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
After land was acquired most of the houses were moved. The house on the site of LoGrasso Hall, called "House of Lawson," was moved across the street. Most of the others including a large "Dutch Colonial" were moved down Temple Street toward the Thruway.
One went to Chestnut Street. One can still see evidence of these houses. There are still driveways leading nowhere and even a rusty sign bracket on one of the venerable trees near the curb. Thanks to Dr. Oscar Lanford most of the trees on the properties were saved. Dr. Lanford had a number of confrontations with those who wanted them down for convenience. A corner grocery store "Mac's" was demolished and the adjacent house moved across the street. There was even some talk of relocating the Brigham Road intersection to accommodate two housing units and perhaps even apartments.
On Brigham next to the Thruway new athletic fields were constructed. There was also site work done for a field house. It was the college's good fortune that this field house was never constructed in this remote location. Being placed next to Dods was a much better idea. Of course the parking lot foundations and lights and utilities remained and Dallas Beal once had an idea for constructing a small store complex there. It still may be a good idea.
Moving the baseball diamond (now Ludwig Field) from behind Chautauqua and Nixon was a practical idea but it did discourage fans that heretofore had come out to this convenient location.
On the Central Avenue side of campus houses were purchased for faculty offices. A "new" President's house was bought right next to the Fenton Hall "entrance." This was not done without some rancor on the part of the owners. These houses would remain the home of some departments until new construction and renovation were complete.
The college entrance was moved farther down Central Avenue to where a major power line crossed. This line was removed and relocated on the other side of the Thruway. At one time it was thought that the abandoned right-of-way would be a good location for a "parkway" from the campus entrance to the Thruway but the voices of NIMBY neighbors (not in my backyard) prevailed. The new entrance connected to a spectacular perimeter road now named "Ring Road." There was a smaller ring (Symphony Circle) that would pass in front of the arts center. Then there was an access road that would pass by Thompson Hall, Fenton Hall, and Houghton. One of the roads in front of Fenton would be closed and the remaining leg would be for exit only.
John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.