5 October 2014

Changing tastes

If you are in Oxford, don't fail to go and have a look, within the next few days or weeks, at S Anne's College (occasional readers might need to be reminded that this distinguished institution is the Alma Mater of my wife and of two of our children).

The 'Gatehouse Tower', which for a few decades incorporated the College Lodge, is in the process of demolition. This is of interest because, when it was built in the 1960s, it was the delight of fashionable architectural pundits. Sir Nikolaus 'Bauhaus' Pevsner wrote " ... a building of wit, if one can say that of a building. For here is the Tudor-Gatehouse-Tower re-incarnate. ... Altogether an original and attractive little building".

Sic transit gloria mundi. When we were undergraduates, it was not yet even built, and the College Lodge was still incorporated into the side of one of the Victorian houses which constituted the College Buildings. Back in those days when the colleges had not yet totally abdicated moral responsibility, women undergraduates had to be back in college by 10.00, and so the shadowy garden in front of that Lodge was where admirers said good-night after an exciting evening spent reading the Nicomachean Ethics together in the Radcliffe Camera.

Oh dear, how old I feel.

1 comment:

CPK said...

What about the majestic elms in the Christ Church meadow? All fell victim to Dutch elm disease in the late '70s and just look at their replacements now!