Editor's note: This is a series of columns by John Malcolm on his "50 years at Fredonia." Retired, he is a professor emeritus at Fredonia State.
By JOHN MALCOLM
A building boom started in 1957. Alumni Hall was under construction and plans were in the works for a new cafeteria (Cranston) and a twin dormitory McGinnes. Completion of Alumni would allow resident men to return to campus.
The plans were not original. One can find one of these styles on most of the SUNY four-year campuses. I once met one of the state architects at a meeting and he mentioned that he was the one who had to draw reverse plans for the third and fourth buildings of this plan - Chautauqua and Nixon halls.
All of these "dorms" had what was termed "double loaded corridors" with central bathrooms and small lounges on each floor. The buildings were divided into "houses." The lower level had a large lounge that even had wood burning fireplaces.
The rules were still tight. One had to sign in or out and quiet hours were strictly enforced.
Maintenance buildings often get overlooked and I can't ignore the old heating plant that was located pretty much on the site of the present Williams Center. (Just recently I found that the students have dubbed Williams "Willie C.") The heating plant was built shortly after Fenton was completed. It was an oil burning plant with a tall smokestack that gave it the factory look referred to earlier. The plant generated steam and it passed through tunnels to the existing buildings. These tunnels proved helpful in wiring the campus later but they were not, as some students like to think, capable of human traffic. It was also the headquarters for the physical plant or maintenance staff. It was very handy having them so close and even in the night hours the plant operators were available to help with problems.
There was no University Police Force. There was a night watchman but all he had was a time clock and a hat. At that time the college only had two station wagons for field trips, a 1952 Dodge Stake Truck, a tractor, and equipment to mow the lawns. The president did not have a state assigned car. Four garages, of brick, were also constructed and I remember working in one assembling furniture for McGinnes Hall. All of these buildings were torn down when the I.M. Pei construction program started and the new maintenance complex; "Fort Apache" was constructed.
John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.