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More favorite places

Our feature about people’s favorite spots on campus (“A Place of One’s Own at Yale,” September/October) prompted several alumni to mention their own special places.

The library garden (below) with its little fountain, outside L&B, was the most beautiful place in the world for me, for a blissful four years back in the Sixties. I’d come to Yale to get away from the world and study it from a distance, and this is where I did it. Fall colors, winter snow, crocuses in early spring, hot summer afternoons—the cloister effect of the leaded windows and the fountain grounded me and helped me concentrate. —Jack Kessler ’71


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In my senior year, I spent many spring evenings alone in the tower above the entryway at TD. It was my ultimate getaway, where I could watch the night sky, wait for the sunrise, and enjoy all of the vistas of the campus and New Haven. I wish I could say I was in a Zen state of mind, but more often than not I was in an altered state. —Bob Witkowski ’70


The HGS dining hall, where plans for weekends and lifetimes were made, and where some of us spent an unreasonable time every night, long after the staff had finished serving food. —Felipe Pait ’93PhD


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I am surprised that no one mentioned the carrels in the stacks in Sterling (left). I would go to the seventh floor on the Elm Street side, open a window so I had the faraway background street noise, and spend hours there deep in study. —Ted Jones ’64


My escape was the Trumbull Room at the Yale Art Gallery. You had to pass through a number of other rooms to get there—and few seemed to do this—so it felt like it was mine alone. My favorite painting was Edge of the Forest by George Inness, which I could comfortably enjoy from a green circular mohair sofa. Hearing the whir and feeling the chill of the A/C, and focusing on a painting of pastoral peace and simplicity, was an experience I can vividly recall. —Brian Marquis ’82


The Silliman library, which had a hidden upstairs portion that was always open and almost always empty, was my spot of choice to study. The only problem was that if you were to die there, you might never be found. —Clift Georgaklis ’86


I like enjoying a coffee and relaxing in the first-floor Kline Biology Tower café, with library beneath. —Mark Gerstein, Albert L. Williams Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Before Gilmore Music Library was created, that space used to be a largely unknown courtyard that was only accessible to employees. I used to work at Cross Campus Library during the school year and summers too, and I would have lunch in there sometimes. It is a magical place in my memory. The grass was generally high and uncut, there was never anyone there, and at midday in summer it was completely silent and bright and hot. The brick semi-gothic of the walls made me daydream of Italy (where I had never been). You would look up and see graduate students sitting in carrels by windows, and they would look back down, wondering how you got in there. —Richard Wittman ’91


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A particularly fine corner of the campus is Weir Court, a curiously elevated quadrangle in the cityscape. The great appeal of Weir Court (now part of the Art Gallery sculpture garden, left), in my days in the School of Architecture and Department of the History of Art, was its superb foliage. It made my daily pilgrimages to this enchanted spot very highly memorable indeed: the copper-beech leaves, the warm brown stone of Weir Hall (with Skull and Bones), and the Gothic delicacies of JE, glimpsed just beyond them, made an unforgettable composition in browns, russets, dull reds, and bronze, that stays with me to this day. —Douglas Lewis ’60, ’67PhD


  • Phoebe Roberts (JE '95)
    Phoebe Roberts (JE '95), 8:33pm November 03 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    My Junior year, I lived in one of the "psycho singles" in Weir Hall, overlooking the Art Gallery sculpture garden. I spent many sunny afternoons on the part of the roof you could access by climbing out my window.

  • Nicholas Cipolla (MC '00)
    Nicholas Cipolla (MC '00), 1:23am November 17 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I lived in the 'Penthouse Double' at the tip-top of the Morse Tower, 14 floors off the ground. You could walk out onto the roof from the windows in our rooms- two singles with a bathroom in between. There was even a small ├╝ber roof that had a TV antenna to which I affixed an Italian flag and subsequently was told to take down by a friendly and sympathetic Plant Office worker. My roommate and I had two legendary roof parties up there that just may have been heard in the faculty apartments below. Many days and night were spent out there, often shivering by the elevator shaft vent for warmth, while looking at the whole of the Yale campus, or to West and East Rocks, ablaze in their carpet of fall foliage. I heard somewhere that the occupants no longer have access to the roof...

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