as a multipurpose auditorium proposed in 1965 that eventually led to the construction of Littlejohn Coliseum.

Other projects, such as a Continuing Education Center in 1972, never came to fruition because funding was not available. And some projects, such as the CURIOUS Campus — a “village” of academic buildings with a town center, green spaces and nature trails on the shores of Lake Hartwell —  simply did not come along at the right time to align with other campus priorities.

One issue that alumni might not be surprised to read about, Taylor said, is parking. The book details two proposed parking decks from 1992 and 2002 that were never built due to cost. “The first campus master planner wanted to turn campus into a walking campus,” Taylor said. “Parking has been a problem going back to President Poole when more students started driving cars.”

 

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