The North Mall in September 2006Well, this is IT, right? Even though the rest of the campus is beautiful as well, the North Mall is usually what represents UD as a whole, and maybe even sold you on the school. As for its centerpiece, Memorial Hall, please see the next chapter.
If you attended UD anytime during the “Roselle Years” (meaning, the building boom), you witnessed some pretty major evolution of the UD campus…especially the North Mall, er, Green. Yo, before I forget: Remember Mallstock? Nope, it’s not now “Greenstock,” I believe it’s become “Resapalooza”…and I think it’s been moved to the Beach.
Anyway, '91 - '92 is when we really saw the beginnings of all the campus walkway work…some of it raised questions, “Where is this money coming from? Why isn’t it being put towards scholarships and stuff?”
“Books not Bricks” became a sorta protest catchphrase of some vocal students, circa 1993. Review writer Rob Wherry had a well crafted editorial in a September '93 issue, explaining the concept of “restricted funds” -- that some donations have strings attached, and had to be use for campus beautification, and well, bricks. Sometimes you’d actually see “Books not Bricks” (as well as other clever stuff!) written in sidewalk-chalk, on yes, the pathways. That is, the pathways that were still black / gray pavement and easier to chalk on, than the ones that had been newly bricked over. In response, UD announced a chalking ban around late '94, but some kids were still doing it anyway...and obviously got away with it. Hey, as with everything, it eventually just went away by itself.
Gore Hall. Possibly inconceivable to you kids who started UD in 1998 or later, that the spot where Gore Hall sits was previously a vacant plot of grass. The Gerbil Tube, a.k.a. the Smith Overpass, simply crossed South College and put you on this big concrete staircase thing, which you walked straight down to the North Mall (more about the Smith Overpass in another chapter!) It was kinda nice to have an elevated, clear view of the Mall from the top of those steps, but hey, they always wanted to put a building there. Summer of 1995 is when they announced the gift for Gore Hall (muchos dolores), Spring of 1996 is when they fenced off the area for the construction, and the building opened for the Spring '98 semester. And come on, it’s a beautiful building.
DuPont Hall. In the interest of maintaining symmetry with Gore Hall, the front of DuPont Hall was then greatly enlarged. (Some say it was a classic political thing, “My columns are bigger than yours…”) The addition took about two years, with them finishing it up in Spring '02. Oh, for you newer kids: The “old” DuPont face was of course smaller, and set back considerably further. My personal opinion is that the addition crowds the adjacent Wolf Hall too much, but DuPont on its own is a damn good-lookin’ building.
Rumor: Mitchell Hall is haunted by a ghost named “Elmo.”
Dude, this is: Contingent on your belief in the supernatural, ectoplasm, and things that go bump in the night (well, besides college students banging in dorm rooms). But yes, Elmo is supposedly the spirit of a construction worker who fell to his death from scaffolding inside of Mitchell Hall, in 1924. Hey, read about it in Ed “UD Campus Ghost Tour” Okonowicz’s book series Spirits Between the Bays. (Hopefully Mr. Okonowicz isn’t too offended by having his book mentioned in the same paragraph as, “…college students banging in dorm rooms.”)
Anyway, per Carrie, UD '02:
“I heard the ‘Mitchell is haunted…’ rumor and that same week I had to go there for a meeting in the basement one evening. I got there and no one was there, and I was very freaked out because of my new knowledge that the building was haunted. But I really had to pee...so I went into the bathroom. Okay, I swear on a stack of bibles: as I was sitting on the toilet...it flushed. So, I quickly finished up my business and hauled it out of there! It turned out that I had the night for the meeting wrong, so no one was there in the basement. But my vote on the haunted Mitchell rumor is that it's true. Or else it has weird plumbing issues!”
“I was there when part of the Mall was defaced for about a year or so to make way for the new and improved DuPont Hall (one of those buildings I never went into). It really was an eyesore; that part of the Mall that was graveled over to make way for the construction trucks and supplies. I hoped against hope that construction would be completed and that the Mall would be restored in time for my graduation and sure enough, construction was completed, the gravel was removed and replaced with sod, and everything looked pretty on the day I graduated in 2002.”
- Brenda, UD '02
“One day during the spring of my senior year, there was a hawk sitting on the ground between Brown and Evans with a dismembered pigeon in front of it. The hawk was sitting there glaring at students as they walked by, basically daring anyone to try to take his food.”
- Rob S, UD '03
“My college roommate and I always used to joke about this sketch we saw on STN one day. It depicted Sharp Laboratory and this weird red button that was mounted on the wall in the little waiting area when you first walk in through the main Mall-facing door, where the benches are. I don't think the button actually did anything, maybe it had some defunct purpose. Anyway, in the sketch some kid pushed the button and then it cut to stock footage of a massive explosion. We always thought that was hilarious.”
- Sally G, UD '04
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