This article was published in the May 1, 1996 edition of The Phoenix.
It was written by Elizabeth Weber.

Vanished Buildings

Do these pictures look like Swarthmore to you? All of the buildings in these pictures from the Friends' Historical Library used to stand on campus. All have been razed--two to make room for buildings more familiar to us, and the third after an arsonist set a fire which all but destroyed it.

The Carnegie Library (affectionately known as "The Libe") stood between the present-day sites of Mertz Dorm and McCabe Library. It housed Tarble Social Center from 1968, when McCabe was completed, untile 1983, when a catastraphic fire destroyed all of the building except for the fireproof Biddle addtion, built to house the Friends' Historical Library. That portion of "Old Tarble" still stands.

Sommerville was built as a women's gym in 1893, and this picture was taken soon thereafter. The building was converted to a Student Center in 1953, housing a game room and and popular hambuger joint until its destruction to make room for McCabe in 1966.

The hamburger joint in Sommerville Student Center featured this mural, painted by a student. The Student Center moved when McCabe Library was built in 1967, but they couldn't save the mural.

Hall Gymnasium stood just West of Parrish until it was demolished to make room for the Lang Performing Arts Center in 1988. It served as the Men's gym from 1898 until the Fieldhouse was constructed in 1936, and was thereafter used as a women's gym, then as headquarters for campus security, and then as the dance studio.

Other college buildings are also gone. Members of the classes of '96, '97, and '98 watched a wrecking ball demolish Parrish Annex to make room for Kohlburg Hall a year and a half ago. Mary Lyon buildings 2 and 3 were demolished after a 1982 fire. And, the Temple of the Book and Key, home of Swarthmore's owm Secret Society, was razed in 1967, a decade after the Society ceased selecting new members.

Buildings aren't the only things which have changed around here. Sixty years ago, the dominant role of sororities on women's social life and question of coed tables in the dining hall were big issues. Football games attracted far more attention than they do now. Twenty-five years ago, students shut down the campus with a student strike to protest the bombing og Cambodia, and coed housing was still considered an experiment.

Swarthmore College in 1926, or even in 1971, was in many ways very different than it is today. Old issues of The Phoenix can be found in the bound periodical stacks of McCabe Library, and also in the mcrofilm section. Leaping off the pages of these old issues are the voices of thousands of our fellow students from days gone by.

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